Bowie Points, Audi!

Houston, we have a problem. Audi’s new commercial, “The Commander” was too good! Super Bowl 50 was this past Sunday and I couldn’t tell you if I was more excited for the game or the advertisements. Companies like Heinz and Snickers had already given their audiences a taste of what to expect during the Super Bowl.  Earlier that week they had released previews of their ads prior to the game. Many ads have followed the expected humorous route, making sure it had stayed deeply rooted in viewer’s brains long after the game. That wasn’t the case for Audi.

Audi blasts off into space with the new R8 V10 Plus advertisement! On a serious note, the ad portrays a former astronaut who seems dissatisfied with life. He is unable to rekindle a flame that was once lit during his space exploration. Seen with an absent look on his face, the former astronaut pays no Screen Shot 2016-02-09 at 2.04.20 PMattention to the food set beside him. Unaware that car headlights just flickered outside behind him, the former astronaut’s son arrives at his home. “Ok Commander, come with me…” the son requested. A walk outside reveals the R8 V10 Plus in all of it’s glory. As you look into the former astronaut’s eyes you can see the excitement returning into his life. Right before the engine ignition button is pushed, David Bowie’s “Starman” can be heard from a distance entering the scene. Bowie points, Audi!

maxresdefaultAudi’s marketing team made numerous ingenious decisions when creating this ad. The first decision: comparing the R8’s hasty acceleration to the acceleration of a space rocket. From the viewer’s perspective this paints a beautiful picture of how quickly this automobile will bring its occupant’s from zero to sixty. Secondly, this ad resonates on an emotional level with it’s audience. The retired astronaut is only able to experience the power of the R8 due to the son’s concern for him.

To conclude, I believe this advert really hit the nail on the head. Each year, the Super Bowl plays a handful of car commercials but once the Vince Lombardi Trophy is won, TV go’ers walk away remembering no more than a few. Audi did a great job this year creating memorable content that connected well with prospective Audi owners.

Watch the full 1:30 commercial:

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Goodbye S8. Hello S8 Plus.

563x317_AS8_151008[1]I have been a fan of the S8 long before its leading role in the Transporter Refueled. Even though it was unfortunate not seeing Jason Statham, the abundance of action scenes including the S8 made up for it. I always found it strange why Audi was never discussed when talking about luxury super sedans. Rivals like BMW or Mercedes Benz – AMG were always mentioned first.  This could be due to the infrequent sighting of an S8 or it could be the that Mercedes – AMG models are revving so loudly that it muffles the S8’s alluring characteristics. This year, Audi has delivered something new to change the super sedan market forever. It’s called the S8 Plus, and you may want to sit down before reading the numbers it can produce. 605 horsepower and 517 lb-ft of torque. Yes, you read that correctly.

The 2015 predecessor S8 had 520 horsepower and 481 lb-ft of torque inside of a 4-liter twin turbo TFSI engine. The S8 Plus discovered an additional 85 horsepower and 35 lb-ft of torque in 2016. The S8 Plus is now well past R8 territory and still able to fit 5 full sized adults inside the cabin comfortably. That’s not all it offers under the hood. The 4 liter turbocharged TFSI has an over-booster that increases the torque from 517 to 553 lb-ft. Guaranteed to glue you to the back of your seat at no extra cost. 0 – 60 happens in 3.6 seconds, or about the time it took you to read this sentence.

It seems that the Germans have been up in arms about the S8’s top speed of 155 miles per hour(MPH). It just wasn’t quick enough for their Autobahn antics. Thankfully the S8 Plus has been de-restricted. The Plus now offers a “Dynamic Package” that bumps the top speed up to 189.5MPH, which I will round up to 190. This package comes standard in the German market, but if you know somewhere in the States where you can legally drive 190MPH, feel free to purchase the dynamic package add-on for a cool $11,000. This package is available in all markets, so you can expect to get a good look at the S8 Plus’ quadruple black tip exhausts before it vanishes into the distance wherever you live.

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How does the S8 Plus stand out in a crowd? External appearance modifications are small but distinctive. Naturally, the S8 Plus is equipped with Audi’s unparalleled Quattro all wheel drive system keeping the 21-inch titanium wheels grounded. A black optic exterior package gives prospect Plus owners the option for a matte black grille and carbon fiber mirror housings. Smoked taillights, carbon fiber air inlets, a black gloss diffuser wrapped in carbon fiber, and four gloss exhaust outlets make up exterior packages. Interior packages consist of; night vision assist, cold weather package, Bang & Olufsen advanced sound system, alcantara headliner, rear seat entertainment, ambient interior lighting, front seats that have massage features – and that’s only the beginning.

So, where does the S8 Plus price point begin? At $114,900 dollars. If you are considering the additional packages that were discussed above, you could be looking more in the range of $150,000. This is no inexpensive toy but for the substantial changes made and a baseline price starting at exactly the same as the 2015 S8, it’s safe to say nobody will be missing the outgoing S8. Welcome S8 Plus.