The first car you see Paul Walker drive in the movie, was in fact NOT his own racing car in real-life. Instead it belonged to technical advisor Craig Lieberman and was repainted for the movie. It's true Walker had a love for street racing but did not personally handpick all of the racing cars in the movie as often described. The vehicles were first picked by Universal and then some final decisions were made by Lieberman and the other advisors. The Mitsubishi vehicles used prominently in the film were originally going to be Dodge Neon SRT4 variants before Lieberman stepped in.
When Brian wins the first race, he powerslides toward the crowd. Paul Walker actually performed this stunt himself, among many other in this film and the prequel, as he was a big fan of street racing and a good driver.
The part where the Corvette crashes into the Mustang on the freeway, was not planned, yet the stuntman walked away unscathed. Some parts of the ending were not scripted either, so the actors just improvised.
Most of the cars were heavily reinforced with roll cages for the bridge jump. However, the roll cage would have been all too obvious in the convertible S2000. So, the stunt crew rigged up a remote control version for the jump with a dummy in the driver's seat.
Before the first race, there is a deep-focus shot of three of the drivers in their cars turning one by one to look at Brian. The slightly unnatural motion of the head and eye movements of the actors reveals that this shot is running in reverse. As actually filmed, the action begins with Brian and then moves down the line of actors, finishing with Suki.
The cars Brian races against at the beginning are the same models that won the major races in The Fast and the Furious (2001) and they reach the bridge in reverse order of their appearance in the first movie. The stunt crew actually reused some of the stunt cars from the original (they were, of course, modified to resemble the cars in the sequel).
The only Fast and furious movie that doesn't feature at least a cameo by Vin Diesel as Dominic Toretto. The Reason for Vin Diesel for not appearing in the 2nd movie. (2 Fast 2 Furious) is because Vin Diesel was filming XxX (2002) during that time.
The Yellow Dodge Viper driven by one of the goons, was the first of the new shape "production" Dodge Vipers, Universal pictures got hold of the first four of these cars, to use for filming, on the understanding that none of them would be damaged, this is why we don't see it crash in the actual film.
The scene near the end of the movie where the blue car is driven onto the boat was filmed at Cape Florida State Park on Key Biscayne. A new fishing pier was built by the movie crew to provide the ramp, and a car was prepared, with the engine and all fuel and brake lines removed, and the vehicle steam cleaned, so no oil or gas would pollute Biscayne Bay. The plan was to film the shot several times, but the first one went so well, that the additional takes were cancelled.
In a 2015 article with Variety, Vin Diesel revealed that he turned down a 25 million dollar offer from Universal Studios to return for this film. Diesel reasoned, that the premise of the film did not work, stating: "Universal Studios didn't take a Francis Ford Coppola approach to it. They approached it like they did sequels in '80s and '90s, when they would drum up a new story, unrelated for the most part, and slap the same name on it."
The Mitsubishi Lancer Evo VII, driven by Paul Walker is not available in the U.S., the cars used, were actually current U.S. models, modified to look like the Evo VII. All mods were done by EP Industries in El Segundo, California.
Early drafts of the script featured a scene where Brian played a game of pick up basketball with Roman's cousins Flip and Samuel. Flip was to be played by rapper Fabolous and Samuel was was to be played by Alonzo Mourning.
Slap Jack's Toyota Supra was modified from the remaining copies of the orange Supra driven by Brian O'Conner in the first film. To make the car stand out from the rest, the production team designed a lexan panel on the center of the hood that made the engine visible while letting hot air out at the same time. To save the production staff thousands of dollars, the engine of the "hero" car (unit used mainly for photography, not for stunts) was photographed and sent to a local printing press in Miami, Florida, where the image was blown up to actual size. The engine pictures were placed directly below the lexan panels of the stunt cars.
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.
John Singleton originally wanted rapper Ja Rule to reprise his Edwin character from the original The Fast and the Furious (2001). Ja turned it down feeling, as Singleton put it, "He was too big" for the role. This led Singleton to create the Tej Parker character with Ludacris ultimately cast.
During filming, the transmissions for several of the cars had to be constantly rebuilt. These were sent out to a local shop in Miami named Alonso Transmission to be rebuilt and delivered back to the production crew who would then install them back into the vehicles themselves. Due to the production schedule, these had to be rebuilt on a very tight schedule, and the shop would sometimes have to work weekends and overnight to get them rebuilt in time. The large garage seen toward the end of the film was the actual working location the production company used to swap out transmissions once they received them back. Security was so tight at this facility that before being allowed in to deliver the transmissions, the shop representative was checked to make sure there were no recording devices and even had to surrender his cell phone. As of January 2016, Alonso Transmission still has a letter sent to them by the production company after filming had wrapped on display in their waiting area. The letterhead lists the movie title as "The Fast and the Furious 2."
Jeff Celentano was once considered to direct the film. His rejected take on the film would set have set the story in Japan. Ironically, the next film in the franchise would be set in Japan. Coincidentally, Jeff was previously considered to direct another Paul Walker film, Meet the Deedles (1998).
In typical Fast and Furious fashion, during the first race, Brian forward shifts his Nissan Skyline 8-9 times. The Nissan Skyline only has 6 forward gears. The same thing happens with the Evo 7 and Eclipse Spider since they are both 5 speeds.
The scene where Rome and Brian talk with the sunset behind them plus, a later scene when Rome slides his car to a stop in front of Jimmy, were filmed on Pigeon Key which lies between the old and the new seven mile bridges off Marathon, Florida. The old seven mile bridge and seven mile bridge park, is also where the limo and the Harrier scenes for True Lies (1994) were filmed.
The film has an almost similar plot to that of Nemesis (1992): In that film, Alex Rain (Olivier Gruner) a former undercover Los Angeles policeman turned data smuggler is kidnapped and forced to work with the LAPD again and do one last assignment and is sent undercover to infiltrate a rebel group which in return he'll retire for good with lots of money. In this film, Brian O'Connor (Paul Walker) a former undercover Los Angeles cop turned street racer is arrested and forced to work again with Agent Bilkins (Thom Barry) and go undercover to bring down drug lord Carter Verone (Cole Hauser) which in return his criminal record will be erased.
Eva Mendes's future The Place Beyond The Pines (2012) co-star and partner Ryan Gosling would star in the crime film Drive (2011) as a garage mechanic and Hollywood stuntman moonlighting as a getaway driver.
Monica Fuentes was written as a new love interest for Brian O'Connor. However, Brian and Monica don't have sex throughout the film and they briefly kiss in one scene and they don't get together at the end of the movie. Obviously Mia Toretto (Jordana Brewster) broke up with Brian after learning the truth that he was an undercover cop sent to infiltrate Dominic (Vin Diesel) and his racing crew whom were behind the electronics truck robberies. However, Jordana Brewster would return as Mia in Fast & Furious (2009) and they reconcile and get back together. Eva Mendes returned as Monica in an after credit scene in Fast Five (2011) but is uncredited.