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September 15, 1998

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 airbag deployment.

* TIPTRONIC is a registered trademark of Dr. Ing. h. c. F. Porsche AG.