Electric Audi aces safety tests

Although some car makers might be suffering from issues with Takata airbags and the vehicles in India are coming under increasing scrutiny for having horrible safety ratings, that doesn’t mean everyone is in the same boat. The new Audi A3 Sportback e-tron, an electric version of the classic Audi vehicle, has just been awarded a five star rating in the NCAP crash tests.

It wasn’t a perfect score of course, but it’s still a hell of an achievement with very few cars even getting to the true five star rating levels. All in all, Audi’s new A3 was able to score an 82 per cent rating when it came to adult safety, with the NCAP praising it for its robustness and ability to take front impacts while protecting both driver and passengers.

Other aspects of its safety weren’t quite as strong mind you, with child safety given a 78 per cent, and pedestrian protection given just 66 per cent. These are still strong scores, but clearly Audi can improve its ratings with future versions of the car.

NCAP tests actually get incredibly in-depth, judging different parts of the vehicle as being specifically good or bad for different tests. For example, in the pedestrian safety test, the front bumper, central windscreen and bonnet areas of the new Audi were given strong ratings for protection. These parts are good at cushioning the head of a potential pedestrian to try and avoid brain injuries. However, other areas, like the front leading edge of the bonnet, the sides of the windscreen and the edges of the bonnet were given between marginal and poor ratings, leading to NCAP giving it a near zero score for protecting pedestrian pelvises.

The new A3 was also praised in more technical areas however. It comes with a number of safety assist features, such as seatbelt reminders, a lane support system that gives the driver a departure warning and (if an options pack is purchased) an automated system that will steer you back into your lane if you drift out.

Audi has also implemented an automated emergency braking system that can work up to speeds of 80 kilometres per hour. It didn’t achieve a perfect score, as it wasn’t able to slow the vehicle to a complete stop in many cases, but the braking system did provide a reduction in speed prior to the impact, which can go a long way to mitigating serious injuries.

More minor ones should be avoided however, as whiplash protection due to cleverly designed headrests was given top marks by the safety body.

The only big safety concern with the vehicle was an inadequately powerful airbag, which while able to cushion the head slightly during impact, still allowed it enough movement to crash into the steering wheel. This is something Audi will need to consider fixing in future versions of the car, since it could cause potentially fatal safety concerns.




    Jon Martindale

    Jon Martindale is an English author and journalist, who's written for a number of high-profile technology news outlets, covering everything from the latest hardware and software releases, to hacking scandals and online activism.

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