Because of the negative reaction from car enthusiasts regarding the use of CGI backgrounds and locations, director Justin Lin insisted "Fast Five" has a limited use of it to focus more on practical effects.
Rio's Police squad has never used Dodge Chargers or any of the other models showed in the movie. In fact, by the time the movie was shot, the cars that the Rio de Janeiro Police really used in law enforcement was Volkswagen Gol (known in Mexico as Volkswagen Pointer), Chevrolet S10, Chevrolet Blazer, Chevrolet Astra Sedan (known as Saturn Astra in U.S.), Renault Logan (known in Europe as Dacia Logan), Renault Mégane and Renault Sandero (known in Europe as Dacia Sandero).
The place where Roman Pearce is seen for the first time in the movie was supposed to be Rio de Janeiro International Airport but the place where the scene was shot is, in fact, the sidewalk of the Museu de Arte Moderna (Museum of Modern Art).
When Tej, Roman and Han are sitting around a coffee table each discussing his plans for his share the money, there is a bottle of Conjure Cognac on the table. Conjure is co owned by Ludacris who plays Tej Parker in the film.
Hobbs and his team are looking at a traffic cam picture of Dom's car. They can't make out the faces of the occupants because their faces are covered. Hobbs says to use FRS (Facial Recognition Software). The occupants' photos pop up and show that they are "Dominic Toretto" and "Han Seoul-Oh" (Han Solo). Maybe Han's other vehicle is the Millennium Falcon. Hobbs also says that they can change their names but not their faces, so maybe this is an alias.
In the August '11 issue of Mopar Action, it's revealed,that several of the '70's Chargers in fact were equipped with small block Chevy engines. The "hero car" for close ups, did have a Hemi. Albeit, a Gen 1 392 and not the venerable, widely known and assumed 426 Gen 2 Hemi.
The trivia items below may give away important plot points.
During an on-set interview for Fast & Furious 6 (2013), Michelle Rodriguez revealed that she didn't know about the "twist ending" to Fast Five (with Letty's "security cam" photo landing on Hobbs' desk) until she actually saw it herself in theaters.
Upon their arrival in Rio, Brian and Mia drive a KPGC10 Nissan Skyline GT-R, the first to wear the GT-R badge. At the end of the movie, Brian is shown in a R35 Nissan GT-R, the latest Nissan car to wear the GT-R Badge.
When Hobbs opens the safe on the bridge, on the inside of the safe's door is a manufacturers badge which identifies the manufacturer as "Zuverlässige Tresor GmbH", which is German for "Reliable Safe Inc".