Tesla Remains Perfect, Audi Hopes to Follow Its Lead

Safety is quickly becoming a trademark quality for Tesla. The California-based electric carmaker builds the Model S sedan, which achieved the best safety rating of any car ever tested back in 2013.

Now it can lay claim to something else no other automaker has ever been able to accomplish: a National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) perfect score for an SUV in its 5-star crash-testing system.

Yes, the Tesla Model X is now the safest SUV ever tested by the government agency.

A CNN article said,

Hundreds of other SUV models have been given five stars overall by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. But in each case, the SUV received only four stars on one of the component ratings, typically rollover risk. SUVs have a higher center of gravity and are more prone to roll over than a typical family sedan.

But the electric-powered Model X has a heavy lithium battery pack on the bottom of the car that provides the power, and thus has a much lower center of gravity than the typical SUV. So it was the first in its class to get five stars across the board.

The testing also concluded that occupants of a Model X have a 93 percent chance of walking away from a serious crash without major injury. Those are some pretty impressive selling points for families in the market for an upscale luxury SUV.

Tesla’s Model X isn’t completely without fault, though. There have been safety concerns involving the car’s AutoPilot software, an airbag recall in some models, and complaints about the falcon-wing doors.

Those aren’t major concerns, but they are potential weak points that other automakers might target.

Audi, for one, would love a piece of the electric market that Tesla has carved out for itself. Perhaps it’s no surprise then that the German automaker has announced plans to build an electric SUV to challenge Tesla’s reigning king.

Even the headline of the press release announcing the new SUV was a nod to Tesla. It said,

Being the best doesn’t always mean being the first.

How will the e-tron quattro concept outshine the Model X? For starters, a 95KwH battery pack will give the SUV 310 miles of range, topping Tesla’s current 289-mile top end. Not much else is known just yet, but we expect traditional door hinges and Audi’s exquisite attention to detail in interior design.

No matter how good the Audi looks inside, it had better hope to become the second vehicle in history to achieve a perfect safety score.

The electric Audi SUV is planned for release sometime in 2018.

Which electric SUV brand would you be more likely to buy: Tesla or Audi?


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