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Iron Man goes aluminium in Honda NSX

Star power: Robert Downey Jr on the red carpet in the new Acura NSX convertible.

Superhero debut for supercar as Honda hands the keys to Hollywood star

Honda logo16 Apr 2012

By RON HAMMERTON

HOLLYWOOD star Robert Downey Jr drove one of his co-stars up the red carpet at the premiere of his latest movie in Los Angeles at the weekend.

Dressed in deep red metallic paint for the cameras, the one-of-a-kind Acura NSX convertible from Japanese manufacturer Honda was handed to Downey to debut at the high-profile first screening of the latest big-budget adventure flick from Marvel comics, The Avengers.The topless car shares the film limelight with Downey (Tony Stark/Iron Man) and an ensemble cast – including Samuel L. Jackson and Scarlett Johansson – in the movie that enters global release this week.

American Honda hinted at such a coming-out for the car when it revealed images of it and other Acura models used in the movie.

Honda is not saying if the all-aluminium convertible will make it into production alongside the second-generation NSX coupe that is expected to hit the highway in 2015, although a positive reaction might convince the company to take the step.

A fleet of cars from Acura – Honda’s Lexus-rivaling up-market brand in North America – are put to work in the movie as the wheels for SHIELD, Marvel’s fictional global peace-keeping force that recruits action heroes such as The Hulk, Iron Man, Captain America, Black Widow and Thor to take on the forces of evil.

The movie’s stars were escorted up the red carpet of the El Capitan Theatre in Hollywood by a fleet of Acura vehicles, including the MDX SUV and Accord-based TL luxury car.

In the movie, the upcoming 2013 Acura RDX SUV makes a cameo, along with the all-new 2012 ILX premium small car and the NSX convertible.

The NSX coupe made its public entrance at the Detroit motor show in January.

Armed with a mid-mounted V6 engine – like the first-generation NSX that made its entrance more than 20 years ago – the new NSX concept nevertheless is both a hybrid and all-wheel drive, using a 30kW electric motor to help drive the rear wheels while two 20kW engines drive the front wheels.

Honda’s first seven-speed dual-clutch transmission is also included in the powertrain, which Honda describes as Sport Hybrid.

The Avengers opens in Australian theatres on Anzac Day, April 25.

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