Fast and Humorous

Over the top. Jumping the shark. There really are no other ways of describing the Fast and Furious movies at this point. If you have seen the latest installment, F9, you know that cars in space (spoiler alert?) is literally possible, so nothing is out of the realm of attempting with this franchise.

As my wife so humorously put it, F9 is really only about one thing. John Cena just wanted a hug. Literally. (Another spoiler?) She had gone into the theater with me having only seen the first three movies. After asking many other friends about the franchise, I have found out that many people have only seen the first three films.

The interesting thing about that is when the third film, Tokyo Drift, came out, I remember it was not well received. It had nothing to do with the other films, it had no reoccurring characters, and was generally the odd ball out. It wasn’t until after the maybe the 5th movie that people started really enjoying the 3rd movie and defending it as part of cannon to the franchise. I think most of that has to do with Han. Anyway, I find it humorous that Tokyo Drift became the jumping off point for so many people, that it became a well liked film (it is one of the best), and six more films came after. If you have only seen the first three films, there is nothing wrong with that. You just might be really scratching your head and asking yourself “what am I watching” if you watch the ninth movie.

F9 does own up to the fact that they know what they are doing is unrealistic. I like that. Without breaking the third wall, the characters describe the fact that they have done things no human should be able to do, survived things no human should survive, with vehicles that shouldn’t be able to what they do, in places that shouldn’t be possible for any of that all to happen. The way I have come to describe them is that if a grown up were to still play with toys, this is what they would do.

They also make sure the main focus is family. I don’t know how well that works for everyone, but it always seems to work for the characters of these movies. Cliche or not, it is what it is.

Either way, I really enjoy these movies. All 9 of them. Even if they are incredibly over the top, cliche, and unrealistic.

Could it be More Super?

About a decade ago, Toyota had roughly 3 of the exact same vehicle on the road. The Toyota 86, Scion FRS, and the Subaru BRZ. Granted the Subaru was not Toyota, it was a Subaru, but it was only that by badge. All three cars were basically the same. Now, for the new Toyota Supra, Toyota has teamed up with BMW. The BMW Z4 and Toyota Supra are roughly the same car. There are minor interior and exterior differences, as well as a few mechanical differences, but they have more similarities than differences. It is very similar to the products they had on the road ten years ago, and actually, still up until today with the Subaru BRZ and Toyota 86. The fact that the 86 is still around is surprising in itself, and that can be a whole other blog subject.

To me, it would have made more sense to get rid of the 86 replace it with the Supra and instead of partner with BMW, do everything in house, based off the Lexus RC. If Nissan went slightly larger with their comeback king, the GT-R, then Toyota can and should too. I have made a graphic of all the size and price differences of all the cars referenced, along with the Lexus LFA, the one time supercar from the brand. A larger, more powerful, dare I say better looking Supra should have been the goal from the start.

I don’t have the IS500 on here, and the FRS is very hard to find anymore. It has the same dimensions as the 86 and BRZ. Click on the chart to see it in full size.

When it comes to power, I know the plan to put a V8 in the new 2022 Lexus IS500 had to have been around when the Supra was conceived. Maybe? Either way, when the Nissan GT-R went from a straight six to a V6, people didn’t complain THAT much. If Toyota planned to put a 5.0 V8 in a Supra, these things would be selling faster than they could be made. None of the new Supra makes any sense to me. There was so much potential and while the car is incredibly popular, it really didn’t meet what I thought could have happened. Granted, I did like it at launch, and I still am a fan. It just doesn’t seem like a Supra in the sense that it doesn’t compete with anything that the original did, or perceived to do. Perception is very important. Potential is also important. The Supra should have been a GT-R competitor, built in house, based off the RC, with a V8 engine. Toyota should have done all that on a budget and gave every 5.0 Ford Mustang owner a run for their money.

The RC looks so good in my opinion. It is the perfect start for a Supra. Plus, it can be all wheel drive. This one was.

Crossing the Country Really Fast

for-the-blog-across-the-cou

The subject of Cannonball has been incredibly popular in the last few weeks. Prior to that, it had been somewhat of a novel automotive hobby that was starting to gain popularity again thanks to Ed Bolian and VINwiki and the “fraternity of lunatics.”

Recently, the solo cannonball record fell, which, surprisingly enough, beat Ed’s record run that had lasted up until November 2019. Then during the pandemic, many attempts were made and the record just kept getting lower and lower. A point could be made that the pandemic made it easier to cross the country from the Red Ball parking garage in New York City to the Portofino Hotel in Redondo Beach, California. Maybe there should be a separate record category for the pandemic runs? I was curious to know what Ed would think, since he seems to be the face of all of this. He described in a video that the situation is different than it was before the pandemic and there is some controversy among those in the activity, but this isn’t exactly an activity with defined rules.

With that said, back to the solo cannonball run. It was done in a rented Ford Mustang that was modified to hold 3 fuel tanks in the cabin of the car. The driver only had to stop for 8 minutes to get fuel. And this is what I started to ponder, could those 8 minutes be eliminated with on the move refueling?

BMW created a system to refuel a car while moving when they attempted the longest drift record. It looks similar to the way aircraft refuel in flight. If this system was applied to cannonball, where you could get a lighter, faster, (electronic speed limiter turned off), and covert car that gobbles up ground quickly, it would be a very serious record breaking run.