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And the car Oscar goes to...

Was it "Big Bopper" - the '79 XB Falcon from Mad Max, or Steve McQueen's '68 Mustang GT in Bullitt. Or could it be the '64 Aston Martin DB5 driven by Bond in Goldfinger. How about the Mini Coopers of 1969 in the Italian Job? Or, does the '77 Pontiac Trans Am from Smokey and The Bandit top your list?

Take our poll below to tell us what you think, or leave a comment if your top pick is not listed.

But if the Oscars gave out awards to cars instead of stars, Audi would probably get the most nominations. During the past few years, Audis have featured in all the Transporter movies, Ronin, I Robot, Mission Impossible 2, About a Boy, Legally Blonde 2, Hitman, The Matrix 2, Iron Man and now its sequel.

In the first Iron Man, Robert Downey Jr plays Tony Stark (a.k.a 'Iron Man'). His workshop houses a 1932 Ford Flathead roadster, a 1967 Shelby Cobra, a Saleen S7, a prototype Tesla Roadster and a 2008 Audi R8.

Supporting roles were played by the S5 sports sedan driven by American secret service agents and a Q7 SUV which is literally held up by Iron Man, who saves the family inside from the enemy. For the Australian premiere, Downey Jr arrived in a silver R8. In Iron Man 2 he drives an Audi R8 Spyder and his secretary, Pepper Potts (Gwyneth Paltrow), drives an A8 TDI.

Audi Australia corporate communications general manager Anna Burgdorf could not confirm whether any payment was made for the placement. However, she could confirm that the super-sport R8 V10 Spyder will arrive here towards the end of the year.

The R8 Spyder 5.2 FSI quattro features a lightweight-cloth top that opens automatically in about 19 seconds. Its V10 engine produces 386kW of power and launches the open-top two-seater to 100km/h in 4.1 seconds on its way to a top speed of 313km/h.

Product placement of cars is not new to the sliver screen. Most critics believe it started with Bond films, notably the Aston Martin DB5 in Goldfinger, in 1964. Aston returned in 1965 for Thunderball and was replaced by the DBS for 1969's On Her Majesty's Secret Service.

Other companies then got into the act of pushing their vehicles on to the Bond screen with the highlights being the amphibious Lotus Esprit in The Spy Who Loved Me and the launch of the BMW Z3 Roadster in GoldenEye. Even a pre-production Aston Martin DBS scored a role in Casino Royale, and scored a Guinness record for "the most cannon rolls in a car at the same time" - seven - for its very brief appearance.

Iron Man 2 begins screening in Australia on April 29.

Mark Hinchliffe
Contributing Journalist
Mark Hinchliffe is a former CarsGuide contributor and News Limited journalist, where he used his automotive expertise to specialise in motorcycle news and reviews.
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