Audi believes in Tony Stark.
When he's not saving the world in his famed Iron Man suit, the wisecracking billionaire engineer has doubled as a pitchman for the brand in several Marvel superhero blockbusters by driving variations of the R8 -- beginning with the first Iron Man movie in 2008.
That year was the start of an upward trajectory for Audi, which used the tech-laden R8 to help reshape how the brand represented itself, said Loren Angelo, director of marketing for Audi of America. The Iron Man alignment, he said, was a key platform in setting the tone.
In the latest Marvel epic, Captain America: Civil War, Stark's ride is the 610-hp R8 V10 plus coupe.
"When we read the script for Iron Man, he was someone who was self-made. He utilized technology and a certain level of personal intelligence to create great things," Angelo told Automotive News. "That was a perfect fit for Audi because that's exactly what we've done with our brand."