F9 Built A Car That No One Had Made Before
F9: The Fast Saga introduced the ultimate Toretto car for Vin Diesel’s Dom to drive, and in the process, the film built a car that had never been made before. The Fast and Furious franchise is well known for its menagerie of expensive supercars and souped-up hot rods, some of which have occasionally exceeded the bounds of reality in their capabilities. Fast and Furious 9 is no different, but where past installments have used props and special effects to make their wild new cars work on screen, F9 actually built the real thing.
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The car in question is Dom Toretto’s 1968 Dodge Charger Hellcat – a vehicle that would have been plenty cool and intimidating on its own, even before the Fast family went and installed F9’s super magnet into the back of the car itself. The Charger has been Dom’s main Fast and Furious car since the beginning of the franchise, and it has special significance again in F9 because of the many flashbacks to Dom’s childhood and his father’s construction of his original Charger. But the magnet Charger in Fast and Furious 9 might be the franchise’s most absurd version of the car to date.
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Obviously, the magnet in F9’s super Charger isn’t real, but the car does have a real one-of-a-kind feature – it’s mid-engine. In an interview in the F9: The Fast Saga director’s cut special features, Fast and Furious’ Picture Car Coordinator Dennis McCarthy explained the design. “As far as I know, no one’s ever built a mid-engine Charger,” McCarthy said. “It’s kind of combining old and new technology… in my mind, it’s the ultimate Toretto car.” F9 star John Cena, who himself is a self-described car aficionado, described the mid-engine Hellcat Charger as “Frankenstein’s monster.”
Mid-engine cars are exactly what they sound like – cars in which the engine, rather than being located in the front or rear of the chassis, is positioned between the driver and the rear axle. That positioning allows for better traction and acceleration on slippery surfaces than a traditional front-engine model. It’s a fairly common design for lighter-weight sports cars in particular, like Porsches, Mercedes, and even Ferraris. It’s less common, however, in classic American muscle cars like Dom’s ’68 Charger. Because most of Fast and Furious’ most ludicrous cars are partially created by movie magic, it’s fun to see the franchise build something real that had never been created before.
Of course, given that Fast and Furious has at least two more movies in the works, it’s likely that the mid-engine magnet charger of F9: The Fast Saga won’t remain the ultimate Toretto car for long. Even bigger challenges will inevitably come in Fast and Furious 10 and 11, and Dom may need something even meaner to take them on. But right now, it’s hard to imagine a more perfect Toretto car than Fast and Furious 9’s ’68 mid-engine Dodge Charger Hellcat.
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