Audi’s TT hits wall

The Courier-Mail - Motoring - - News - JOSHUA DOWL­ING NA­TIONAL MO­TOR­ING EDITOR

ONCE again con­tro­versy has greeted the latest round of in­de­pen­dent car crash test­ing.

Audi’s $70,000-plus TT sports car achieved only a fourstar rat­ing, while two Maz­das got a five-star rat­ing in Aus­tralia de­spite get­ting just four stars in over­seas tests.

In the off­set frontal crash at 64km/h, Audi’s TT per­formed well — its rel­a­tively high score of 13.79 out of 16 would have once made it el­i­gi­ble for five stars.

How­ever the two-door was pe­nalised for a lack of sup­ple­men­tary safety such as a rear-view cam­era. Cam­eras are now stan­dard on the likes of $14,990 hatch­backs.

Audi was roundly crit­i­cised for this ba­sic safety over­sight when the TT went on sale in Aus­tralia ear­lier this year.

A rear cam­era is stan­dard on Audis ar­riv­ing this month but can not be fit­ted to ve­hi­cles al­ready sold.

The TT also was pe­nalised for “in­ad­e­quate child oc­cu­pant pro­tec­tion”. Audi claims the TT’s child pro­tec­tion is good for a sports car.

The maker says: “Euro NCAP and ANCAP ref­er­enced the fact that the lim­ited space in the rear meant that cer­tain child seats could only be used with re­stric­tions or were dif­fi­cult to fit. But ... the TT achieves a strong rat­ing in the sports car cat­e­gory.”

How­ever, safety reg­u­la­tors say most cars can be used to trans­port young ones in baby cap­sules and there­fore the usual cri­te­ria should stand.

Audi says all its cars “sub­stan­tially ex­ceeded glob­ally ap­pli­ca­ble le­gal re­quire­ments”, adding that the TT scores the top rat­ing for adult and pedes­trian pro­tec­tion.

Mean­while, the Mazda CX-3 soft-roader and new Mazda2 sedan were awarded five stars by ANCAP de­spite get­ting only four stars from the af­fil­i­ated EuroNCAP.

The two author­i­ties are aim­ing to stan­dard­ise their rat­ings in com­ing years but in this case the Euro­pean body took a harder line on the Maz­das’ lack of stan­dard safety gear.

Both Maz­das have au­ton­o­mous emer­gency brak­ing avail­able as an op­tion, although the Mazda2 con­tro­ver­sially has no re­vers­ing cam­era on the base model.

Aus­tralian testers awarded the cars points for hav­ing the tech­nol­ogy. The Euro­pean body didn’t be­cause it ruled that not enough buy­ers were tak­ing the safety op­tion.

Mazda fig­ures show that 28.5 per cent of CX-3s sold here have the tech­nol­ogy. It is stan­dard on the top-of-the-range Ak­era model, which ac­counts for 15 per cent of the to­tal sales.

Au­ton­o­mous brak­ing uses cam­eras and sen­sors to de­tect po­ten­tial col­li­sions and ap­ply the brakes at lower speeds ei­ther to avoid a crash or re­duce its sever­ity.

and Richard Black­burn

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