Lead­ing lights of the cin­ema

Some of our best­loved movie stars look good un­der a bon­net, writes Mark Hinch­liffe

The Courier-Mail - Motoring - - CARSGUIDE.COM.AU -

IF AWARDS were given out to cars in­stead of stars at the Os­cars, Audi prob­a­bly would get the most nom­i­na­tions. Dur­ing the past few years, Audis have fea­tured in all the Trans­porter movies, Ronin, I, Robot, Mis­sion: Im­pos­si­ble 2, About a Boy, Legally Blonde 2, Hit­man, The Ma­trix Reloaded, Iron Man and now its se­quel.

In the first Iron Man, Robert Downey Jr plays Tony Stark who is also the Iron Man. His work­shop in­cludes a 1932 Ford Flat­head road­ster, a 1967 Shelby Co­bra, a Saleen S7, a pro­to­type Tesla Road­ster and a 2008 Audi R8.

Sup­port­ing roles were played by the S5 sports sedan driven by Amer­i­can se­cret ser­vice agents and a Q7 SUV which is lit­er­ally held up by Iron Man, who saves the fam­ily in­side from the en­emy.

For the Aus­tralian pre­miere, Downey Jr ar­rived in a sil­ver R8.

In Iron Man 2 he drives an Audi R8 Spy­der and his sec­re­tary, Pep­per Potts (Gwyneth Pal­trow), drives an A8 TDI.

Audi Aus­tralia cor­po­rate com­mu­ni­ca­tions gen­eral man­ager Anna Burgdorf could not con­firm whether any pay­ment was made for the place­ment.

How­ever, she could con­firm that the R8 V10 Spy­der will ar­rive here to­wards the end of the year.

The R8 Spy­der 5.2 FSI qu­at­tro fea­tures a cloth top that opens au­to­mat­i­cally in about 19 sec­onds.

Its V10 en­gine pro­duces 386kW of power and launches the open-top twoseater to 100km/h in 4.1 sec­onds on its way to a top speed of 313km/h.

Prod­uct place­ment of cars is not new to the sil­ver screen.

Most crit­ics be­lieve it started with Bond films, notably the As­ton Martin DB5 in the third Bond film, Goldfin­ger, in 1964.

As­ton re­turned in 1965 for Thun­der­ball and was re­placed by the DBS for 1969’s On Her Majesty’s Se­cret Ser­vice.

Other com­pa­nies then got into the act of push­ing their ve­hi­cles on to the Bond screen, with the high­lights be­ing the am­phibi­ous Lo­tus Es­prit in The Spy Who Loved Me and the launch of the BMW Z3 Road­ster in Gold­enEye. Even a pre-pro­duc­tion As­ton Martin DBS scored a role in the 2006 Bond flick Casino Royale, and scored a Guin­ness record for ‘‘the most can­non rolls in a car at the same time’’ – seven – for its very brief ap­pear­ance. Iron Man 2 be­gins screen­ing in

Aus­tralia on April 29. What’s your favourite car flick and why? Write to [email protected]

BIG SHOT: The Audi R8 Spy­der (above and be­low) stars in along with Robert Downey Jr (left).

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