What was that sports car Tony Stark drove off in near the end of “The Avengers“?
The answer is the earliest known iteration of the Acura NSX Concept car.
Honda, the parent company of Acura says a vehicle “closely based” on the NSX concept will be developed and built in Ohio and will be on sale within three years. The original NSX supercar was built in Japan by Honda from 1990 to 2005, then discontinued.
When pictures from the set of the movie leaked to the press in 2011, Honda denied that the car shown was the NSX. But when the car was shown to the press in a sneak preview in December 2011 in Las Vegas, the secret was out. The car, seen above, was shown officially to the public for the first time at the Detroit auto show in January 2012. (More info here.)
Publicly, it has been shown only as a silver coupe; the movie version was a convertible painted in Honda’s signature black cherry color. Mr. Downey and his wife Susan showed up driving a newer version of the car at the April 12 Hollywood premiere of the movie; there, it was billed as “$9 million supercar”, complete with fictional components developed by Stark Industries including a “Palladium-powered 80,000″ engine!
(Update: Acura continues to have fun with this. At the 2012 SEMA trade show in Las Vegas, the actual Avengers movie car was displayed with a mock-up window sticker, indicating that its base MSRP is $9,198,000.00 – and with tax and options, the total comes to more than $10 million. The sticker also claims fuel economy of 234 m.p.g. city, 302 highway.)
The NSX is being billed as a hybrid gasoline-electric supercar. But it is open to speculation what made that early NSX prototype go in “The Avengers”, because the powerplant for Acura street car is still in the process of being invented!
Honda pulled off a big coup, getting Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) out of the Audi R8 that he appeared in during the first two “Iron Man” movies and into an Acura. It was a two-step process that began with Acura securing product placement in the “Thor” movie that came out a year earlier. “The Avengers” placement was the second step.
Are more steps possible? Honda/Acura management promises more movie placements in the future, but no one is saying what those might be. It’s a foregone conclusion there will be more sequels to Marvel’s wildly popular and profitable superheroes movies – both as an ensemble, and again as individuals. Iron Man 3, set in China, is already in pre-production.
May 5, 2012