The 'Fast & Furious' Franchise's Craziest Stunts: How Realistic Are They?

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If the cars are another character in the Fast and Furious movies, then the way they flip and fly and crash and casually stop global annihilation is, in fact, the titular role. Of course, we love Dom (Vin Diesel) and the rest of the Family™, but let's talk about the real reason we keep tuning in: The insane stunts, that only get more insane with each new installment.

F9 (in theaters on Friday) packs in plenty of physics-defying, car-crunching stunts, so we decided it was high time we go through all of the films in The Fast Saga and see whether any of the most implausible-seeming stunts are at all humanly possible. To do so, we turned to automotive expert Todd Hovsepian and ET's resident car buff, Hank Daniels.

Here’s what they told us about the franchise's most bonkers stunts:

Movie: The Fast & The Furious

What Happens: Settling their beef with a street race, Brian (Paul Walker) and Dom use NOS to out-run a train, after which Dom’s Dodge Charger is clipped by a semi-truck and literally flips over Brian’s car.

So, Is It Possible? "Nice wheelie, Vin! Although, realistically this Charger R/T couldn’t have held it that long, even with the amount of horsepower it has on Brian’s Supra. I mean, it’s a HEAVY beast. The flip in the end was awesome as well, but only possible with a convenient little stunt jump before the truck." — T.H.

Movie: 2 Fast 2 Furious

What Happens: During a street race in Miami, Tej (Ludacris) "surprises" the racers by raising a drawbridge. Brian hits his NOS and literally flies his Nissan Skyline over his competitor’s Toyota Supra, clinching the race.

So, Is It Possible? "Nitrous oxide is a very simple way to provide big horsepower gains to any gas engine. Essentially, pumping nitro into an engine creates more oxygen during combustion, allowing more fuel to be injected, therefore increasing the amount of power. The way they utilize nitro in small bursts in this scene is definitely realistic. The vehicles actually being drivable AFTER JUMPING OFF A BRIDGE? Not so much." — T.H.

Movie: 2 Fast 2 Furious

What Happens: To catch a drug lord escaping on a yacht, Brian and Roman (Tyrese Gibson) jump a Yenko Camaro from shore and land it perfectly on top of the boat.

So, Is It Possible? "This car can fetch anywhere between $150k and $250K at auction…why would you fly it into a yacht?! Nonetheless, I am no stunt expert, but I would find it difficult to jump that vehicle ONTO A MOVING YACHT with such precision." — T.H.

Movie: Fast & Furious

What Happens: A fuel tanker hijacking in the Domican Republic goes wrong and Dom and Letty (Michelle Rodriguez) must out-run a loose rig after it explodes and starts barreling down the road towards them.

So, Is It Possible? "This Buick Grand National has a V6 powering it’s wheels and not the throaty V8 you’re actually hearing. The larger points of contention here are (A) the truck driver’s pet iguana is completely random. And (B) there is NO WAY they would make it out alive with a tumbling, burning oil tanker careening down towards them. No way." — T.H.

Movie: Fast Five

What Happens: Brian and Mia (Jordana Brewster) lead an escape effort to break Dom out of prison by T-boning the bus he's being transported in against Brian’s car, causing the bus to spiral out of control.

So, Is It Possible? "This scene is worth it for the game of chicken between a prison bus and Mia’s 2003 Honda NSX alone! However, I'm pretty positive Brian’s 1970 Dodge Charger 440 R/T would have been obliterated if a bus full-on rear-ended it. But since it was just a little flip-nudge, of course it makes sense..." — T.H.

Movie: Fast Five

What Happens: Dom drives a Chevrolet Corvette off a speeding train while being shot at, then manages to steer the car close enough to the train for Brian to jump off, all before it hits a bridge and explodes.

So, Is It Possible? "I love how this GORGEOUS 1963 Chevrolet Corvette Grand Sport just drives off undamaged after Dom barrels it out of a moving train! Brian also seems to channel his Spider-Man senses and lands on that Vette perfectly. Completely doable." — T.H.

Movie: Fast Five

What Happens: Brian and Dom steal a safe full of money from a police station using two Dodge Chargers, then proceed to tow the vault through the city of Rio de Janiero, basically just effing stuff up.

So, Is It Possible? "Dodge gives a flat out 'Towing Not Recommended' for an SRT8 Charger, but other trim levels have a tow rating of 1,000lbs. I'm going to assume the safe weighs well over 1,000lbs and that the Charger is heavily modified! That being said, they rigged a SICK support cage for the rear-end, and although I don’t think Dom would get as far as he did in the scene, it would certainly be a spectacle to watch in person." — T.H.

Movie: Fast & Furious 6

What Happens: Brian, Mia and the crew chase a plane on a runway and tether their cars to the plane to prevent it from taking off. As the plane crashes to the ground, Dom, who was trapped onboard, drives his car through the nose of the fiery plane and escapes.

So, Is It Possible? "This is a Russian Antonov MILITARY PLANE. It was built to lift a max weight of 550,000lbs. OBVIOUSLY the superpowers of a Dodge Charger SRT8, Alfa Romeo Giulietta, and Land Rover Defender can take down that plane! Even if that were true, Dom walks out of that hot mess of a plane crash gloriously." — T.H.

Movie: Furious 7

What Happens: Brian, Dom, Letty, Tej and Roman parachute their cars off of a plane and land them, safely in one piece, on the side of a remote mountaintop.

So, Is It Possible? "This has to be one of the best stunts in the franchise and the awesome thing to note here: for the most part, it's completely doable. These are heavy-duty military parachutes used to drop enormous supply crates; they can certainly withstand the weight of a car. Maybe auto dealers can take this stork-like delivery approach from now on, just to make things more fun. Thoughts?" — T.H.

Movie: Furious 7

What Happens: Brian is trapped on a bus careening off a cliff. He’s able to get himself out of the front of the bus, run up the length of the bus, and jump off right as Letty spins at the cliff edge and catches him with her spoiler.

So, Is It Possible? "Brian was clearly working on his long jump before filming this scene, and it WORKED! It’s completely possible to whip the rear-end of that Dodge Challenger to the edge of the cliff and have Brain grab onto the support rack. Everything needs to come together perfectly. But that’s no biggie, right?" — T.H.

Movie: Furious 7

What Happens: Dom and Brian drive a Lykan "Super Car" capable of going 200-plus miles per hour out of a skyscraper, get hit with a rocket launcher, and fly into another skyscraper (and then the breaks go out, and they “drive” into yet another sky scraper).

So, Is It Possible? "Talk about a car with an impressive mug. The W Motors Lykan Hypersport headlights are made of white gold, diamonds, and blue sapphire. It's $3.4 MILLION and has a top speed of 240mph! Just to put that into perspective, a 747 jet-liner lifts off the runway anywhere between 180 and 220mph. Granted, the Lykan doesn’t have wings, but it’s a beast and if there is any car that can accomplish the impossible, it’s this one. Oh, and there are only seven of them in the world. SEVEN!" — T.H.

Movie: The Fate of the Furious

What happens: Cipher (Charlize Theron) hacks seemingly every car in Manhattan and remotely controls them, at one point sending a horde of driverless zombie cars raining down from a parking garage onto the NYC streets below.

So, Is It Possible? "In theory, you could hack into the computer of a car and control it with simple commands as long as the car has an infotainment with the ability to connect to the internet. Stellantus, that's the parent company that makes Dodge and Chrysler (which are heavily featured in this scene) all have an Infotainment system called Uconnect, which is reportedly the easiest system to hack and control wirelessly.

So yes. Very possible indeed. That said, most of the cars they control in the movie are pre-2010, meaning they aren’t connected to the internet in any way, shape or form. Those cars cannot be controlled wirelessly and cannot move under their own power. That said! The poorly CGI-ed Tesla Model S and all the newer Dodge and Chrysler product placements can! Sort of. While you can control the radio and the AC and get it to move around a little at slow speeds, I don't think they can charge through the streets at full throttle like an army of steel zombie cars!" — H.D.

Movie: The Fate of the Furious

What happens: The Fast Family races to prevent a nuclear submarine from getting into open waters, with Dom escaping a heat-seeking missile by jumping a makeshift ice ramp over the aforementioned sub.

So, Is It Possible? "The last scene is, of course, super entertaining and super ridiculous. Almost as ridiculous as the name of the car Letty is driving: a Local Motors Rally Fighter. Yes, that's the actual name of the car, a custom-made car of mostly Ford parts for the purpose of off-road racing. That's the only car that has the ability to drive over the ice as it's breaking -- if it was lucky and driven by the best driver in the world.

Dom is driving a highly modified 1968 Dodge Charger, with almost no insulation at all from the looks of it! Good for going fast, bad for heat and fire. Dom would have likely died in the first explosion of the missile hitting the submarine. If the missile does that much damage to a giant, steel-reinforced submarine designed to take on enemy fire, I'd say that explosion would be enough to melt Dom and that Charger before it even hit the ice." — H.D.

[This story was originally published on April 6, 2015.]


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