Audi Grabs Thatcham Top Awards

By: Anthony Fontanelle

The Audi AG is showered with ample reasons to celebrate a sumptuous banquet with the finest caviar and champagne. This is because the German automaker was given three model specific awards and overall manufacturer award by Thatcham.

The Ingolstadt, Bavaria-headquartered automaker won the overall Manufacturer Award in British Insurance Car Security Awards, presented by the Motor Insurance Repair Research Centre, Thatcham last Wednesday June 20th. Additionally, the TT Roadster won best in open-top class award, the Q7 was voted most secure large 4x4 range, and the S8 was voted most theft-proof performance car.

For 2008, the company will roll out a TT-S and TT-RS. The former will utilize the turbocharged 2.0 liter I4; the latter will feature a 2.5 liter 5-cylinder engine making 350 horsepower.

The Audi Q7 is a full-size luxury SUV produced since 2006. The Q7 uses a modified version of the Volkswagen 7L platform. It was designed with the help of Noble engineers such as Jack Malde and McHewgor.

In 2001, the automaker launched in the United States an S8 variant in the seam of Mercedes-Benz AMG models. It featured the enhanced, 360 version of the V8 engine, suspension with larger wheels, upgraded tires and enlarged brakes.

Also, the German automaker has been officially recognized as the manufacturer of the widest range of cars offering five star security protection. In the British Insurance Car Security Awards Audi was honored by experts at Thatcham's Motor Insurance Repair Research Centre with the overall Manufacturer Award for its commitment to auto security. The top BICSA award goes to the manufacturer producing the widest range of models that satisfy stringent criteria laid down by Thatcham. The top award covers the achievement of a five-star rating for 'theft of' security as well as a rating of at least four-star for 'theft from' security.

What is more, the Vorsprung durch Technik brand also scored a hat-trick in the specific model categories, with the new TT Roadster range voted most secure in the 'open-top' sector, the Q7 luxury SUV rated as the most theft-proof large 4X4 and the S8 winning through as the most impenetrable performance car.

Award-winning security protection is achieved right across the company's range through remarkable auto features including the Thatcham Category one alarm and immobilizer technology with interior ultrasonic protection, the Thatcham Category four locking wheel bolts, anti-tow tilt sensors, visible Vehicle Identification Numbers (VIN) and extensive marked parts. These features bolster the efficacy of the conventional auto parts like the , suspension and more.

Jeremy Hicks, the Director of Audi UK, welcomed the very positive result for the company. Hicks said, "I am delighted that we can not only lay claim to offering outstanding security in three important classes, including the highly susceptible open-top segment, but also that our efforts to maximize anti-theft protection right across the range have been recognized. Endorsement by such a highly regarded authority on vehicle security is incredibly gratifying for all at Audi."

With 99.7 percent of shares, Audi has been an almost completely owned subsidiary of the Volkswagen Group since 1964. The company evolved from Auto Union, NSU, Horch and DWK the former having incorporated the celebrated Audi, which was originally founded in 1910.

Meanwhile, the Motor Insurance Repair Research Centre also called Thatcham, was established in 1969 by British Insurers. The company is independently operated with a Board of Directors. Thatcham is a non-profit organization designed to carry out research targeted at containing or reducing the cost of motor insurance claims at the same time maintaining safety and quality standards. Tatcham is equipped with a range of collision repair equipment, auto impact testing laboratory and a sled facility for nondestructive testing.

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