Leading lights of the cinema
Some of our bestloved movie stars look good under a bonnet, writes Mark Hinchliffe
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).