Not many battery-electric cars have been fully rated by the IIHS, but the 2019 Audi E-Tron is the first to receive an IIHS Top Safety Pick+ award for its efforts. That’s fantastic to hear, but we’d love to know where the Jaguar I-Pace and Tesla Model X shake out compared to the electric Audi — neither of those cars have been rated by the IIHS. The Model 3 is currently undergoing testing, though.
For the time being, Audi has the crown all alone. The ratings from the top of the report card to the bottom are exemplary, netting “Good” scores in every crashworthiness category. Many vehicles are tripped up be less-than-sufficient headlights, but the E-Tron’s standard LED lighting option scored a “Good” rating. The IIHS tests front crash prevention systems for new vehicles now, and Audi’s performed well. Audi’s system was able to avoid a collision in the 25 mph test, and then it reduced its impact speed by an average of 11 mph in the 12-mph emergency stop testing. This crash prevention testing was done with a base E-Tron, meaning none of the optional driver assistance equipment was tacked on. The last rating was for the LATCH system’s ease of use, and the IIHS rated that as good, too.
Conveniently, the IIHS did provide video (above) of the E-Tron being crash tested. This means we get to see the front end crumple without any engine in the way to stop it. Audi went into light detail on how it has designed the battery pack itself for safety in a crash. It’s housed in a frame with an internal honeycomb structure that separates battery modules, specifically to help dissipate energy. We didn’t get a deep dive of the underbody from the IIHS to see what happened under there during the crash, but everything must have checked out with the TSP+ rating.