2016 Super Bowl: Audi moonshots while BMW and Mercedes sit on the bench [video] image

Both Mercedes and BMW have announced they have decided to sideline their participation to the year’s most famous sporting event in the United States, while Audi has decided it’s their time to shine.

Audi’s Super Bowl work for the 2016 edition of the world famous sporting event has to do with the 2017 R8 supercar – called “The Commander,” the 60 second ad will tell us how a retired Apollo astronaut has been a little sad and depressed the years of taking it to the outer space have fallen behind. To cheer him up, his son has decided to make his day – releasing a pair of keys that belong to the new Audi R8 V10 plus – the supercar then goes on to rehash the astronaut’s joy and excitement as if he was traveling to space once more. The commercial will air during the game’s first quarter and the Ingolstadt-based automaker (which now ranks third in the world behind BMW and Mercedes in the luxury segment) has explained it “reminds us that amazing things happen when we shoot for the moon.”

The all new 2017 Audi R8 is being tipped for a sales release this spring and the “base” model makes use of a naturally-aspirated 5.2-liter V10 engine to hone 540 horsepower and 398 pound-feet of torque. Mated to a seven-speed S tronic dual-clutch transmission and a rear-happy quattro all-wheel drive, the sprint to 60 mph will only last 3.5 seconds and then the driver can “moonshoot” towards the max speed of 199 mph. The R8 V10 plus meanwhile has 610 hp and 413 lb-ft of torque – the run will be handled in 3.2 seconds and the ride will top out at 205 mph.