One of the safest cars ever built will not be sold in the United States. The Euro NCAP, similar to our National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, put the all-new 2013 Volvo V40 through a battery of crash tests and found that it is one of the safest cars it has tested.

The Euro NCAP's testing consists of cars being tested in four categories (adult occupant, child occupant, pedestrian and safety assist) for vehicle safety, and the V40 drove (or more likely was towed) away with some of the top scores the agency has ever handed out. The 98 percent adult occupant rating is the highest result recorded by the Euro NCAP, while the car's innovative pedestrian airbag helped it receive an equally impressive 88-percent rating for pedestrian safety. This safety device is actually an airbag underneath the hood, and when contact with a pedestrian is detected, the airbag inflates, raising the rear portion of the hood which helps to cushion the a person's head or body as it makes contact with the car.

The Volvo V40 was perfect in the safety assist category thanks to systems like Pedestrian Detection, City Safety, auto braking and numerous other active safety features. The only knock that the V40 took was to child occupant protection. Its 75-percent rating is one of the lowest of the recent batch of tested cars, which also includes the Audi A3, Kia Cee'd and Ford B-Max.

In addition to being one of the safest Volvos produced so far, the V40 is also one of the best-looking Volvo models ever. We already had a chance to sample the new V40 back in June, and we were impressed with the car and what it could do to bolster Volvo's U.S. lineup. Still, Volvo has stated that it has no intentions of selling its new compact hatchback here, despite the growth of the premium small car segment in this market.

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Record-breaking safety rating for the all-new Volvo V40 in Euro NCAP test

The all-new Volvo V40 has received the top rating of five stars in the Euro NCAP collision test. The overall result is the best ever recorded by the institute.

"A fantastic result. We are very proud to have one of the world's safest cars and we're taking yet another important step toward our 2020 target - that nobody should die or be seriously injured in a Volvo," says Thomas Broberg, Senior Technical Advisor Safety at Volvo Car Corporation.

As of 2009 European safety institute Euro NCAP presents an overall rating for each car model whose safety it tests. Separate tests are carried out in four different sub-categories, which are then ranked to produce an overall grade. The four categories are adults occupant protection, child protection, pedestrian protection and safety assist.

It is not only the overall result that is record-high. The all-new Volvo V40's protection for adults for was also the best result ever recorded in a test, no less than 98 percent. During the development of the all-new Volvo V40, the goal was to build in the same safety level as in larger cars. The holistic approach, a strong structure and systems such as the WHIPS whiplash protection system form the basis for the excellent result.

In the safety assist category, the Volvo V40 scores maximum points. "The new Volvo V40 was launched as the most intelligent and the safest car in its segment, and it is truly packed with active safety systems such as auto brake, Pedestrian Detection to shield pedestrians, Lane Keeping Aid which helps the driver stay within his or her lane, and BLIS which helps the driver detect vehicles in the offset rear 'blind spot'," says Thomas Broberg.

In the pedestrian protection category too the Volvo V40 sets a new record. One important factor here is the innovative, unique pedestrian airbag. Sensors in the front of the car detect any contact with a pedestrian. A pyrotechnical charge releases the bonnet hinges and elevates the bonnet with the help of an airbag. The inflated airbag's cushioning effect combined with the increased distance to the hard components in the engine compartment help protect the pedestrian's head in any impact. The Euro NCAP description of the system says, among other things, that "the system worked well, the bonnet offering good protection in all areas likely to be struck by a pedestrian's head, making the V40 the first car to score maximum points in this area."

Volvo Car Corporation had already previously received the Euro NCAP Advanced Award for its City Safety system, which is fitted as standard in all versions of the V40. City Safety operates at speeds of up to 50 km/h, which is more than any other car manufacturer offers in similar systems.

"We work continuously on improving the already high safety level of our cars through ongoing research into the reasons behind road accidents and by gaining in-depth understanding of the results of actual collisions," says Thomas Broberg.