Five years ago, we published The EV Safety Advantage report. There are several aspects of an EV powertrain that allow electric vehicles to be much safer than their “comparable” fossil-powered vehicles. From a low center of gravity with a “skateboard” battery pack to larger crumple zones to less risk of a sudden uncontrolled explosion, electric vehicles are simply safer. Audi is proving that yet again. All of Audi’s electric SUVs (all 4 of them) have received the Top Safety Pick+ award from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). That’s the highest award the IIHS gives.
One non-electric Audi SUVs also received this award, while two non-electric Audi SUVs received the somewhat less prestigious Top Safety Pick award.
The electric models that got the top safety rating were the: 2023 Audi Q4 e-tron, 2023 Audi Q4 Sportback e-tron, 2024 Audi Q8 e-tron, and 2024 Audi Q8 Sportback e-tron.
“The 2024 Audi Q8 e-tron is the latest model to receive the industry’s coveted safety acknowledgment, joining all of Audi’s fully electric SUVs in securing the highest 2023 TOP SAFETY PICK+ rating based on crashworthiness, as well as other factors such as crash avoidance and lighting technology,” Audi writes.
“Customer safety is a top priority at Audi,” said Daniel Weissland, President of Audi of America. “We are proud to see Audi’s efforts in safety enhancing technology continue to earn the accolades of independent industry organizations, with our engineers constantly striving to develop vehicles that achieve ever more challenging safety benchmarks.”
Note that the IIHS safety rating system gets tougher over time as technology advances. Back in February (2023), IIHS made the rating system tougher yet again. The higher standards included “an updated side crash test that involves 82 percent more energy than the original test, along with a new nighttime vehicle-to-pedestrian front crash prevention test.” IIHS has gotten better over the years at including pedestrian and bicyclist safety in its safety rating systems. And so have automakers, such as Audi.
“Both the Audi Q4 e-tron and Audi Q4 Sportback e-tron come standard with a front crash prevention system that earned advanced ratings in both the daytime and nighttime pedestrian tests, while the standard crash avoidance systems on the Audi Q8, Q8 e-tron and Audi Q8 Sportback e-tron earned daytime ratings of superior and nighttime ratings of advanced,” Audi states.
For those of us not retaining the rules of the IIHS system in our heads, here’s a short summary: “To qualify for either IIHS award in 2023, a vehicle must now earn good ratings in the driver- and passenger-side small front overlap and original moderate overlap front collision tests, and come equipped with acceptable or good headlights across all trims. For TOP SAFETY PICK, an acceptable or good rating in the updated side test is required, and a front crash prevention system that earns an advanced or superior rating in the daytime vehicle-to-pedestrian evaluation must be available. For TOP SAFETY PICK+, a good rating in the updated side impact test as well as advanced or superior ratings in both the daytime and nighttime pedestrian tests are necessary.”
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