After poor test screenings, Universal Pictures asked Vin Diesel to make a cameo appearance to boost its box-office potential. Diesel agreed to appear if Universal would relinquish the rights to the "Riddick" franchise to him. Diesel was then able to make _Riddick (2013) independently.
The drifting in the movie was not CGI; it was performed by professional drivers. As reported in a recent Sport Compact Car, Rhys Millen, his father Rod, and a handful of other famous rally and drift racers consistently performed amazing drift sequences for the movie.
Han's VeilSide RX-7 driven by Han was a special show car crowned "Best of Show 2005" at Tokyo Auto Salon. It was reportedly worth $150,000; the custom leather interior alone cost $20,000. Universal bought the car for $50,000, then repainted the inside and outside.
One featured car is the Toyota Chaser, a Camry-sized sedan powered by a 2.5 liter in-line six twin turbo. The same engine powers the Toyota Soarer (the Japanese version of the Lexus SC300/400), the Toyota Aristo (the Japanese version of the Lexus GS300/400), and the 1987-92 Toyota Supra.
as Dominic Toretto, driving "Hammer," a 1970 Plymouth Road Runner built by Steve Strope of Pure Vision Design in Simi Valley, California. Construction of the car was followed on the TLC series "Rides", and the car was featured in Hot Rod Magazine. The cameo was a last minute re-shoot after primary filming was completed, and cast at the suggestion of Hot Rod Magazine's editor.
The trivia item below may give away important plot points.
The events in the film take place AFTER the events of Fast & Furious (2009), Fast Five (2011) and Fast & Furious 6 (2013). Vin Diesel shows up in a cameo in the final scene, saying he "rolled with" Han. The opening scene of Fast & Furious (2009) shows the two working side by side, until Han has to go his own way and go to Tokyo.