In the movie, “Furious7” (or “Seven”, the filmmakers can’t seem to make up their minds), the latest installment in the “Fast & Furious” franchise, a car identified as a Lykan Hypersport is crashed from one skyscraper in the 70+-story Etihad Towers complex in Abu Dhabi to another (and another).
What’s a Lykan HyperSport? And is it really worth $3.4 million? Were only seven ever built? And did the filmmakers really destroy one?
Yes, yes and yes.
The car is real, and so is its price tag. Why so much? It has something to do with the 420 diamonds in the headlights! Indeed, only seven were built for public sale, and yes, one really was destroyed in the film.
But it wasn’t one of the seven.
Some background: The Lykan HyperSport is the first creation of W Motors, which bills itself as the first Arab maker of automobiles. W Motors was formed in 2012 in Lebanon, but in 2013 re-located to Dubai.
The Lykan Hypersport was unveiled in Monaco in January of that year, and has been making the rounds at various high-end auto salons, boat shows and art installations ever since. W Motors says it has plans for a second car, the SuperSport, somewhere down the road.
Despite its “all-Arab” origins, the Lykan Hypersport has some interesting genes. The design had major input from StudioTorino, an Italian firm based in Turin. Its flat six 3.7-liter twin turbo engine descends from Porsche via Ruf Automobile, a German tuner and manufacturer of its own sports cars. In fact, the specs closely relate to those in Ruf’s GTR3, which has been around since 2007 (also at least partially styled by StudioTorino). Ruf also has a manufacturing facility in the Middle East. The chassis is said to be similar to ones used in certain Porsche race cars.
Even at a suggested retail price of $3.4 million, a Lykan HyperSport is not the world’s most expensive car (as some have touted it), but it is right up there with those that are, such as the $4 million Lamborghini Veneño and some special edition Bugatti models ($3.3 million-plus). Part of the tab is driven by the diamond-encrusted headlights; rubies, sapphires and other precious gems are options that could drive the “drive-off” cost higher.
From a performance standpoint, the Lykan HyperSport is relatively modestly powered: 740 horsepower puts it in the realm of the Lambo Murcielago and Veneño, and the Aston Martin One-77. It is slightly more powerful than a Pagani Huayra or a Ferrari F12 Berlinetta. It is a little down on power to some Gumpert Apollo models and Porsche’s 918. Way down the list, compared to Koenigsegg and Bugatti models.
Its top speed is calculated at 245 m.p.h., but it is doubtful anyone outside of a computer lab has ever driven it that fast.
Here’s a look at how filmmakers used it:
Is it lightweight enough that Vin Diesel could pick up the nose and hold the front of the car in the air? Probably not, although its mid-engine design helps keep its balance more toward the rear. Curb weight, an unpublished number, could be an issue for the Lykan HyperSport. The future SuperSport promises a lighter weight – in the area of 3,300 pounds (as well as a lower price tag, and 1000+ horsepower engine). So, we know the Lykan HyperSport probably tips the scales at hundreds of pounds more.
As we mentioned above, the movie car – which really was destroyed filming the stunts depicted – was not one of the planned production run of seven vehicles. It was actually built by W Motors, strictly for movie use (and it sounds like there may have been more than one built).
“Though the cars that we had in the film weren’t the actual production model Lykan HyperSport, they’re basically a movie version that W Motors created for us or built for us,” Dennis McCarthy
, the movie franchise’s Picture Car Coordinator explained in an interview with The Verge (see it all here). “Still very pricey, but not $3.4 million like the actual car would cost.”
McCarthy, who has worked on all but two of the seven Fast & Furious movies, explained the process: “What W Motors did is they used the exact same molds they use for their actual production car, but they built the car out of fiberglass as opposed to carbon fiber. The chassis, instead of being basically a Porsche race car, is a Porsche Boxster with the wheelbase stretched on it. So yeah, we basically built a car that looks 100 percent correct, or is as close to it as we possibly can, and doesn’t wipe my budget out with just one vehicle.”
It is difficult to confirm how many Lykan HyperSports may have been sold. But the filmmakers paid for theirs. The old you-break-it, you-buy-it rule of retail, I guess!
(A footnote: A stunt man really did crash the Lykan HyperSport replica out of one glass tower into the next, but it was on a 40-foot high re-creation at a sound stage in Atlanta. For argument’s sake, however, a mathematician consulted by an Abu Dhabi newspaper calculated that the stunt could be done, “but I would not volunteer to be the one driving the car.”)
April 6, 2015