Watch The Audi R8 2016 Super Bowl Commercial

By Steven Symes Jan 30, 2020
Shop Sports
By Steven Symes Jan 30, 2020
The German automaker blends science and music to knock it out of the park.

Films and even TV shows have compared cars to spaceships many times in the past, but no example is more potent than the Audi R8 commercial below. Called “The Commander,” it aired during the Super Bowl in 2016. You get to see the extended cut below, so in a minute and a half it tells the story of a former astronaut tied to the NASA Apollo program. Having lost his reason to really dig into life, it’s his son’s (or maybe grandson’s) Audi which brings him back.

That might sound a little far-fetched, but if you watch the commercial with an open mind what you get is a nice story. And if you’ve ever driven the Audi R8 V10 Plus, you’d understand how it’s actually pretty exciting. Actually, driving any fun car can most definitely put a smile on your face and quicken your heartbeat, so don’t say there’s no way to buy happiness.

How the retired astronaut approaches the car, then climbs inside, and it keeps cutting back and forth between that and when he was getting onboard the space shuttle, that’s a magical moment. The fact David Bowie’s “Starman” fires up right then just makes the moment that much more potent. Some might even call it a tear-jerker, including various BMW and Mercedes-Benz owners, and maybe even a few Tesla fanboys.

While the R8 is still around, it’s been overshadowed by other sports cars on the market. It once basked in the mainstream limelight after Tony Stark, played by Robert Downey Jr., drove them in different Marvel movies. In a way that’s too bad, because the Audi R8 isn’t a bad car at all. But that’s how competition works, with different products fighting for attention and some inevitably losing out. Supposedly the next R8 or a new model to replace it will be an electric car, but these models with that snarling V10 should be cherished for some time to come.

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