All-electric Marvel Welcomed to Marvel Universe
No, it turns out that the public won’t be getting its hands on the 2014 Audi R8 e-tron, but the world’s favorite genius/billionaire/playboy/philanthropist will. Audi’s all-electric supercar will be the ride of choice for Tony Stark—the Invincible Iron Man—in the third installment of the eponymous blockbuster series. This latest chapter, aptly titled Iron Man 3, is scheduled to open May 3 and once again feature Robert Downey Jr. as Iron Man/Tony Stark, Gwyneth Paltrow as his love interest and CEO of Stark Industries (Virginia “Pepper” Potts) and boast a wide range of Audi products in supporting roles.
Paltrow's character, for example, will pilot a 2013 Audi S7, and past episodes also have given screen time to the Audi R8, Audi R8 Spyder, Audi A8, Audi S5 and Audi Q7.
“Audi is excited to once again showcase the brand’s cutting edge technology and sleek design with the Audi R8 e-tron in Marvel’s Iron Man 3,” said Loren Angelo, general manager of Brand Marketing for Audi of America. “This is a strategic collaboration for us. Similar to the position of the R8 as an innovation leader, Iron Man’s character consistently evolves throughout the trilogy as he masterminds new trends in technology and engineering.”
Of course, you can judge that similarity for yourself by checking out the quick recap of the 2014 Audi R8 on the next page. (And just to be clear here, although Audi was at one time considering production of the e-tron version, that project is on indefinite hold—except in Hollywood.)
Although the four-rings brand did fine-tune some of the styling for the 2014 Audi R8, the bigger news for enthusiasts is the introduction of the 2014 Audi R8 V10 Plus at the top of the vehicle range and a new S tronic seven-speed automatic transmission that’s now standard throughout the R8 lineup (with a six-speed manual remaining on the options list). With the new model in place, the 2014 Audi R8 roster is as follows:
The starting point is the 2014 Audi R8 with a 4.2-liter V8 engine and the brand’s FSI fuel-injection technology, capable of translating 430 hp and 317 lb.-ft. of torque into a 0-60 speed of 4.2 seconds and a top speed of 186 mph.
Upping the ante to 525 hp and 391 lb.-ft. of torque—courtesy of two more cylinders and an additional liter of displacement—is the 2014 Audi R8 V10 that can reach 195 mph and run the 0-60 sprint in just 3.4 seconds.
The 2014 Audi R8 V10 Plus then squeezes out 25 more horses and 7 more lb.-ft. of torque to bring its output totals to 550 hp and 398 lb.-ft. of twisting power. Backed by that kind of oomph, drivers will see 0-60 come up in 3.3 seconds—.3 of a second faster than the fastest R8 with last year’s transmission—and achieve a terminal velocity of 196 mph. The only real drawback of the V10 Plus? It doesn’t come in a drop-top Spyder configuration like the V8 and standard V10 variants do.
It’s also worth noting that the S tronic transmission enables some relatively significant gains in terms of fuel economy. The 2014 Audi R8 with its V8 can ring up an EPA line of 14 mpg city/23 mpg highway/17 mpg combined, marking advances of 1 mpg/2 mpg/1 mpg over the previous model; with its V10 engine, the R8 has lifted its scores by 3 mpg on the highway and 1 mpg combined to reach 13 mpg city/16 mpg highway/22 mpg combined.
Pricing for the 2014 Audi R8 lineup is still TBD.