It follows in the footsteps of the first-ever BEV to get the Top Safety Pick+ honor, the 2019 Audi e-tron SUV.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety's (IIHS) Top Safety Pick+ award is arguably the most exclusive and prestigious safety designation available today. It's not easy to earn, and it gets harder every year (as shown below).

Back in March, we reported that only 23 vehicles had received the honor, with the Tesla Model 3 being the only EV to earn the rating. Now, it has company in the 2020 Audi e-tron Sportback.

The 2020 Audi e-tron Sportback joins the 2019 e-tron SUV as an esteemed recipient of the IIHS Top Safety Pick+ designation. The 2019 e-tron was the first-ever BEV to receive the IIHS' top honor, so it comes as little surprise that the new Sportback configuration follows suit.

Below we've included the IIHS' 2020 Top Safety Pick+ criteria for 2020, as well as 2019. As you can see, IIHS has made it more difficult to get the award, which is common with each new model year. To earn the 2020 award, good headlights are required. This is something that keeps many vehicles off the list. In addition, IIHS now includes vehicle-to-vehicle and vehicle-to-pedestrian evaluations:

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Vehicle-to-vehicle evaluations according to IIHS:

IIHS evaluates the stopping capabilities of vehicles equipped with autobrake in two tests at 12 and 25 mph on the Vehicle Research Center test track. In each, an engineer drives the vehicle straight toward a stationary target designed to simulate the back of a car

Vehicle-to-pedestrian evaluations:

Pedestrian crash prevention capabilities are evaluated using dummies that move across or stand in the roadway. Tests are conducted in these three scenarios:

i.e. Perpendicular adult, perpendicular child, and parallel adult. 

As in the vehicle-to-vehicle tests, a GPS system and sensors record data about the vehicle's speed and position, and an on-board camera captures any warnings from the system.

You can look at the whole report about how IIHS evaluates vehicles by clicking here. Then, click on the Press Release tab below for the official news from Audi. Scroll down and leave us your thoughts in the comment section below.

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2020 Audi e-tron Sportback earns '2020 IIHS Top Safety Pick+' rating

  • On sale nationwide, 2020 Audi e-tron Sportback is the second all-electric Audi to be named an IIHS Top Safety Pick+ following the 2019 e-tron SUV
  • Audi e-tron Sportback offers a comprehensive suite of standard and available driver-assistance technologies
  • e-tron Sportback joins the Audi A6 and A6 allroad among other IIHS-recognized Audi models

HERNDON, Va., July 21, 2020 – The 2020 Audi e-tron Sportback has earned a “2020 Top Safety Pick+” designation from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, denoting the highest rating awarded through a number of evaluations. The 2020 e-tron Sportback is the second fully electric model from the brand, following the 2019 Audi e-tron SUV, which became the first EV from any manufacturer to be awarded with a 2019 Top Safety Pick+ designation.

The Audi e-tron Sportback comes standard with a 95 kW battery pack, which allows it to travel up to an EPA-estimated 218 miles on a single charge. The battery pack has an integrated lattice structure and aluminum frame that makes it an integral part of the body structure, providing a feeling of solidity to drivers and passengers from inside the vehicle and helping dissipate energy in the event of a collision.

Through IIHS’s evaluations, the e-tron Sportback body and structure exceled in safety performance, earning the top “Good” rating in six areas of crashworthiness performance: small front overlap collision evaluations on both the driver and passenger sides, moderate front overlap, side impact, roof strength and head restraints and seat performance.

The e-tron Sportback also earned a “Good” rating with its standard Matrix Design LED headlights and “Superior” with standard automatic emergency braking as part of Audi pre sense® front. Audi Pre sense® front can help detect pedestrians and cyclists in the vehicle’s path at speeds of up to 52 mph and can detect vehicles at speeds of up to 155 mph and can initiate braking when a potential collision is detected.

Distinguished by its refined coupe SUV design, the e-tron Sportback offers everyday utility and a distinct road presence and marks yet another milestone toward Audi’s goal of electrifying approximately 30% of its U.S. lineup by 2025.

The e-tron Sportback joins the previously announced 2020 Audi A6 sedan and A6 allroad as 2020 Top Safety Pick+ winners. New for 2020, the A6 allroad has made its way back to Audi’s U.S. lineup for the first time in 15 years, powered exclusively by a 3.0-liter TFSI V6 that sends 335 horsepower and 369 lb-ft of torque through an eight-speed Tiptronic® automatic transmission to all four wheels via quattro® all-wheel drive.

2020 IIHS “Top Safety Pick+” is based on “good” ratings in six crashworthiness tests plus no less than an “acceptable” rating for standard headlights, and no less than an “advanced” rating for both front crash prevention tests. For vehicle test details visit www.iihs.org.

For more details on IIHS Top Safety Pick Ratings, visit http://www.iihs.org/.