First off, I know movie cars are supposed to be fake. That's the whole point. But so much of this car was sold to me as less fake, that when I saw all the fake, I wanted to tell all of you about the fake. Fakey fake fake.
When I posted about this car earlier, I mentioned it had a surprising 900 HP. I remember thinking as I read the press release that that seemed weird, since in a movie you can have a 50 HP car look like it has 500 HP. I've seen the Herbie movies, I know the drill.
The reason I thought Ford and the studio went sort of nuts and made a 900 HP car was because, well, that's what they told me:
A hero car needs a hero engine, so this Mustang has been fit with a 900-horsepower all-aluminum supercharged 5.8-liter V8 modified by Ford Racing.
That's right from a press release I got from Ford. Okay, so it's not true. They told me at the event that it wasn't true. Big deal, it's a movie car. And yes, when I asked questions about the modifications and if things like those ducts and intakes were functional, Ford's PR guys told me right to my face, absolutely, and then I go over and check and it's solid plastic back there.
Ford also suggested the not-functional intakes were functional in another PR:
The Ford-designed and created made-for-movie Mustang will be featured prominently throughout the film and become part of the mythology of the movie. The “Need for Speed” Mustang features a custom-designed wide body, unique 22-inch alloy wheels, and larger air intakes to feed the supercharged V8 engine under its classic Mustang twin-nostril hood.
So, that's why I'm pointing this out. If it's fake, fine, I can take it, I'm a big boy, doing my own taxes and all that. When I asked them about this, they said they were real "for the character" of the car in the movie. Which, sure, I get, but I think that could have been made clear in the PR. It's not like I'm trying to interview KITT off set here and find out what kind of tree he would want to be, I just wanted to know if the damn car really has 900 HP.
To their credit, it was Ford's press folks who told me the car didn't really have 900 HP, and that number was what the car had in the world of the movie. They did say it had the 5.8 L motor with a supercharger, but they declined to let us look under the hood because, I was told, there was something in there that would give away part of the plot to the movie.
Maybe it was a fake severed Michael Keaton head? A magic alien hyper-hamster running in a boost wheel setup? Or maybe it was just a stock Mustang engine, which would be all you'd actually need in such a movie car, really.
Oh, and those odd "glowing" stripes mentioned here?
To top it all off, the car gets a custom paint job with specially formulated silver topped by blue stripes that glow when struck by light in the dark.
Turns out they're just stripes. That glow like any object ever glows when "struck by light in the dark." Nothing to see there.
Again, just to reiterate, I get it's a movie car, and as such, can be as fake as it wants. But I think when it comes to the press releases, the distinction between fiction and the tedium we all call "real life" needs to be clear. An actual 900 HP Mustang made for a movie is newsworthy. A normal Mustang pretending to have 900 HP in a movie is less so.
That said, it's a handsome custom Mustang, agressive and purposeful-looking, if a bit underwhelming. I mean, they called us out to check it out like it was something really, really radical, and it's just a well-modded Mustang. With fake cameras on the doors.
Actually, the only fake bit I actually found really eye-rolling was the start-stop button, because it's so half-assed. It's placed over the little pop up panel for the 12V outlet in the regular car, and they didn't even bother to get rid of the little ridge on the panel that lets you know where to push it to get to the power outlet, and as a result the glued-on button looks, well, glued on. Come on, guys. You rapid-proto'd some nice fake side mirror cameras, would it have killed you to make a new little flap for the button to sit flush on?
Oh, and that duct on the C-pillar that replaces the rear side windows — exactly what would that be channeling air to? The trunk? Tail lights? Is this a hint at the incredible new air-cooled tail lights we can expect on the 2015 Mustang?
They said the car is understated because they wanted it to seem plausible for the story. In that sense I think they succeeded.
But in the sense of telling the truth in Press Releases, I think they could use a bit of work. We asked Ford for a comment on why the press release and the car itself don't sync up, and are awaiting a response.