Tony Stark's Acura NSX Roadster from The Avengers

We have to admit to being fairly smitten with the promise of the low-slung Acura NSX concept that debuted at the Detroit Auto Show back in January. But for this moment – and for the next several moments – "promise" is all it is, because Acura says we shouldn't expect an NSX in showrooms until sometime around 2015. (Back in January, Acura advised that the production car is "expected to debut in the next three years.") Until then, Honda's premium outpost is going to do whatever it can to stoke the fires to keep interest high, including star-studded Super Bowl commercial appearances and this – a drophead spinoff that will be Tony Stark's ride in this summer's The Avengers blockbuster from Marvel.

We first saw this car thanks to some intrepid movie set shots by would-be paparazzi back in early October, but this is the first official acknowledgement and image of the car that we've seen. Early in March, we told you about alleged patent drawings of an NSX convertible that was very similar to the Detroit showcar, which some interpreted as Acura planning both a fixed-head coupe and a roadster for production. However, those drawings look an awful lot like the car shown here with the exception of small details like a unique wheel pattern and differing seatbacks, so while it's possible that Acura is pondering a topless NSX, the renderings could have simply been to protect design rights to the movie car, especially considering that neither Stark's ride nor the patent drawings appear to have headlamps.

We'll have to wait and see what Acura decides regarding its Ohio-built all-wheel-drive hybrid supercar, but we suspect that even if it does greenlight a convertible version, we probably won't see it until 2016. Which is... a really long time to keep believing in a promise.
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Acura and Marvel Entertainment Announce Exclusive Co-Promotion Campaign for Marvel's The Avengers

April 05, 2012

TORRANCE, Calif.

TORRANCE, Calif., April 5, 2012 – Acura and Marvel Entertainment, LLC, announced today the details of their promotional campaign for this summer's most anticipated film, Marvel's The Avengers. Following the luxury automaker's integration with THOR last summer, Acura is building on its established role as the official vehicle of S.H.I.E.L.D.

S.H.I.E.L.D., the international peacekeeping agency of the Marvel Universe, has a leading role in this film portrayal of the iconic comic book series. Throughout Marvel's The Avengers,S.H.I.E.L.D. agents drive various Acura vehicles, including the MDX, ZDX and TL models; the completely redesigned 2013 RDX will make a cameo appearance. In addition, an Acura convertible sports car was created specifically for the film.

"Acura is developing an impressive second chapter as the official vehicle of the cutting-edge S.H.I.E.L.D. organization, enabling us to reinforce Acura's brand philosophy of innovation and advancement, and leverage excitement for the new ILX, RDX and NSX supercar concept product news announced earlier this year," said Susie Rossick, Acura Brand Manager.

Acura kicked off its campaign with Marvel at the New York Auto Show on April 4, 2012, where a militarized S.H.I.E.L.D.-Edition MDX was on display with a S.H.I.E.L.D. Agent Product Specialist. S.H.I.E.L.D. Agent street teams are scheduled at PAX East, Boston and C2E2, Chicago.

As the exclusive automotive sponsor of the world premiere of Marvel's The Avengers on April 11 at the El Capitan Theatre in Hollywood, a surprise special stunt is planned to make an impactful, red-carpet entrance. A fleet of Acura vehicles will also be used as talent transportation during the premiere.

The hub of Acura's national advertising campaign for Marvel's The Avengers, http://www.SHIELDops.com, allows fans to immerse themselves in the world of S.H.I.E.L.D. and Marvel's The Avengers. Users can rise within the ranks of S.H.I.E.L.D. by testing Avengers-inspired technology mounted to S.H.I.E.L.D.-Edition Acura vehicles. The tests take place within different combat simulation environments that correspond with the four main characters: Iron Man, Hulk, Captain America and Thor. As users attain a specific S.H.I.E.L.D. rank, they earn the chance to win movie passes and S.H.I.E.L.D. gear, including a branded tactical flashlight, a replica Acura convertible sports car (created for and featured in Marvel's The Avengers) and a virtual keyboard. The grand prize is an all-expense-paid Tony Stark-inspired trip to New York City.

Social media will be leveraged throughout the campaign to recruit fans to test their skills at http://www.SHIELDops.com. The Acura.com Avengers section will also feature Marvel's The Avengers content, including trailers and movie stills.

The advertising campaign, developed by Acura's agency of record, rp&, a division of RPA, is composed of a multiplatform media buy, retail tie-ins and national ABC screenings of Marvel's The Avengers with after-parties in select markets. The entirely new 2013 Acura RDX will be featured throughout the campaign, including a 30-second TV spot which incorporates the new vehicle with scenes from Marvel's The Avengers. The spot, "Re-re-routed," http://www.acura.com/Avengers.aspx, begins April 16 on spot TV, cable and sports.

Unique S.H.I.E.L.D.-themed videos will run on comic and entertainment websites such as Marvel and Rotten Tomatoes and will drive traffic to http://www.SHIELDops.com.

In addition, more than 130 Acura dealers will be hosting pre-release screenings of Marvel's The Avengers in early May in their respective markets.

About Marvel's The Avengers

Marvel Studios presents "Marvel's The Avengers"-the team up of a lifetime, featuring iconic Marvel Super Heroes Iron Man, The Incredible Hulk, Thor, Captain America, Hawkeye and Black Widow. When an unexpected enemy emerges that threatens global safety and security, Nick Fury, Director of the international peacekeeping agency known as S.H.I.E.L.D., finds himself in need of a team to pull the world back from the brink of disaster. Spanning the globe, a daring recruitment effort begins.

Starring Robert Downey Jr., Chris Evans, Mark Ruffalo, Chris Hemsworth, Scarlett Johansson, Jeremy Renner and Tom Hiddleston, with Stellan Skarsgård and Samuel L. Jackson as Nick Fury, directed by Joss Whedon, from a story by Zak Penn and Joss Whedon with screenplay by Joss Whedon, "Marvel's The Avengers" is based on the ever-popular Marvel comic book series "The Avengers," first published in 1963 and a comics institution ever since. Prepare yourself for an exciting event movie, packed with action and spectacular special effects, when "Marvel's The Avengers" assemble in summer 2012.

"Marvel's The Avengers" is presented by Marvel Studios in association with Paramount Pictures. The film is being produced by Marvel Studios' President Kevin Feige and executive produced by Alan Fine, Jon Favreau, Stan Lee, Louis D'Esposito, Patricia Whitcher, Victoria Alonso and Jeremy Latcham. The film releases May 4, 2012, and is distributed by Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures.

About Marvel Entertainment

Marvel Entertainment, LLC, a wholly-owned subsidiary of The Walt Disney Company, is one of the world's most prominent character-based entertainment companies, built on a proven library of over 8,000 characters featured in a variety of media over seventy years. Marvel utilizes its character franchises in entertainment, licensing and publishing. For more information visit www.marvel.com.

About Acura

Acura offers a full line of technologically advanced performance luxury vehicles through a network of 272 dealers within the United States. The Acura lineup features six distinctive models including the RL luxury performance sedan, the TL performance luxury sedan, the TSX Sport Wagon and sedan, the RDX luxury crossover SUV, the MDX luxury sport utility vehicle and the ZDX four-door sports coupe.

About rp&

rp& is a full-service marketing communications division of RPA, headquartered in Santa Monica, Calif. Established in 2008, rp& has been responsible for the development of all Acura National, Regional, Online, Direct Mail and Event Marketing communications. For more information, visit http://rp-and.com/.

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