Audi electric car prototype to star in Iron Man 3

More recent examples of great product placement include The Italian Job , which helped relaunch the MINI brand in the U.S. Or Transformers 2 , which wasn't well-received by the critics, but still managed to spark sales of the Chevrolet Camaro . And as some of you may know, the hugely popular Fifty Shades of Grey has a very soft spot for Audi , which hasn't gone unnoticed by the erotic trilogy's mostly femalereadership.

Now, Audi is returning to the big screen in a big way. The brand made a splash in the first and second installments of Iron Man , and in about two months, it'll come back for round three.

In Iron Man 3 , inventor/superhero Tony Stark drives another fashion-forward Audi. This one may look similar to the Audi R8 hardtop he drove in the original Iron Man Launch X431 Diagun 3, but in fact, it's the R8's all-electric e-tron variant -- which is, sadly, still just a prototype.

(And just in case you didn't get the Audi tie-in, Stark's sweetheart, Pepper Potts, will drive an Audi S7 Sportback throughout the film.)

Does this mean that Audi is finally putting the R8 e-tron into production, after years spent bashing electric cars , then promising e-tron versions of every Audi model by 2020 , then unplugging the e-tron program (or at least the R8 version) altogether ? No one can say.

All we know for sure is that we'll probably get our best look yet at the R8 e-tron when Iron Man 3 opens on May 3 (or April 25 for those who live near an IMAX theatre).

For more info about the R8 e-tron and Iron Man , pay a visit to our colleagues at Motor Authority .

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