‘50 Shades of Grey’ novel helps Audi sell more cars

Article by Christian A., on August 15, 2012

Audi was mentioned plenty of times in the extremely popular novel trilogy “50 Shades of Grey" but you’d be surprised to know that it was free advertising. Audi had no idea and had not been involved in any negotiations to be featured in the books. Audi’s vehicles (the A3, the R8 Spyder, and the Q7 SUV) were more than trivial mentions too.

They were integral in the narration. Last week, Audi told Advertising Age that its executives were amazed by the buzz that resulted from being cited in the novels. So far, more than 30 million e-book and print copies have been sold in English alone. In fact, book rights have already been sold in many countries. The trilogy is a huge hit among middle-aged females and is one of the quickest-selling paperback books of all time.

But it is nowhere near the likes of J.K. Rowling's blockbuster "Harry Potter" series, which reported sales of more than 400 million copies total. Most readers probably assumed that the author, E.L. James, is a big Audi fan and owns at least one.

It’s shocking that she drives a Mini from BMW while her husband is the owner of a Volkswagen Touareg. The author most likely picked Audi vehicles due to its solid reputation as a high-end, luxury car that’s preferred by those who value design and performance.

As the front-liner of Audi’s vehicle lineup in terms of dynamic sportiness, the new Audi R8 high-performance sports car is specified with the S tronic transmission and new brakes, as well as with new exterior and interior elements. The new Audi R8 also features LED headlight units as standard while the rear lamps debut the so-called dynamic turn signals.

Two body styles can be availed for the new Audi R8 -- Coupé and Spyder – as powered by three available engines. Improvements in the dynamic natures of both models – as equipped with new seven-speed S tronic transmission – include a 0.3-second reduction in sprint times as well as 0.9 liters of fuel savings per 100 km and 22 grams less carbon dioxide emissions per km. Helping improve the performance of the new Audi R8 is the use of Audi ultra lightweight construction, making them all lighter than before. In fact, the range-topping model -- with a manual transmission – features a curb weight of only 1,570 kilograms (3,461.26 lbs).

Power choices include a V8 engine (found in the Audi R8 V8 model) that delivers 316 kW (430 hp) of output and 430 Nm (317.15 lb-ft) of torque available between 4,500 and 6,000 rpm. When mated to the seven-speed S tronic, this V8 engine allows the R8 Coupé to sprint from zero to 100 km/h (62 mph) in just 4.3 seconds and achieve a top speed of 300 km/h (186.41 mph).

The V10 engine in the Audi R8 V10 -- with the S tronic – generates 386 kW (525 hp) of output and 530 Nm (390.91 lb-ft) of torque available 6,500 rpm. This allows the model to accelerate to the same speed in only 3.6 seconds and reach a top speed of 314 km/h (195.11 mph). The most powerful mill is the V10 engine fitted in the new Audi R8 V10 plus, which accelerates from nil to 100 km/h (62.14 mph) in 3.5 seconds thanks to its output of 404 kW (550 hp).

Topics: audi, sales

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