The car stars of Fast & Furious 6

400 cars including some genuine classics got crashed, crushed, thrashed and mashed for the latest ‘Diesel vehicle’ (geddit?)

By Shahzad Sheikh

Fast & Furious 6 - all about the cars

[NOTE – don’t worry, no spoilers, nothing mentioned here you haven’t seen in the trailers already]

As readers of this website, you’ll undoubtedly be wanting to head out to see the latest instalment of The Fast & Furious series of movies which officially opens this weekend.

Thanks to Chrysler Middle East, we saw a preview showing last night, and if you like ‘Car-nage’ on an epic scale, you will not be disappointed.

Fast & Furious 6 - all about the cars

But what about those cars? Are they about as real as the stars of the Disney animation Cars? They could be, movie CGI really is that good now. But no, director Justin Lin insisted on the real thing wherever possible, so they’re mostly all actual cars.

And there’s over 400 cars used in the movie, a large proportion of which met a spectacular end – ‘All cars were brutally harmed and abused in the making of this movie’ the disclaimer should read.
The ruining was done by a combination of 80 stunt drivers, movie technicians and special effect specialists.

Fast & Furious 6 - all about the cars

Top Gear’s ex-Stig and rally hero Mark Higgins amongst stunt drivers

A large part of the movie was filmed in the UK and Spain and one of the drivers included former Top Gear Stig, Ben Collins.

He had the privilege of drifting a 1969 Dodge Charger Daytona through Piccadilly Circus – and yes that really is the famous London landmark, not a movie set – as well as racing the Dom’s 2010 modified Challenger against O’Conner’s Nissan GT-R in the opening sequence.

Fast & Furious 6 - all about the cars

This was filmed on a tight and twisty mountain road high above the coast of Tenerife in Spain’s Canary Islands – done for real and which he claims was one of the most exciting bits of driving he had to do for the film.

Much of the action in ‘London’ was filmed across the UK including the night stuff in Glasgow, Scotland, action on Lambeth Bridge, plus Dale Street in Liverpool City Centre and the Queensway Tunnel in Birkenhead.

Fast & Furious 6 - all about the cars

The tank sequence was filmed in Tenerife and well over 100 cars (nobody remembers the exact number!) were run over or destroyed during its filming. The tank itself, whilst modelled on a Vickers-Armstrong FV 4201 Chieftain was actually a fake riding on a heavy-duty truck chassis.

Fast & Furious 6 - all about the cars

Another British driver employed by the producers was rally ace, Mark Higgins, who became a YouTube legend after his famous 250kph save in a Subaru WRX STI on the Isle of Man TT (if you’ve never seen it, watch it now, you won’t believe it).

Unsurprisingly the fearless Higgins did the Escort jump – the first attempt of which put the car headlong into the ground and on its roof, and the second of which – with slightly less speed – still left it banana-shaped but successful.

Of course to capture all the action on film, even the camera cars have to be quick and included a Nissan 370Z used on Fast Five plus a Subaru WRX, a Porsche Cayenne, a supercharged Cadillac Escalade and a 500bhp Chevy ElCamino!

Fast & Furious 6 - all about the cars

Most cars feature a 500bhp LS3 V8

Sorry for the pun, but they really have ramped up the car action in this movie. It probably helps that the series’ main star Vin Diesel (playing Dominic Torreto) is into his muscle cars, particularly 70s metal, and that Paul Walker (Brian O’Conner) is a total car nut who hobby races and even owns his own performance tuning shop.

Fast & Furious 6 - all about the cars

He obviously has a vast collection of cars himself, some of which are stored by Dennis McCarthy, who is probably the most important person not in the movie. McCarthy has been working with the franchise since Tokyo Drift and sourced, built and prepared nearly all the cars used in the movie, including making the two open-wheel racecar-style ‘Flip cars’ specifically for the F&F6.

Fast & Furious 6 - all about the cars

Most of the cars were done at his performance shop in Burbank, California, and nearly all used 500bhp Chevy LS3 V8 crate engines, including the Daytona (a replica) and the some of the Mustangs (sacrilege I know!), as well as the Flip cars and some of the other stunt cars.

It actually makes sense, since using the same engine and transmission for the movie cars means that parts are interchangeable on location. He claims 500bhp is more than enough for the movie cars, although some were tuned up to over 800bhp.

Major car stars

Some of the most significant cars in the movie included:

Fast & Furious 6 - all about the cars

Dom Teretto (Diesel) drives a 2010 modified Challenger seen at the end of the previous movie, Fast Five at the beginning of the film.

For the most of the film he drives a 1969 Dodge Charger Daytona. This was a replica, built from a $5000 rust-bucket that was bought, stripped, sandblasted and rebuilt for the movie.
At the end of the movie he has a 1970 Plymouth Barracuda, a genuine classic featuring a massive HEMI motor, independent suspension and a Jaguar rear end.

Fast & Furious 6 - all about the cars

Brian O’Conner (Walker) starts off with his silver stock Nissan GT-R from Fast Five and ends with modified blue GT-R ramped up to over 1000bhp.

During the action he drives a 1970 Ford Escort RS2000 – replicas built from six Mark 1 Escorts all stripped of interiors and fitted with roll-cages but featuring the original 2.0-litre engines. Sadly not many survived filming.

Fast & Furious 6 - all about the cars

Letty Ortiz (Michelle Rodriguez) drives a British car, the rare 1973 Jensen Interceptor. Four were used, all heavily modified and custom-built fitted with the aforementioned Chevy V8s and Kilgore GM Turbo 400 transmissions.

Fast & Furious 6 - all about the cars

Roman Pearce (Tyrese Gibson) gets a 1969 Anvil Mustang featuring 850bhp from a 520 Jon Kaase Racing Boss Nine engine driven through a Tremec TKO 600 5-speed transmission. In fact nine Mustangs were used, some of which were actually 1970 cars modified to look like 69 models, and the stunt cars were all fitted with the LS3s.

Fast & Furious 6 - all about the cars

The villain, Owen Shaw (played by Luke Evans) drives a 2006 Aston Martin DB9, and also the incredible Flip Car which basically rams into other cars and flips them right over itself. It can also four-wheel steer and ‘crab’ across lanes at speed. As mentioned these were custom-made for the movie by McCarthy.

Fast & Furious 6 - all about the cars

Luke Hobbs (Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson) makes do with the armoured Navistar MXT Truck he had in Fast Five.

Fast & Furious 6 - all about the cars

Tej Parker (Chris Bridges) gets a Lucra LX470 – what’s that?! American-built, these are bespoke cars inspired by lightweight classic Lotus race cars but fitted with big V8 engines.

Fast & Furious 6 - all about the cars

Han Seoul-Oh – hang on, ‘Hans Solo’?! – played by Sung Kang, is seen with the modified Mazda RX-7 in which he gets killed in Tokyo Drift (that movie is set after this one in the F&F timeline).

Fast & Furious 6 - all about the cars

Other cool cars spotted in this edition included a replica red and white Ferrari FXX, a Ginetta G60, a Spyker, a Ferrari SP1 (based on a Ferrari 430 Spyder), a Jaguar E-Type which was actually the hugely expensive modern replica, Eagle Speedster, a 1967 Camaro SS and a Koenigsegg amongst others, with even a glimpse of a Subaru BRZ.

Fast & Furious 6 - all about the cars

A fleet of E60 BMW M5s were used and destroyed in the first London chase sequence – 12 in fact all with the ABS and traction control unplugged. Some were 535i and 540i models dressed up to look like M5s. Apparently only one car survived filming. Lots of Land Rover Defenders and Range Rovers also get mashed along the way.

Fast & Furious 6 - all about the cars

Considering that Chrysler supports the franchise, the big climatic scene features a pair of Dodge Chargers (as did the finale of Fast Five) one of which magnificently and triumphantly bursts through fuselage of a crashing aeroplane, and an Alfa Romeo Giuletta.

Fast & Furious 6 - all about the cars

Now I’ve reviewed this car and it is brilliant, with truly astonishing potency from its punchy 1.4 Turbo, but in the movie it proves instrumental in downing a gargantuan Russian cargo aircraft, okay there’s more to it than that, but it’s about the gist of it.

Fast & Furious 6 - all about the cars

That’s you’re lot from us, but we’re bound to have missed some cars, so once you’ve seen the movie, tell us below a) what you thought of it and b) which other cars were in it.

And if you’re a fan of the franchise you’ll be please to know that they’re hurrying through the next edition – F&F 7 will be out in July next year and this time some of it will be filmed right here in the Middle East, so watch out for some high octane action on a street near you soon!

8 responses to “The car stars of Fast & Furious 6”

  1. Shahzad says:

    How you can miss Range Roversfrom the movie….

  2. Shahzad says:

    How you can miss Range Rovers from the movie….

  3. shawki alameh says:

    Superman style, an amazing cars and good story but the next movie for Van will be man of steal 🙂

  4. Andy says:

    My mate owns the bodyshop that prepared the E60 ‘M5s’ for the film, and yes they were all standard 535 and 540 models dressed up as M5s. I have a couple of photos I slyly took of them being built.

    • admin says:

      [Shahzad] Cool. Thanks for letting us know. Although we are somewhat in shock today from hearing about Paul Walker’s passing.

  5. mahdi says:

    Fast & furious 6-extended

  6. xEr Bhai says:

    Awesome movie+awesome team than Expendable’s team in action

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