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May 06, 2013

Who is the Real Star of Iron Man 3? (Hint: It's not Robert Downey Jr.)

Audi-Iron-Man-R8-illustrationIron Man 3 broke box office records this weekend, earning $175.3 million in U.S. and Canadian ticket sales, $504.8 million in international receipts, and more than $680.1 million in the days since its worldwide release.

And as much as we love watching the handsome Tony Stark (played by Robert Downey Jr.) and gorgeous Pepper Potts (Gwyneth Paltrow) on the big screen, the true stars of the movie are the gadgets and toys. Who wouldn't want to have Stark's money, laboratory, and the armored suits he uses to fight villains? But here's another thing I wouldn't mind having: Tony Stark's Audi R8 e-tron, or Pepper Potts' Audi S7 Sportback. Other models with cameos in the movie are the Audi A8 L, Audi A6, Audi S5 Coupe, and Audi Q5.

The Audi R8 e-tron also joined the stars of Iron Man 3 at a VIP screening of the film in London before its general release worldwide. Audi shipped the car from Germany to be displayed on the red carpet, where it was joined by stars of the movie, including Downey, Paltrow, Rebecca Hall, Ben Kingsley, and Don Cheadle. A fleet of chauffeured Audi A8s carried the stars to the red carpet.

According to Drew Elliott, Social Media Specialist for Audi of America, “Stark and his passion for innovative technology, his sophisticated wit, and his character overall we feel are great representatives of the Audi brand."

2012-Audi-R8-e-tron-electric-Markus-Winkelhock-profile-on-track-Nurburgring-record-askpatty4Audi has recently been running a commercial on U.S. late-night and cable-TV channels featuring Tony Stark, Iron Man’s alter-ego industrialist, driving the all-electric Audi R8 e-tron sports car.  The ad uses scenes from the movie to show the unique stresses and strains of being a superhero. Then it states, “It’s never a bad day at work” – Stark gets into the R8 e-tron – “when the commute looks like this.” The 30-second spot concludes with Stark streaking down the highway in the red all-electric R8, and the tag line, “Audi. Engineered for Iron Man.”


2012-Audi-R8-e-tron-electric-Markus-Winkelhock-on-track-Nurburgring-record-askpatty3About the Audi R8 e-tron

Audi made a limited initial production run of the R8 e-tron last year, and it set performance records in July, 2012, when racing driver Markus Winkelhock piloted the high-performance, all-electric-drive sports car around the demanding 12.92-mile Nurburgring Nordschleife track in 8:09.099 minutes, setting the record for the fastest lap with a series production electric car. The Audi R8 e-tron accelerates from zero to 62.14 mph in just 4.6 seconds and its top speed is normally limited to 124.27 mph, though 155.34 mph was approved for the record-setting lap.  

2012-Audi-R8-e-tron-electric-plugin-Nurburgring-record-askpatty5The R8 e-tron is powered solely by two electric motors (creating an output of 280-kW and more than 600 lb-ft of torque) and a large lithium-ion battery Audi says can store 49 KWh of energy – enough to travel about 133 miles. It can also be charged by energy recovery during coasting and braking. The ultralight car body of the Audi R8 e-tron is made primarily of aluminum, keeping the high-performance sports car down to just 3,924 pounds, even with the large battery.

Audi says the R8 e-tron should be available for purchase soon at a price point hinted to be around a hefty $250,000.


2013-audi-s7-sportback-front-action-view-askpattyAbout the Audi S7 Sportback

That $250k is probably a bit too spendy for the non-millionaire non-superheroes among the general public, so perhaps you might be more interested in Pepper Potts' Audi S7 Sportback?

Audi's hatchback luxury sedan is powered by a new twin-turbocharged 4.0 liter engine boasting 420 hp and 406 lb-ft of torque promising acceleration from 0 to 60 mph in 4.5 seconds, with a top speed of 155 mph. Active cylinder deactivation gives the car thrilling performance but deactivates four cylinders under partial load for better fuel economy when cruising, enabling mpg ratins of 17 city, 27 highway, and 20 mpg combined.

2013-audi-s7-sportback-hatch-open-askpattyIf you're not into numbers, then consider the gorgeous passenger cabin features power-adjustable S7 sport seats embossed with the S7 logo and wrapped in Valcona leather in a cross-stitch pattern. Audi S7 badges are embossed on the key, the elegant leather sport steering wheel with colored stitching and aluminum shift paddles, as well as a S7 specific instrument cluster. Illuminated door sill trim and displays greet the driver with the S7 logo, a red ring adorns the start-stop button, and an aluminum clasp highlights the selector lever. The footrest, the pedals. and the soft keys of the Audi MMI operating system shine in an aluminum-look finish.

New to the S7 are the available corner view cameras placed strategically around the vehicle to give the driver the confidence to park in any environment. The S7 sportback also features active lane assist, which allows the steering to help maintain lane discipline should the driver begin to swerve outside of the lane markings without activating the turn signalas well as Audi side assist, night vision assistant, and Audi pre-sense plus technologies.

Need to stay connected while on the go? Audi is the first company worldwide to feature factory-installed wireless Internet, enabling an onboard infotainment system called Audi connect™. With Audi connect combining Google Earth™ maps and real-time SiriusXM Traffic information, drives can see a true aerial view of their route. The system also boasts a rolling Wi-Fi hotspot, 2013-audi-s7-sportback-front-action-view-askpattyallowing up to eight Wi-Fi enabled devices to use the wireless connectivity simultaneously.

The 2013 Audi S7 Sportback starts at $78,800 (before luxurious add-ons, an additional $895 destination and delivery charge, and any taxes or licensing fees). That's still MUCH more affordable than the very elite R8 e-tron!



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