A fireball wrapped in an explosion, delivered in a car crash, with a dash of family drama. That is Fast and Furious 9. The latest installment in the film series that once was about street racing hits theaters on July 8 this year. TopGear spoke to Dennis McCarthy, the car coordinator for the fastseries. McCarthy builds the cars you see flying across the screen. Here are a few facts you may not have known.
(Almost) all stunt cars have the same engine
Basically there are two types of cars driving around on the set: stunt cars and hero-cars. The latter are the show horses whose sole aim is to look beautiful when they are standing still. Often there are several stunt replicas of one hero car. These do the heavy stunt work and often die. To make it easier (and cheaper, believe it or not), the crew of almost all stunt cars swaps the original engine with a Chevrolet V8 – known to enthusiasts as the LS3. They did that in previous movies too.
The reason behind this is quite simple. If every stunt car has the same engine, then you only need to bring spare parts for one type of engine. And if you really don’t have any parts, you get them from another car. It costs an incredible amount of money to shut down such a large production because of a technical defect. It is therefore cheaper to incur some extra costs in advance for the engine changes. In addition, the LS3 with 525 hp is strong enough for stunt work and relatively reliable.
There are many E60 BMW 5 series in the movie
We see a lot of 5 Series of the E60 generation passing by in the new one Fast and Furious 9. We asked McCarthy what it is. ‘Because they are available and affordable. They are cool cars, they go well with it. The stunt crew loves those things. It is a car that you can drive almost standard; you don’t have to do much about it. A little computer hacking to completely disable the ABS and traction control. Put in a hydraulic handbrake and you’re good to go,” says McCarthy. These cars therefore do not get an LS3 engine. Oh, by the way, there is also a small roll for an E38 7-series.
Dominic Toretto’s Charger in Fast and Furious 9
Dominic Toretto once again drives a special Charger in the film. Speedkore extended the classic Charger and placed a Hellcat engine in the center of the car. Power goes to the rear wheels via a Lamborghini Gallardo transmission. The extended body is almost completely made of carbon fiber. Two units with the Hellcat/Lamborghini powertrain were built.
“Everything under the car is custom made,” McCarthy says. “Very little of the Charger is left – just the roof. SpeedKore built all the panels from carbon fiber. The wheelbase has been stretched and it is of course a lot wider. This was my favorite Charger. This is the least known car because we didn’t want to push too hard. We didn’t want to damage it! I told my people that both copies had to come back alive.’
Other facts about Fast and Furious 9
What’s cool is that there’s a Noble M600 and a Jaguar Project 8 in the movie. The Armory Truck and the Armadillo (those two big armored things) are constructed from Mercedes Unimogs. That’s because they were built in the UK. If these scenes had been shot in America, trucks would probably have served as donor vehicles.
Of course a lot of cars die in it Fast and Furious 9. “Somewhere around 350 cars,” McCarthy says. ‘This movie wasn’t so brutal [voor auto’s] as others,” he continues, “mainly because the scenes were more isolated. The opening scene was shot in the jungle, so it wasn’t like Fast Five; scouring the city and tearing everything to pieces.’