The large SUV is the first battery-electric vehicle to earn top safety “plus” status from the Institute. - Photo courtesy of IIHS. 

The large SUV is the first battery-electric vehicle to earn top safety “plus” status from the Institute.

Photo courtesy of IIHS. 

After acing six rigorous crash-worthiness tests, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety has recognized the 2019 Audi e-tron with it’s highest honor, a Top Safety Pick+ award.

The large SUV is the first battery-electric vehicle to earn top safety “plus” status from the Institute.

A plug-in battery-electric vehicle with no gasoline or diesel engine to help power it, the Audi e-tron scored good ratings across the board. The evaluations included the driver-side small overlap front, passenger-side small overlap front, moderate overlap front, side, roof strength and head restraint tests.

But to drive off with a Top Safety Pick+, vehicles also must have an advanced or superior rating for front crash prevention and a good headlight rating.

The e-tron met both criteria. In IIHS track tests, the e-tron’s standard front crash prevention system performed exceptionally well and captured a superior rating. The SUV avoided a collision in the 25-mph test and reduced its impact speed by an average of 11 mph in the 12 mph test.

While headlights are often an issue for vehicles hoping to garner “plus” status, that was not the case for the Audi e-tron. Rather, the e-tron's only available headlights — static LEDs with high-beam assist — earn a good rating, putting the vehicle right where it needs to be for “plus” recognition.

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