There's a popular rumor going around that Robert Downey Jr.'s portrayal of Tony Stark, the man behind the mask in Iron Man, is based on Tesla founder Elon Musk.

In fact, Musk himself made a cameo in an early scene in Iron Man 2, and a Tesla Roadster appeared in Stark's garage in the first film.

Once again though, Stark's main wheels will be provided by Audi, in the form of the electric-powered R8 e-Tron supercar.

The Marvel Comics superhero, Iron Man, is all about innovation and technology, created by Stark while held in captivity by terrorists. This innovation is why Audi sees itself, and the e-Tron, as the perfect partners in the new film--Iron Man 3.

"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", said Loren Angelo, General Manager of Brand Marketing for Audi of America.

We'd even go as far as to say the e-Tron has other similarities with Stark--not least the car's on-again, off-again production schedule, echoing Stark's struggle between his real and fabricated personas...

Audi has cancelled the e-Tron a few times, only for it to be brought back again.

The 375-horsepower, 133-mile electric sports car set a production lap record at the famous Nurburgring circuit last year, before being put "on hold" shortly after.

Then, early this year, Audi decided it'd build the R8 e-tron again--and its appearance in the new film shouldn't do the model any harm.

While there's no set date as to when a full production R8 e-tron may emerge, the film's debut is at least set--it's due in theatres on May 3, 2013.


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