To improve the energy absorption capacity of front-end structures during a vehicle crash, a novel 12-sided cross-section was developed and tested. Computer-aided engineering (CAE) studies showed superior axial crash performance of the 12-sided component over more conventional cross-sections. When produced from advanced high strength steels (AHSS), the 12-sided cross-section offers opportunities for significant mass-savings for crash energy absorbing components such as front or rear rails and crush tips. In this study, physical crash tests and CAE modeling were conducted on tapered 12-sided samples fabricated from AHSS. The effects of crash trigger holes, different steel grades and bake hardening on crash behavior were examined. Crash sensitivity was also studied by using two different part fabrication methods and two crash test methods. The 12-sided components showed regular folding mode and excellent energy absorption capacity in axial crash tests. In general, the simulation results correlated well with the tests in terms of crash mode, crash force, crash distance and energy absorption.