Based on the classic 1967 anime cartoon series created by Tatsuo Yoshida, Speed Racer has been turned into a live action movie by the Wachowski brothers, creators of the "Matrix" trilogy.
The movie promises plenty of CGI and special effects and we'll have a full report when we get to see it next week. However, we thought you might like to see these photos of the Mach 5 - the vehicle from the movie. It was displayed in the Yokohama Tires booth at this year's Tokyo Auto Salon (eurotuner magazine, May 2008 issue).
Yokohama is an official sponsor of the movie and the Mach 5 wears Yokohama Advan tires. The promotional car has been touring the globe, promoting the movie and the tires, which of course handle the power of the car easily!Unfortunately, this promotional car actually sat on small cart wheels, like a shopping cart, so it could be pushed around easily - you might just be able to see one in the front photo. This example certainly doesn't boast the 5000hp supercharged engine of the anime series. Nor does it have the four-wheel drive system that evenly distributes the power to each wheel for traction over any terrain. Then again, it doesn't have jacks that allow it to leap or brake more effectively. Nor does it have rotary saws in the front, a bullet-, crash- and water-proof canopy, nightvision, an underwater periscope nor the homing robot of the anime version.
A more realistic version of the Mach 5 can be found in the Petersen Automotive Museum in Los Angeles. This version has some of the car's special gadgets and some Corvette-based replicas were reputedly built.
Speed Racer opens on May 9, 2008 and we'll try to let you know what we thought ahead of the nationwide release.