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Doesn't it always look so convincing? Star lead actor is frantically sawing at the wheel, and when it cuts back to the wide, damn if that wasn't a perfectly clipped apex, with a tinge of four wheel drift counteracted by just the right amount of opposite lock. Even Steve McQueen couldn't pull it off for Bullitt. The real story behind all those inspiring scenes of cars whipping hither and yon is that they're piloted by stunt drivers who have one of the best car guy jobs ever.

There's a nice little sequel to a sequel quietly making its way to theaters, perhaps you've heard of the Bourne Ultimatum? Besides offering a cinematic venue for Matt Damon to further cement his status as a cross between James Bond and John McClane, its serving as a nice little advertisement for Volkswagen's second generation Touareg. Several of the vehicles were given the General Lee treatment (i.e. a couple were kept nice, a whole bunch were thrashed and trashed) during the 140 days of production. Even the stunt drivers were impressed at how the Touaregs just hunkered down and took whatever abuse they were thrown. To get all those bitchin' shots requires maneuvers that'd make you screw up your face in horror. We're talking about things you wouldn't even do to a rented car.

[Source: Telegraph.co.uk]

Being a big-budget feature film, they couldn't resist the urge to make things exceptionally difficult for themselves. Several scenes call for Matt Damon to do this thing called acting - pretending to dodge bullets, leaning out the window to shoot at the bad guys, all while pulling off wheel maneuvers that would make Tazio Nuvolari hang it up. Acting and driving just don't mix - so stunt drivers were used. So far so good, so let's throw in a 360 degree coverage of the interior, so there's no place to hide who's actually piloting the car. That just wouldn't do, so the filmmakers got creative and had a large tubular safety cage bolted to the roof so that a not-insubstantial driver could point the Touareg where it needed to go via extended controls. An extra 500 pounds on the roof must have done wonders for vehicle dynamics, and being all the way at the end of that pendulum would have made us puke in our helmets, but that type of silliness and suspension of your sense of self-preservation are de rigeur in the movie business.

All that effort apparently paid off, as the trick driving looks great in the release, and nobody was flung from the roof of a Touareg like a frozen chicken leaving the bucket of a ballista. All in a day's work, everyone would likely say. Oh, and McQueen? He was replaced by stunt driver extrodinaire Bud Elkins for a variety of reasons, even with his race driving chops.

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 7 Years Ago
      I want to rent an F150 one time from enterprise and just beat it to death.off road. movin. tailgate. bring it back after a hard day of muddin w/ caked on dirt. just the look on the rental agent's face alone would make the cost $ well spent.
      • 7 Years Ago
      What the crap are you trying to say? Did you drop out of school in sixth grade or something?
      • 7 Years Ago
      I visted the southwest with one of my friends. He had a toyota corolla(!) with unlimited miles.
      so we got to Sedona. and spotted the Pink Jeep tours. They go out onto Sedona's famous rocks. So we checked into the cost and my friend decided that the Corolla was tough and could take it.
      so off we went to the rocks, and the Pink Jeeps passed us. but at the end of the day, the Pink Jeeps had gone a bit further. We had a great time for zilch and the Corolla? made it through! The only thing was that when we got back to Calif, we had to go thru the self-serve car wash to get all the red dirt off the paint. It reached almost to the windows!!
      So...rental cars? Yeah! Fun!
      • 7 Years Ago
      um... i feel like you're wrong. the touareg is a tough car actually. the reason that rental fleets don't use them is because they're too expensive and nice. also because, how often do you see the rental fleets using non-American made cars? not often.
        • 7 Years Ago
        You must not have been enterprise lately. Very few GM cars; mostly Hyundai's and Nissans. I actually got a brand spanking new Altima last week for vacation.
      • 7 Years Ago
      How is putting on a updated front/rear fascia considered a "second generation Touareg"?
        Greg A.
        • 7 Years Ago
        Indeed. If I recall correctly, Autoblog's own post on the so-called Touareg 2 cast aspersions on the appending of the "2" to the model name. It should be called the Touareg 1.1 or maybe even the Touareg 1.0.1.