In Blade Runner’s alternate reality, Peugeots never stopped being sold in America.
Director Denis Villeneuve's moody sci-fi epic Blade Runner 2049 recently hit cinemas, and while it might not be breaking box office records like the Fast and Furious franchise, it's received universal praise with critics hailing it as a modern masterpiece. The original Blade Runner released in 1982 was highly influential with ground-breaking special effects that immersed you into a bleak, believable dystopian world, and the same is true for the sequel. How is this relevant on a car website, you may ask?
While not strictly a car movie, Blade Runner 2049 features some seriously cool-looking flying cars - including a surprise cameo by a certain French automaker. Ryan Gosling's character, Detective K, is seen in the trailer piloting a flying car known as a "Spinner" to hunt down renegade androids known as replicants. With its supercar shape and scissor doors, it wouldn't have surprised us if it represented the director's vision of how a Lamborghini could look in 30 years-time if automaker's ambitions to launch flying cars becomes a reality. Now that the film is out, Jalopnik has confirmed that the Spinner piloted by Detective K is actually a Peugeot. No, we didn't expect that either.
The product placement is extremely subtle: the only way you can tell it's a Peugeot is from brief shots of the dashboard and lettering on the front and rear if you squint hard enough. It's an odd decision, given that this is an American-made movie set in a dystopian LA when Peugeots haven't been sold in the US since 1991. Of course, it could be a way to target other markets where the brand is more established, but Peugeot hasn't even publicised its surprise appearance in the film. Coincidentally, French group PSA recently announced its American comeback, but it won't be selling cars. Perhaps this is a sign that French cars will return to America in the future in the form of flying cars.