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Audi A8 Achieves Highest Possible Safety Test Rating AUBURN HILLS, Michigan--September 15, 1998--
A 1998 Audi A8 has achieved the top NHTSA safety rating for both the
driver and the front seat passenger according to test results announced
today by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).
The Audi A8 is the first and only member of the premium luxury class to
earn the dual five-star rating for both the driver and the front seat
passenger under NHTSA's New Car Assessment Program (NCAP).
The NCAP test results are reported in a range of one to five stars, with
five stars indicating the best crash protection for vehicles within the
same weight class. Head and chest data are combined into a single rating
and this rating represents a vehicle's relative level of crash
protection in a head-on collision.
To collect this data, vehicles are crashed into a fixed barrier at 35
miles per hour with instrumented dummies registering impact forces
during the crash. The force is equivalent to a head-on collision between
two identical vehicles, each moving at 35 mph.
The A8 is Audi's all-aluminum luxury flagship, first introduced to North
America in the Fall of 1996. The ground breaking Audi A8 employs a
revolutionary aluminum space frame body technology, the Audi Space Frame
(ASF), created in partnership with aluminum pioneer Alcoa. The result is
a frame that's 40 percent lighter than traditional steel frames and yet
one that's stronger and safer.
In creating the A8, Audi broke with the paradigm that the only way to
get safer was to get heavier. Instead, using the ASF technology, Audi
achieved significant weight savings over competitive models while
delivering abundant room and unsurpassed amenities in an elegant
automobile that performs like a sports sedan.
Available in two V8 equipped versions -- a front-drive A8 3.7 and an
all-wheel drive A8 4.2 quattro -- drivers command up to 300 horsepower
and, because of its light weight, do so without paying the gas guzzler
tax. To harness this power, a five-speed automatic transmission with
Tiptronic(R)* is standard.
The A8 was the first vehicle in the world with six airbag supplemental
restraints as standard equipment: two next generation airbags for driver
and front passenger protection in the event of a frontal impact; two
seat-mounted side airbags for the driver and front passenger for
side-impact protection, and two more side-impact airbags for the rear
occupants. There is even an advanced central locking system that will
unlock the doors and turn on the interior lights in the event of an
* TIPTRONIC is a registered trademark of Dr. Ing. h. c. F. Porsche AG.