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Top Ratings for Safety For Audi A4 and Q5

Audi A4 (copyright image)

Audi A4

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29th June, 2009

Two of Audi’s newest models have earned top marks for safety in the latest testing programmes in the US and Germany.

The Audi A4 sedan and Q5 models have achieved a top five-star rating in the new and more stringent Euro New Car Assessment Programme (NCAP) safety tests.

This result was backed up by the U.S. National Highway Safety Administration (NHTSA) which gave both cars a five-star rating in all test categories. In addition, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), a U.S. consumer protection organisation, proclaimed the Audi Q5 its “Top Safety Pick” – the best buy when it comes to safety.

Following the tradition of the Audi A3, A4, A6 and Audi Q7, the Audi Q5 has now also achieved top ratings from the renowned Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) in the United States. This makes Audi the first car maker in the world to earn the coveted honour of “Top Safety Pick” for the fifth time.

The IIHS determines the safety standards for cars on behalf of the U.S. insurance industry, conducting one front and one side impact test in each case, and also simulates a rear-end collision. The “Top Safety Pick” certificate is only awarded when top ratings are achieved in all three disciplines, and when the electronic stabilisation programme (ESP) is offered as standard equipment as well.

The side impact test included in the IIHS crash test is particularly demanding, with the car being tested experiencing a 50 km/h side impact with a moving barrier that simulates a typical American SUV. The resulting structural deformations are then evaluated, along with passenger kinematics and impact. The Audi Q5 stood out for its outstandingly low impact ratings – its high-strength and super-high-strength steel components ensure an extremely stable car body. The risk of injury is further reduced by the networked controls for the restraint systems, which adapt to each specific crash situation, along with up to eight airbags.

In the rear-end collision simulation, the IIHS evaluates impact on the neck and spine. In the Audi Q5, the integrated head restraint system and the optimised seat design helps counter the risk of whiplash injuries. The IIHS does not test performance in high-speed rear-end collisions. In these cases, the rear side rails, rear wheels, and body sills of the Audi Q5 are designed specifically to reduce the energy of impact. The fuel tank lies in the protected zone in front of the rear-axle support – and the fuel pump switches off when a crash is detected.

The Audi Q5 and A4 both achieved a top five-star rating in the Euro NCAP safety test, for which a new and expanded evaluation system was used. The Euro NCAP consortium is made up of international representatives of European transport ministries, automobile associations, insurers and consumer protection organisations. It examines the crash performance of new cars.

Since February 2009, Euro NCAP has added even more stringent standards: along with protecting adult passengers, the overall ratings also include standards for passenger protection for children and pedestrians, as well as the level of active safety.

The A4 and Q5 scored 93 and 92 per cent, respectively, in protecting adult passengers in the frontal, side and simulated rear-end collisions. Both cars also achieved outstanding scores in child safety, with 84 per cent out of 100 – impressive proof of the success of the comprehensive Audi “Modular Longitudinal Platform” safety concept, which serves as the basis of the A4 mid-size sedan and the Q5 SUV.

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Ensuring partner protection for pedestrians and cyclists is also an important concern for Audi. The specially designed front of the Audi A4 helps minimise the consequences of a collision, with foam cushioning in front of the transverse bumper beams, a generous crumple zone, panels with defined deformation zones, and special, deformable attachment of the front mudguard. This makes the Audi A4 one of the first cars to fulfill all of the new legal regulations for passenger protection in Japan and Europe.

Audi offers an extensive active safety package to help prevent accidents before they happen. The Audi A4 and Q5 rated highly in the Euro NCAP tests thanks to their efficient ESP and seatbelt reminders, both standard equipment. Customers can also select numerous optional intelligent driver assistance systems. These include radar-supported adaptive cruise control with Audi braking guard, which actively warns the driver in multiple stages in imminent collision situations, the Audi lane assist lane departure warning system, and the Audi side assist lane-change assistant. The improved illumination of the road provided by adaptive cornering light also contributes significantly to greater safety.

The high safety standards of the Audi A4 and Audi Q5 were also resoundingly confirmed by the test methods applied by the U.S. National Highway Safety Administration (NHTSA). Both cars received the top five-star rating from the U.S. traffic safety agency in a total of four categories for the front impact test at 56 km/h and the side impact test with a barrier travelling at  62.5 km/h.

The A4 sedan also offered a top five-star performance in the additional category for protection against rollover; due to the higher centre of gravity of SUVs, the Audi Q5 was certified with four stars in this category.

The results clearly demonstrate that both American and European safety experts agree that the Audi A4 and Audi Q5 are among the safest cars in their classes.


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