HERNDON, Virginia — When the much-anticipated film Fifty Shades of Grey is released on February 13 next year, the stars may be upstaged by the vehicles that appear throughout the movie, including the 2015 Audi R8 Spyder, Audi S8, Audi S7, Audi Q7 TDI and the all-new Audi A3.
The wildly popular best-sellers on which the film is based, Fifty Shades of Grey and its sequels, Fifty Shades Darker and Fifty Shades Freed, have become a global phenomenon, with sales of more than 100 million copies worldwide.
Much of the books' notoriety has been the result of their graphic depiction of what might be called "alternative" eroticism.
The main character, Christian Grey, drives the undeniably sensual 2015 Audi R8 V10 Spyder midengine sports car. And as the story progresses, he buys Anastasia Steele and his other girlfriends 2015 Audi A3 models because he believes they're "the safest car on the market."
Throughout the books — and soon the movie — other characters make their appearances in a variety of new Audi models, from the full-size S8 sedan to the Q7 luxury SUV.
So why all the Audi love, especially since the books' author, E.L. James, doesn't even drive an Audi? Apparently, she owns a Mini Cooper, and her husband drives a Volkswagen Touareg.
Ad Age says that it wasn't traditional product placement and that Audi didn't pay a dime for its products to be spotlighted in the books. Rather, the selection was "character-driven" — the brand and its sporty-luxury image just seemed right for this hip, upscale urban crowd.
"Audi is a brand that symbolizes performance, technology and modern design," said Loren Angelo, director of marketing for Audi of America, in a statement. "The natural inclusion of our hottest models in this series illustrates how Audi has become truly synonymous with sophisticated luxury."
When Fifty Shades of Grey is released in theaters, viewers will undoubtedly be fixated on the romantic adventures of Jamie Dornan as Christian Grey and Dakota Johnson as Anastasia Steele, but it seems that the Audis will provide some vehicular eye candy, as well.
Edmunds says: The appearance of these Audi models could actually make it worth seeing the film.