Sorry Acura fans. When you head to the theaters this May to see Tony Stark save the world in ‘Iron Man 3,’ the billionaire playboy philanthropist won’t be driving off into the sunset in a shiny new NSX.
He’s back in an Audi.
This time Stark, played by Robert Downey Jr., is in the R8 e-tron, an all-electric version of Audi’s mid-engined R8 supercar. Stark’s girlfriend, Pepper Potts (played again by Gwyneth Paltrow) will be seen driving Audi’s S7.
“This is a strategic collaboration for us,” said Loren Angelo, a marketing executive with Audi of America. “Similar to the position of the R8 as an innovation leader, Iron Man’s character consistently evolved throughout the trilogy as he masterminds new trends.”
Audi’s prominent role in the “Iron Man” franchise is nothing new for the automaker. The first two films featured prominently the likes of Audi’s original R8, the R8 Spyder, A8, S5, and Q7.
But Acura briefly stole Stark’s attention in ‘Avengers,’ when the hero was seen driving off at the end of the film in a convertible concept of the company’s forthcoming NSX hybrid supercar. Highway 1 actually snuck some seat time in that very car, which was built on the chassis of an original NSX.
For Stark’s return in ‘Iron Man 3,’ it would appear he wanted something a little more green and a little less available.
Though Audi has been showing off the R8 e-tron at various auto shows for several years, it may take the intervention of an actual superhero bring it to market. A production version of the car has been delayed several times, and the most optimistic estimates now have Audi making only a very limited number of the R8 e-tron, if at all.
If the company does pull the trigger, the Tony Starks of the world will have some impressive performance numbers to look forward to. In June 2012, a prototype R8 e-tron lapped the Nurburgring Nordschleife in 8:09, a few seconds slower than a current BMW M3.
Audi says this electric R8 will do zero to 62 mph in 4.6 seconds, thanks to a pair of electric motors that make about 308 horsepower and 604 pound-feet of torque. The all-wheel-drive car weighs 3,924 pounds.
You can see Stark, Potts, and their respective rides in ‘Iron Man 3' when it hits theaters on May 3.