Screen time

Audi has a long and illustrious career in big screen productions – but how many of them have you seen?

The definitive guide to movies featuring the brand’s finest to help keep you inspired while at home social distancing.

19 May, 2020

Since the early 1980s, Audi models have appeared in over 100 feature films

Since its debut on the big screen way back in 1982, Audi has carved out quite a reputation as an audience favourite in everything from pure action to science fiction and romantic comedy. Look hard enough and it’s possible to find just about every model, or at least a variation of every model appearing somewhere in an estimated 100 plus films.

In addition to the best known Audi models, the brand has also developed some special prototypes specifically for film projects, including the very first animated model that made its debut just this year.

Some films have seen the Audi take on a central role, while in others it’s been more of a case of ‘supporting actor’ and in a few even the part of playing an extra. But amongst the many appearances, there are some that in our opinion, every Audi fan should sit back and enjoy.

After hours and hours of tireless research, we present in chronological order the definitive collection of Audi film roles – and with around 30 movies listed here, we’re sure you’ll find plenty on the list to not only help with the home isolation but to excite, inspire and even bring a tear to the eye as you watch the brand in action.

Kicking things off was the 1982 blockbuster, sci-fi, comedy, feel good classic E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial. While just about everyone remembers the ‘phone home’ line – how many also remember the Audi 5000 featured in the film?

If you consider yourself a true Audi aficionado and you haven’t seen the 1998 spy thriller Ronin, then now’s the time to correct that error. Robert De Niro is good, but the S8 and the car chase are next level.

The following year the Audi A4 shared screen time with Russell Crowe and Al Pacino in the critically acclaimed The Insider, about a whistleblower taking on big tobacco in the US. Then in 2000, Tom Cruise hit the big screen in his second Mission Impossible film (Aptly named MI:II) alongside the Audi TT Roadster. Much of this particular film were shot in Australia and Audi Australia ambassador, Richard Roxburgh, plays a brilliant bad guy with a South African accent.

The TT Roadster was back in action in 2003 in Legally Blonde 2: Red White & Blonde, and for that role, Audi developed the Candy Blue exterior paint colour exclusively for the movie.

In 2004 Audi developed the now famous RSQ for the film adaptation of of Isaac Asimov’s visionary I, Robot, with Will Smith cast in the starring role. Not only did the futuristic RSQ feature what can only be described as ‘non conventional’ wheels, it also introduced autonomous driving for the first time – a technology that is now becoming a reality.

Then in 2006, Lois Lane drove an Audi A3 Sportback in Superman Returns marking the brand’s first foray into the superhero world, before the A5 made an appearance in 2007’s The Bourne Ultimatum in the hands of Jason Bourne, aka Matt Damon.

The following year Audi made a particularly big splash in the box office hit Iron Man and embarked on an association with the Marvel universe that is ongoing. This film featured the R8 as one of Robert Downey Jnr’s favourite cars as well as the S5 and Q7.

If you consider yourself a true Audi aficionado and you haven’t seen the 1998 spy thriller Ronin, then now’s the time to correct that error

The Audi design team created the Audi Fleet Shuttle especially for the 2013 science fiction blockbuster, Ender's Game

Liam Neeson slipped behind the wheel of a stolen A8 in his quest to save his daughter in Taken (2008) before the A5 Sportback appeared alongside George Cooney in The American.

In 2012, an A7 Sportback featured in the sci-fi comedy, Robot & Frank with screen legend, Frank Langella and Susan Sarandon and the assassin in the opening scenes of Skyfall that same year attempted to outrun James Bond in an Audi A5 Sportback.

Australia’s own Hugh Jackman starred in the 2013 film, Wolverine in which both the Audi R8 Spyder and the A8 made an appearance, and in the same year, the Audi design team were at it again creating a completely new Audi for its role in the science fiction epic, Ender’s Game. Featuring the combined talents of Sir Ben Kingsley and Harrison Ford, Audi developed the Audi Fleet Shuttle For the big budget adaptation of the Orson Scott Card novel.

Then there was the Transformers: Age of Extinction where the A5 Cabriolet and Audi S6 see action, followed by the R8 Spyder, A3 Sedan, S8, S7 and the Audi Q7 all making an appearance in Fifty Shades of Grey. In this screen adaptation of the global hit book, the Audi models appeared not just as placements in the film, but because they had been featured in the original books.

It comes as little surprise that an Audi – an R8 no less – would turn up in at least one of the Fast and Furious films, the R8 Coupe taking part in a road race in The Fast and the Furious 7.

For those who like to see plenty of driving action and indeed action in general, the Audi A8 in various guises was integral to the Transporter series, starring alongside Audi fan, Jason Statham in Transporter 2 (2005) and again in Transporter 3 (2008) before reprising the role in 2015’s Transporter Refuelled, even though Statham was no longer in the starring role for that one.

Captain America: Civil War exploded onto screens in 2016 complete with an Audi SQ7 chase as well as Robert Downey Jr again at the wheel of an R8 V10 plus. Not only that, but the Audi Prologue design study makes an appearance as Black Panther’s personal transport as well as an A4 driven by Agent 13.

The Audi RS 7 Sportback provided the transportation for genetically engineered killer, Agent 47, in Hitman Agent 47 that same year, while an older model, the Audi V8 (the precursor to the Audi A8) was used in the 2017 action flick, Atomic Blonde with Chalize Theron – both the Audi and Theron taking plenty of hits in their respective roles. 

The most recent instalment in Ridley Scott’s Alien series, Alien: Covenant also featured an Audi – the Audi lunar quattro. This is a real vehicle designed by Audi to work on the moon as part of a lunar exploration expedition, featuring Audi ultra lightweight design and of course quattro, all-wheel drive.

Less intense but no less entertaining, the world got its first glimpse of the new Audi A8 that same year in Spider Man: Homecoming, while Spiderman again, got his hands on some prime Audi real estate in last year’s Avengers: Endgame (The Audi e-tron GT concept) and the A7 Sportback and Audi Q8 in Spider-Man: Far From Home.

Much lower on the action scale but very high on emotion and humour, several Audi models appeared in the Australian film Palm Beach, with Bryan Brown, Richard E. Grant and Sam Neill heading an all-star cast . Brown’s wife, actor Rachel Ward directed the brilliant dark comedy and Kiwi actor Sam Neill was so taken with the Audi S5 he drove while filming, that he bought the car.

Wrapping up our list with something more than a little different is the only animated Audi on the list. The 20th Century Fox film, Spies in Disguise, features the animated Audi RSQ (yep, the same name as the concept car from I,Robot) developed for the film’s animated star played, or rather voiced by Will Smith (yep, the same actor who starred in I,Robot) making for a very nice neat way to wrap up our definitive list.

Sure there are others well worth a look, but no matter how diverse you tastes, there’s bound to be something here to keep you occupied and there are plenty of films here you’ll find yourself wanting to watch again and again, if only to see the Audis stealing the show.

The most recent instalment in Ridley Scott’s Alien series, Alien: Covenant also featured an Audi – the Audi lunar quattro