In the upcoming New Initial D the Movie: Legend 2 – Racer our hero, Takumi, revs his unassuming AE86 (a Toyota Sprinter Trueno) to prove that he is the best racer on Mount Akina’s treacherous highway. As a racing film, the AE86 is much a character as the other human cast – as are the cars in other racing films.

In fact, the AE86 has been immortalised in the opening of Jay Chou song 飄移 (piāo yí, Drifting) which was also part of the 2005 Initial D movie, in which Jay Chou played Takumi too. What better honour can you give to a car? I don’t even think Takumi has a song that pays homage to him.

But the AE86 isn’t the only famous movie car which has transcended the film and entered our popular culture. Here are five fictional movie cars we all love – and why they’ve captured our imagination.

1) The AE86 from “New Initial D the Movie: Legend 2 – Racer”

AE86 from “New Initial D the Movie: Legend 2 – Racer.” Credit: Golden Village Pictures

The AE86 is such an unassuming car because Takumi drives the apex hatchback version of it – and uses it to make tofu deliveries. Yet despite its humble exterior and rather ordinary role in life (making tofu deliveries), it’s the car that propels Takumi to success, making it the car equivalent of an underdog.

Of course, much of is due to Takumi’s training as a tofu delivery boy. His father, knowing his son’s penchant for speeding, placed a piece of tofu in the car and mandated that the fragile dish came back in one piece everyday, to prevent any reckless maneuvers by his son. To continue speeding and ensure that the tofu was unscathed, Takumi had to perfect his control over the car, ensuring that even around the sharpest bends, his handling skills would ensure a smooth ride for his tofu companion.

2) The Mach Five from Speed Racer

 

Mach 5 at Comic Con 2007, from “Speed Racer.” Credit: Wikipedia

Speed Racer (2008) bombed, but if there’s anything we can salvage from the film, it’s Speed’s Mach Five. It can’t technically reach Mach 5 speeds, since that would make it faster than sound, but it’s still awesomely fast. The reason it’s called the Mach Five is because of its Japanese roots – the word “5” has the sound “go,” which makes the Japanese name sound like “Mach Go,” “go” as in move.

The Mach Five is a truly fictional car, in that it doesn’t have a real world equivalent. That hasn’t stopped fans from creating replicas and props based on real Grand Prix cars that resemble the Mach Five. But of all the cars on the list, Mach Five is the one that looks and is an official racing car, which earns it bonus points!

3) Bumblebee from the Transformers films

Bumblebee, a concept Chevrolet Camaro from “Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen.” Credit: TFW2005

This is Bumblebee from the second Transformers film. He’s a Chevrolet Camaro, but he isn’t technically a real world car – he’s a concept car. He’s a modified version of the Camaro that you see on roads. Although he’s used as a racing car, the one reason we love him so much is because he becomes a large yellow adorable war machine capable of massacring entire cities.

But he uses that power to protect us humans, of course. And the best thing about Bumblebee is that he can trans-scan any car and become that make and model, making him the most versatile of all the cars here! Then again, he’s not a real car – he’s a Transformer.

4) The Batmobile from The Dark Knight trilogy

The Batmobile from “The Dark Knight” trilogy. Credit: Hollywood.com

The re-imagining of the Batmobile in the last three Batman films was more of a tank than an actual car. Imagine parking this thing in Singapore’s tiny parking lots! I doubt this could even go through the gantry of any carpark, and you’d definitely earn the ire of motorists who see you taking up two parking lots with a Batmobile.

But of all the vehicles here, the Batmobile is most likely to survive a nuclear armageddon, or at least the next time the haze reaches PSI 400 levels. Even the designers call it a cross between a Lamborghini and a tank, although I really don’t see the Lamborghini resemblance anywhere.

5) The Lykan Hypersport (aka the skyscraper jump car) from The Fast and the Furious 7

The skyscraper jump in Fast & Furious 7. Credit: Time Out

There are just too many cars in the Fast and Furious franchise for us to pick one – so let’s pick the most expensive one in the most spectacular stunt from FF7. A real world Lykan Hypersport would set you back US$3.4 million, and given our current exchange rate, that’ll be $4.8 million Singapore dollars! Add COE, road tax and all the other charges for car ownership in Singapore, and it’ll probably be over $5 million SGD when you’re done.

And let’s say you attempt the madcap skyscraper jumping stunt at Marina Bay Sands. The damages would at least match the cost of the car. But it’ll be a more awesome experience than the Battlestar Galactica, even if your Lykan Hypersport doesn’t survive the jump.

 

Takumi (voiced by Mamoru Miyano ) from “New Initial D the Movie: Legend 2 – Racer”. Credit: Golden Village Pictures

But of all the cars on the list, you could feasibly buy the AE86 – the rest are pretty much out of your reach unless you’re a billionaire (in which case, you should be making your own car). And racing is as much about the racer’s skills as it is about the car that you drive.

Catch the trailer here:

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vPau0hinOR4]

Disclaimer: Please don’t try any of the Initial D racing stunts on our narrow Singapore roads.

Credits: Golden Village Pictures, Wikipedia, TFW2005, Hollywood.com, Time Out