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SAFETY | 8 out of 10
Visibility to the front and sides is fine, but restricted aft and over-the-shoulder
As the 2009 Audi R8 has not yet been crash-tested by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration or the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, we are unable to rate the Audi R8's crash performance. However, a long list of standard safety equipment comes with every 2009 Audi R8.
Edmunds reports that standard safety equipment on the 2009 Audi R8 includes seat-mounted and knee-protecting airbags as well as anti-lock disc brakes, traction control, and stability control. Of course, traction plays a part in safety, and the standard Quattro system ensures full-time all-wheel drive. For those of you who live in states where driving while talking on a cell phone is prohibited, a Bluetooth system is made standard for 2009.
TheCarConnection.com's editors recently drove an Audi R8 and found that backing into parking spaces was difficult because of the shape of the R8's roof, something even the large side mirrors couldn't help. Visibility plays a role in safety, and ConsumerGuide took to task the rear visibility from the 2009 Audi R8, noting, "Visibility to the front and sides is fine, but restricted aft and over-the-shoulder by the wide 'flying buttress' rear-roof pillars and narrow rear-window opening." However, with the R8, Audi offers a backup camera as well as a radar obstacle-detection system, and Automobile Magazine thinks that the view to the back is better than in some sportscars.
The 2009 Audi R8's stout structure, plethora of handling features, and full complement of airbags should reassure most drivers.