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.
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.
Rio's Police squad has never used Dodge Chargers or any of the other models shown 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 were the Volkswagen Golf (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 Fast and Furious and X-Men franchises have often released the same installments of a franchise in the same year. X2 and 2 Fast 2 Furious were both released in 2003, X-Men: The Last Stand and The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift were both released in 2006, X-Men Origins: Wolverine and Fast and Furious were both released in 2009, X-Men: First Class and Fast Five were both released in 2011 and The Wolverine and Fast and Furious 6 were released in 2013. Furious 7 was set to be released in 2014, the same year as X-Men: Days of Future Past, however it then was pushed to 2015 after Paul Walker's death.
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).
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.
At the conclusion of the train robbery, Paul Walker and Vin Diesel drive a Corvette Stingray off a cliff beside a bridge and jump off it before it lands in the river below. This is similar to the opening stunt Vin Diesel performs in the opening of xXx where he jumps a stolen Corvette off a bridge into the canyon/river below jumping off, this time with a parachute, before it crashes in the river.
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.
Prior to this film's release in April, 2011, the fake news outlet "The Onion" held an interview with the movie's fake screenwriter, a five year old boy. The interview lampooned nearly all elements of the film, from its simplistic plot, to the over-reliance on special effects, and the quality of the acting. When asked how many more sequels are in the works for the franchise, the young screenwriter replied "six hundred."
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".