- NBC Universal held a brief preview of cars to appear in Fast & Furious 6.
- Classic muscle and old-school Euro-hunks are more prevalent than Japanese tuner machines this time.
- The movie opens worldwide on May 24.
SUN VALLEY, California — With a commercial during the Super Bowl, NBC Universal began its campaign to conquer the world's box office with the sixth episode in the ongoing Fast & Furious film franchise. That campaign continued on Sunday, March 3, when the studio invited select press to picture car coordinator Dennis McCarthy's shop in anti-glamorous Sun Valley, California to view vehicles featured in Fast & Furious 6. "Select press" included us.
Let's start by putting these cars in the context of the latest trailer for the new movie that opens May 24.
How critical an eye you want to apply to that trailer is up to you, but it's obvious that the filmmakers aren't skimping on vehicular mayhem this time either. And they've cast an eclectic group of cars to supercharge the action.
Here's a quick look at the field. More extensive features will follow.
Dom's 1969 Dodge Daytona
Dominic Toretto (Vin Diesel) may live life a quarter-mile at a time, but he might be better off in measuring the worth of his existence in the number of Dodge Chargers he destroys along the way. This time, however, he's pulled himself out of the 1970 models he has traditionally favored and planted his well-oiled butt in the driver seat of a 1969 Charger Daytona.
No actual Charger Daytonas were used in production of the film, and the movie's machines are subtly different from the legendary winged warrior. The nose is shorter, the deck wing is cut down lower and the pop-up headlights are gone in favor of fixed units behind plexiglas. "Fixing the headlight doors after every stunt was going to be too much hassle," said McCarthy.
As to power, under the hood of the seven Daytonas built for the film McCarthy installed General Motors LS3 small-block V8s.
1969 Ford Mustang
How this car gets used through the rest of the film is a mystery, but previews show that it dies a gruesome death being crushed by a Chieftain tank. Tough way to go.
A total of nine Mustangs were built for the movie, with some of them 1969s and a few of them '70s redressed to look like '69s. How they wound up with 1967 Mustang taillights is an issue that's under investigation. Like the Daytona, the Mustangs were all powered by GM LS3 V8s for convenience's sake.
1970 Ford Escort RS2000
The original rear-drive Escort is a car that Ford never exported to America, but it's a rally legend in Great Britain and a natural for this film where so much action is set in England. These right-hand-drive cars were all acquired in England and modified there, but at least a couple made the trip back across the Atlantic with Dennis McCarthy's crew. A total of seven were used in the film.
Left essentially stock except for cages and stripped interiors, the RS2000s were all powered by their original 2.0-liter OHC "Pinto" engines.
1971 Jensen Interceptor
It's an open secret that Letty (Michelle Rodriguez) who was killed off in Fast & Furious, returns from the dead in Fast & Furious 6. And she roars back from the afterlife driving a gray primer Jensen because... well, why not?
McCarthy's shop built a total of four Interceptors. All were based on cars bought in California and all were equipped with GM LS3 V8s.
Custom-Built Ramp Car
Built for one of the intense action scenes in the film, this midengine brute features a ramp built into its tube-frame structure intended to submarine underneath approaching cars and catapult them up into the air. And to make maneuvering under those cars easy, it's equipped with four-wheel steering.
Once again a GM LS3 V8 provides the power. McCarthy's shop built all of these using a design McCarthy himself conceived and executed.
2011 Dodge Challenger SRT8
At the end of Fast Five, Dominic (Vin Diesel) and Brian (Paul Walker) are chilling in some tropical paradise when they decide to start an impromptu race between Dom's Challenger SRT8 and Brian's Nissan GT-R. The sixth movie starts at the moment of that chase, and so Dom's late-model Challenger is back, too.
Essentially a brand-new car, the Challenger has widened front fenders, fender extensions in back and oversize wheels and tires. But mechanically, it's stock including the 6.4-liter Hemi V8 under its hood.
1970 Plymouth 'Cuda
Dominic always seems to end up each film in a spectacular Chrysler product. And at the end of Fast & Furious 6 he's driving this otherworldly 1970 'Cuda that includes a massive old-school street Hemi, the sort of detailing expected of a world-class showcar, and an all-independent suspension that includes a Jaguar rear end.
Not built by McCarthy's shop, this car was borrowed from a collection. Because it wasn't used in any stunts, no duplicates were built.
2012 Nissan GT-R
Brian O'Connor's affection for the Nissan GT-R has been apparent through several films now. In the beginning of FF6 he's driving an apparently stock silver GT-R. But at the end of the film, he possesses this radical, blue beast. It's only seen at the end of the film and isn't used in any stunts, so there's only one.
McCarthy saw this car at last year's SEMA show in Las Vegas and recruited it to the film. The body kit comes from Japan's Bensopra tuning house and carries a retail price, according to reports, of more than $50,000. This one was built by The R's Tuning in Irvine, California and features virtually every tuning part available for Godzilla. Total output should be well beyond 1,000 horsepower.
2010 BMW M5
The bad guys have to drive something in every movie and in this one they get BMW M5s. More of these are smashed up in the film than any other car. McCarthy acquired most of them in Britain, so they're right-hand drive, and while a couple were genuine M cars, most of the 14 were redecorated 540i or 535i models.
2006 Aston Martin Vanquish
True exotics usually only play supporting roles in the F&F films. And that's true of the 2006 Aston Martin Vanquish that McCarthy borrowed from a car collection neighboring his shop and placed in the background.
2012 Dodge Charger SRT8
All these cars do is pull down a cargo plane... and burst through its nose. The production used 10 of these new cars powered by the stock 6.4-liter Hemi V8.
Edmunds says: Box office explodes! Ka-ching!