The Audi Q7, a luxury performance SUV, earned the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety's (IIHS) Top Safety Pick award for 2008. The 2008 Q7 received a "good" rating in all three crash tests: side impact, offset frontal and rear impact seat tests. In addition to the Q7, three Audi car models – the A3, A4 and A6 – have also been recognized as Top Safety Picks in 2008, earning Audi the most Top Safety Pick designations for 2008 models of any luxury automaker this year. The Q7's 2008 rating applies to models built after December 2007 and will carry over to the 2009 model year.

"For Audi, safety and performance have always gone hand in hand: our cars are engineered to offer the best not just in crash protection, but in preventing traffic accidents altogether," said Johan de Nysschen, executive vice president, Audi of America. "With the launch of the Audi Q7 TDI clean diesel in 2009, American SUV buyers will have even more options from which to choose for safety as well as fuel economy, convenience and performance."

To qualify for the IIHS's Top Safety Pick award, a vehicle must earn the highest rating of good in the Institute's front, side, and rear tests and be equipped with electronic stability control, which Audi has standard on every model it produces.

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Audi's commitment to safety goes beyond crash test safety ratings to include a comprehensive list of active and passive safety features. Every Audi sold in the U.S. has standard four-wheel disc brakes with anti-lock braking system (ABS), an electronic stability program, daytime running lights (DRL) and a standard tire pressure monitoring system. The Q7 also features Audi's quattro permanent all-wheel standard on all models, providing high levels of active safety and traction on virtually any surface. All of these features are designed to help reduce the chances of a collision.

In 2006, the Audi Q7 pioneered blind spot protection with Audi side assist. The Audi side assist system, currently standard on the Audi Q7 3.6 Prestige and 4.2 Prestige models, monitors up to 165 feet behind the vehicle and alerts the driver when someone is in their blind spot using a directional amber LED that appears in the inner housing of the exterior mirror. Should the driver attempt to merge into the lane occupied by a vehicle in their blind spot, the LED will flash brightly when the turn signal is pushed.

At the same time, Audi is enjoying industry recognition, strong consumer interest and growing market share in the U.S. In June, Audi posted the greatest ranking improvement in initial quality in the results from J.D. Power and Associates' 2008 industry-wide study. Audi has enjoyed increased dealer traffic and strong sales of the A4 and TT models, with robust sales in key markets. This confluence of positive news positions Audi well as the company gears up for several major U.S. product launches in Fall 2008.