It's the first EV to receive an IIHS Top Safety Pick+ award.
To date, not many all-electric cars have been fully evaluated by the Insurance Institute of Highway Safety ( IIHS), but Audi has been rewarded for its ongoing safety efforts by earning the coveted IIHS Top Safety Pick+ award for the new E-Tron. That puts Audi at the top of the class as the first battery-only EV to get the highest rating from the IIHS.
The report on the E-Tron from the IIHS is a long string green Good ratings, including its headlights, an area that trips a lot of vehicles up. However, the E-Tron’s standard Matrix Design LED headlights stood up to the tests.
The long string of 'Good' marks is interrupted though, but it's by a 'Superior' mark for its forward-collision warning system. In the tests, Audi’s system was able to avoid a collision for the 25 mph test and reduced its impact speed by an average of 11 mph in the 12-mph emergency stop testing. That's with just the standard Audi pre sense equipment at the front, which uses a front-mounted camera to detect when to start initiating braking. Pre sense also helps prepare the vehicle for impact by partially closing the side windows and sunroof while pre-tensioning the front safety belts.
The body and structure also passed with flying colors, and while there's not much technical detail on how the battery is designed for crashes, we do know the battery pack is housed in a honeycomb structure that separates the individual cells in order to dissipative force. The 95 kWh battery pack is also between protective covers with the cooling system running underneath the pack to keep it thermally efficient.
The IIHS "Top Safety Pick+” requires 'Good' ratings in the moderate overlap front, driver-side small overlap front, passenger-side small overlap front, side, roof strength, head restraint, and headlight tests. The vehicle also can't earn anything less than an 'Advanced' rating for front crash prevention. What we want to see now is Tesla's Model X and Jaguar's I-Pace put through the wringer to see how they compare.
The E-Tron is out in dealer's showrooms now and costs $75,795 before tax rebates and the SUV has an EPA range rating of 204 miles.