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Before we learn ‘The Fate of the Furious,’ let’s look back on the series’ coolest rides

Love it or hate it, The Fast and the Furious series is the biggest automotive pop culture phenomenon of the past 15 years. Since the first installment premiered in 2001, hundreds of cars have been driven, drifted, and destroyed over the course of seven films. With the eighth movie — The Fate of the Furious — premiering April 14, we decided to look back at some of the most memorable cars from the franchise so far. Buckle up.

Toyota Supra (The Fast and the Furious)

Toyota Supra from 'The Fast and the Furious'

In 2001, The Fast and the Furious took tuned Japanese performance cars mainstream in a big way. This Toyota Supra’s Creamsicle-orange paint and loud graphics may look dated today, but there was nothing cooler at the turn of the Millennium.

Customization choices aside, the Mark IV Supra is one of the all-time greats in the tuner world, a bona fide sports car from an era — the 1990s — when Japan’s automakers seemed to rule the industry. In the movie, Paul Walker’s Brian O’Connor outruns a Ferrari F355 in this particular Supra, a scene that never gets old. Smoke ’em!

Nissan Skyline GT-R R34 (Fast and Furious)

Nissan Skyline GT-R R34 from 'Fast and Furious'

An R34-generation Skyline GT-R had a prominent role in 2 Fast 2 Furious, but we like the cleaner look of the one that appeared in the fourth installment of the franchise, Fast and Furious. Even in plain blue, the R34 looks damn good.

Before the current R35 generation, the GT-R was based on the Japanese-market Nissan Skyline, and wasn’t sold in the U.S. That made it a legend among legions of fans who grew up driving it in Gran Turismo.

Dodge Charger (The Fast and the Furious)

Dodge Charger

Vin Diesel’s Dominic Toretto drives some form of Dodge Charger in almost every movie in the series, a precedent started by this fearsome machine. In sinister black with a massive blower sticking out of the hood, and the ability to — on screen at least — do epic wheelies, it’s hard to argue with the Charger for sheer screen presence.

The second-generation Dodge Charger is one of the most iconic American muscle cars. It’s also had plenty of prominent roles in movies and television, from The Dukes of Hazzard to Bullitt. You just can’t keep a good car down.

Yenko Camaro (2 Fast 2 Furious)

Yenko Camaro

Sometimes, there’s no substitute for American muscle. While the glitzed-up cars that populate most of 2 Fast 2 Furious showed the import tuner scene at its cheesiest, the film also features one of the highlights from the golden age of muscle cars.

Back in the day, enterprising Chevrolet dealer Don Yenko built a Camaro that Chevy itself wouldn’t, stuffing a more powerful engine under the self-proclaimed “supercar’s” hood. In addition to being undeniably cool, the Yenko Camaro also starred in one of 2 Fast 2 Furious’ most memorable action scenes — one that involved an improbable jump onto a moving yacht.

Mazda RX-7 (The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift)

Mazda RX-7

The Fast and the Furious franchise has featured a number of wildly modified cars, but this FD-generation RX-7 might be the wildest of them all. Equipped with a Veilside body kit, it’s barely recognizable as one of Mazda’s rotary sports cars. Like its driver — Sung Kang’s Han — the RX-7 met an unfortunate end.

The FD was the third and final generation of the RX-7, elevating the rotary-engine sports car to new levels of performance and prestige. Mazda revisited the rotary engine in the early 2000s with the RX-8, but that model never made the same impact as its predecessor. Fans have been clamoring for a new rotary-powered Mazda since RX-8 production ended in 2012, and Mazda even teased one with 2015’s RX-Vision concept.

Ford Mustang (The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift)

Ford Mustang

Ok, opinions differ on whether this Ford Mustang is really one of the “best” Fast and Furious cars, but it’s certainly one of the most memorable. That’s because in place of the traditional American V8, it’s got the RB26DETT inline-six from a Nissan Skyline GT-R under the hood.

In the movie, this unorthodox swap is undertaken out of necessity — the main characters needed to build a drift car, and the only car they had on hand was the engineless Mustang. The ironic thing is that, in the real-life world of drifting, many competitors do exactly the opposite. American V8s are often swapped into Japanese chassis for maximum sideways aptitude.

Chevrolet Corvette Grand Sport (Fast 5)

Chevrolet Corvette Grand Sport

This roofless ‘Vette was only on screen for a few minutes in Fast 5, but what an intense few minutes they were. It gets launched off a train in a hail of gunfire, makes an epic jump, and then gets driven off a cliff. Talk about action-packed.

Not to be confused with the modern incarnation based on the C7-generation Corvette, the 1963 Grand Sport was a lightened version built for racing. A pet project of the Corvette’s chief engineer, Zora Arkus-Duntov, only five original cars were built. The ones used in the movie were replicas from Mongoose Motorsports.

Jensen Interceptor (Fast & Furious 6)

Jensen Interceptor

As the franchise grinds on, the car choices seem to get more interesting. Having apparently exhausted all of the obvious choices, the recent movies feature some more esoteric picks, like this Jensen Interceptor. Jeremy Clarkson would be proud.

In addition to having one of the coolest names of any production car ever, the Interceptor was the result of an unusual combination of elements. Built by small-batch British firm Jensen, it featured Chrysler V8 power and styling from Italy’s Touring design house. Jensen even produced an FF version with all-wheel drive — one of the first road cars with that feature.

Dodge Challenger (Furious 7)

Dodge Challenger

This car was dropped out the back of a plane in one of the Fast and the Furious franchise’s least-probable (but most exciting) stunts. In the time it took to load all the cars onto a plane, fly to the drop site, and parachute back to the ground, they probably could have just driven there.

At any rate, this late-model Challenger looked pretty cool on screen with Michelle Rodriguez’s Letty Ortiz at the wheel. The combination of the retro graphics, “shaker” hood, and Mad Max-style front armor is an interesting one. This won’t be the last time a Challenger appears in the series either; Dodge is going all out for The Fate of the Furious by providing a fleet of vehicles for the crew to destroy.

W Motors Lykan Hypersport (Furious 7)

W Motors Lykan Hypersport

For the seventh installment in the franchise, Dom and crew rolled into Abu Dhabi. What better car to feature than the United Arab Emirates’ own W Motors Lykan Hypersport? Billed as the Middle East’s first supercar, it has a brief moment of glory jumping between a trio of skyscrapers.

Haven’t heard of the Hypersport? It sells for $3.4 million, making it one of the most expensive cars in the world. Power comes from a 3.7-liter turbocharged flat-six developed by famed Porsche tuner Ruf. That engine churns out 770 horsepower, which W Motors says is enough to pitch the Hypersport from 0 to 60 mph in 2.8 seconds, and on to a top speed of 245 mph.