If you are a Fast and Furious fan, you will argue the franchise is outright the best car-based movie franchise ever. But that only holds true if you only consider the first few releases, where the franchise adhered to some semblance of believability. Recent films have switched from street racing to big-budget action-packed sequences with stunts that defy all laws of physics. The only thing everyone can agree on is that the Fast and Furious franchise featured plenty of cool JDM cars and helped fuel a car culture revolution.
The two decades of movies helped shape the automotive landscape and elevated the sport-compact scene from a subculture to the mainstream. This, while helping create lots of car enthusiasts. Cars too benefited, with Japanese imports getting lots of love. For instance, the Honda Civic, once a hand-me-down car from parents, was now subject to modification after the first Fast & Furious film came out.
The franchise has always featured cool Japanese cars in all their movies. Craig Lieberman might have played a crucial role in including JDM cars in the first two movies, and the tradition has lived on to date. Here’s our pick of the coolest Japanese cars featured in the F&F franchise.
10 Nissan 350Z
With 287hp stock, the Nissan 350Z was already a capable performer. However, VeilSide did their magic on a 2003 model and upped the horsepower to 430hp, and the result was the dark gray stunner driven by Takashi aka Drift King in the third Fast and Furious film.
You will remember the car from the drift battle scene at the car park, where it effortlessly slides up the circular ramp. Six Drift King 350Zs were totaled during filming, but one survived, and it happens to be the one that received the performance upgrades. It was recently listed for $133,683 on Auto Trader UK.
9 VeilSide Mazda RX-7
The 1997 Mazda RX-7 is Han’s car in Tokyo Drift and VeilSide’s other contributions to the Fast and Furious Franchise. It features modifications to the 13 B rotary engine, HKS turbocharger, and VeilSide’s titanium exhaust system. A Fortune wide-body kit gave the car its mean looks.
Nine Mazda RX-7 were modified for filming. This car enjoyed more screen time than the other RX-7 cars in the first two films, but we see it destroyed in a scene that supposedly killed Han. Only two of these survived filming.
8 Lexus LFA
The Lexus LFA is a bare-knuckle boxer of a supercar. That, plus its limited availability, makes it a cool car. It helped the Japanese manufacturer flex its muscles against the world’s best sports carmakers. It featured a 4.8-liter V10 engine punching 552hp, And to certify its cool status, it had to appear in the Fast Franchise.
However, this high-tech supercar was only used briefly on fast and furious filming. Its maiden and only appearance come at the end of Fast Five, where we see Han and Gisele speeding along a highway towards Berlin. Perhaps, Lexus wanted so much to be part of the franchise without necessarily taking part in the destruction.
7 Honda S2000
Besides being powerful and fast, appearances also play a big role in cars featured in the Fast and Furious franchise. Johnny Tran’s Hero 1999 Honda S2000 is one of the best-looking cars. Suki later drove it in the next film after extra exterior upgrades. The car was by no means slow as it could achieve a top speed of about 155mph. However, the car’s highlight is in its stunning looks.
Everything makes it an attention grabber, from a lowered suspension to the eye-catching body kit.
Fast and furious producers chose to paint it pink and fitted neon lights under the body to make it more colorful and stand out, more so for the night scenes.
6 Nissan Skyline GT-R (R34)
The Fast Franchise has had a fair share of cool Nissan GTRs, from the R32, R33, and R34. This R34 was one of the star cars driven by Paul Walker’s character Brian O’Conner in 2 Fast 2 Furious. Brian bought it after his Dodge Stealth got impounded and used it to win the street race against Suki.
The 1999 R34 was powered by an RB26 twin-turbocharged 2.6-liter DOHC straight-six engine and features a killer C-west body kit. The original car was rented from technical director Craig Lieberman’s collection, with five more duplicates purchased and modified for filming.
5 Mitsubishi Eclipse GS
Anyone who has watched the Fast and Furious movies will outright recognize Brian’s Mitsubishi Eclipse GS in Kawasaki green. It was a highly modified car fitted with a smoke machine, large bore exhaust, intercooler, and a larger turbo. Its 2-liter four-cylinder engine produced 210hp, however, with the heavy mods, it was only good for 150hp in reality.
Craig Lieberman sourced the car, and although it did not have a prominent role compared to other cars, it remains one of the more recognizable original hero cars. This legendary car was sold to the Hollywood star cars museum after Paul Walker died, and his car collection was sold.
4 Toyota Supra MK4
The Supra with a 2JZ-GTE twin-turbo engine stands out as one of the few automatic cars to make their way to the manual favoring Fast and Furious franchise. They added a fake shifter knob not to spoil the fans’ taste. Regardless, it is one of the major cars driven by Brian after his Eclipse gets totaled by Johnny Tran. After Dom’s garage restores the rusted Supra, it gets so powerful that it smokes a Ferrari in a street race.
In the movie, they claim to spend about $20,00 to restore it, but in reality, $100k was used to turn it into the monster it was. Mods included the Nuclear gladiator paint job on the Bomex body kit and an aggressive rear wing.
3 1994 Acura Integra GS-R
The Acura driven in the fast and furious was a 1996 model featuring a heavily modified suspension, engine, and body specs modification, and race-capable tires, rims, and brakes. This was Edwin’s car in the first film and is one of the cars provided by Craig Lieberman.
Although a minor car in the franchise, the Integra featured the best body kits, graphics, and gadgets available on the tuner scene at the time. The original car was sold in 2014 on eBay for close to $50k.
2 1971 Nissan Skyline GT-R
Also known as the Hakosuka, this 1971 Nissan Skyline GT-R was another of Brian’s cars, although it was a minor car making a brief appearance. We see Brian drive himself and Mia to Rio de Janeiro in it after Dom breaks out of the prison bus in Fast Five.
A fun fact, this was the first Skyline model to receive the GT-R badge. It sports a 2.0-liter DOHC straight-six engine that made 160hp from the factory. It is a beautiful classic added to the cool collection of cars driven by Paul Walker’s character in the franchise. Sadly, it appeared for only a few minutes, never to be seen again.
1 1995 Nissan Skyline GT-R R33
One of the coolest cars in the franchise happens to be driven by a minor character. This 1995 Nissan Skyline GT-R R33, also known as Big Bird, was one of Leon’s cars, and he drove it to Toretto’s Market and Café in the first film. The car was originally white with black graphics, but was painted yellow for the film.
According to Lieberman, only one car was used for just a few shots due to the high costs of shipping duplicates from Japan. They also feared it would upstage Brian’s hero Supra, which explains its brief cameo. This iconic car had a sad ending in real life as it was confiscated and crushed because the owner changed its VIN.
The Fast and Furious franchise was played a huge part in these cars to attain icon status, especially those driven by the late Paul Walker.
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