Emile Hirsch drives a Mach 5 in the CGI movie version of “Speed Racer’
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Cars, bikes and the movies of summer

A summer of wheels on film...

Although it’s one of the most anticipated action films of the summer, the Wachowski Brothers’ live-action “Speed Racer” is missing one valuable component -- a car that actually functions. But that’s not stopping the fans. In fact, car and motorcycle enthusiasts will be in hog heaven this summer as everything from Maxwell Smart’s classic Sunbeam to Bruce Wayne’s new Batpod grace the silver screen. We’ve collected a hit list of cool cars and bikes -- both real and imagined -- featured on the big screen this summer.

-- Whitney Friedlander and Joni Gray, Los Angeles Times Staff Writers
April 24, 2008 (Warner Brothers Pictures)
Movie: “88 Minutes”

Car: Porsche 911 Carrera Cabriolet

What we know: Not quite a summer movie (it opened last week), but only worth mentioning based on the cool Porsche 911 Carerra Cabriolet that Pacino drives around the streets of Seattle while creating multiple continuity issues. First is the Porsche’s leaving an underground parking garage with 15-spoke rims, but arriving at the destination with only five spokes. Another scene has the Porsche vandalized and a window shattered, only to show it in perfect condition as Pacino drives off. Continuity can be found, however, in all of the less-than-great reviews the film is garnering. Cool Porsche, though.

At a theater near you: Opened April 18

Click here to watch the trailer.

More “88 Minutes” news in Hollywood A-Z.

More Porsche news in Autos A-Z(Sony/Porsche)
Movie: “Iron Man”

Car: Audi R8

What we know: Hitting the ground running with Super Bowl placement this winter, Audi made it known that Robert Downey Jr. as wealthy businessman Tony Stark flies down the freeways in this sleek, modern ride. You know, when he’s not zipping around, saving the world in another piece of shiny armor.

At a theater near you: May 2

Click here to watch the trailer.

More “Iron Man” news in Hollywood A-Z.

More Audi news in Autos A-Z(Paramount Pictures)
Movie: “Speed Racer”

Car: Mach 5

What we know: The Wachowskis’ (“V for Vendetta,” “The Matrix” trilogy) highly anticipated live-action take on the animated TV favorite has had nostalgic gearheads drooling over photos of the specially made Mach 5 racer for months. The film was shot mostly with CGI and green screen. Enthusiam for this fantasy car is so widespread thatRoad and Track magazine went to ridiculous lengths as an April Fools’ joke to review it, adding the appropriate specs that a 300-mile-per-hour supercar would require. This imaginary car from Racer Motors in Japan has a V-12 engine with 1,700 horsepower and goes 0-60 in 0.6 seconds. Go Speed Racer Go!

At a theater near you: May 9

Click here to watch the trailer.

More “Speed Racer” news in Hollywood A-Z.

More auto news in Autos A-Z(Warner Brothers Pictures)
Movie: “Sex and the City -- The Movie”

Car: Mercedes-Benz GLK

What we know: How ahead of the times is Samantha Jones (Kim Cattrall, pictured)? She’s driving the hot new GLK Vision compact SUV, which premiered at the Detroit Auto Show last January but won’t be on sale to us mere mortals until 2009. And where else would Samantha drive the diesel-powered luxury vehicle? When she heads out west and enjoys a shopping trip in Beverly Hills, natch.

At a theater near you: May 30

Click here to watch the trailer.

More “Sex and the City” news in Hollywood A-Z.

More Mercedes-Benz news in Autos A-Z(Mercedes-Benz)
Movie: “The Incredible Hulk “

Car: Toyota Prius, maybe

What we know: We may be beating them to the punch(line) here, but we do know that two or three of these hybrid sedans were delivered to the eco-friendly set for transportation use during production. So wouldn’t it make sense that environmental activist star Edward Norton’s big green monster would drive an environmentally sound car? Universal and Toyota are both mum on the situation. We’re hesitant to anger them and report it as fact because, well, you know...

At a theater near you: June 13

Click here to watch the trailer.

More “Incredible Hulk” news in Hollywood A-Z.

More Toyota news in Autos A-Z(Universal Pictures/ Toyota)
Movie: “Get Smart”

Car: Sunbeam Alpine

What we know: Would you believe that Steve Carell’s Maxwell Smart would drive a Sunbeam Alpine? You might, as the classic red Alpine was tweaked a bit to resemble the Sunbeam Tiger that Don Adams famously drove into mischief and mayhem in the 1960s TV series.

At a theater near you: June 20

Click here to watch the trailer.

More “Get Smart” news in Hollywood A-Z.

More autos news in Autos A-Z(Photo by Tracy Bennett/UNIVERSAL STUDIOS)
Movie: “Hancock”

Cars: Lots of ‘em, particularly this BMW 2002

What we know: It wouldn’t be a superhero movie -- even one about a reluctant hero -- if lots of cars weren’t pummeled and crushed. If the trailer is any indicator, we’re guessing costar Jason Bateman‘s blue Beamer is one of many to get in the way of Will Smith, as the title character, trying to save the world.

At a theater near you: July 2

Click here to watch the trailer.

More “Hancock” news in Hollywood A-Z.

More BMW news in Autos A-Z(Sony Pictures)
Movie: “Step Brothers”

Car: Mercedes-Benz R-Class

What we know: It’s a comedic romp that features Will Ferrell and John C. Reilly, two full-grown men still living with parents, who, as new stepbrothers, form first a rivalry, then an all-too-close friendship. In the midst of these shenanigans, a Mercedes-Benz R-Class seems to be recklessly driven across their parents’ front lawn. I guess we’ll all have to wait to see the movie to find out why, but if the trailer is any indication, we’ll be watching and cringing once again.

At a theater near you: July 25

Click here to watch the trailer.

More “Step Brothers” news in Hollywood A-Z.

More Mercedes-Benz news in Autos A-Z(Sony/Mercedes-Benz)
Movie: “Wanted”

Car: Dodge Viper

What we know: Red hot and lightning fast, the Dodge Viper is anything but background art as star Angelina Jolie lounges on it, shoots from it and (seemingly) performs crazy eights in parking lots with it in the June popcorn movie “Wanted,” which is based on Mark Millar’s graphic-novel series.

At a theater near you: June 27

Click here to watch the trailer.

More “Wanted” news in Hollywood A-Z.

More Dodge news in Autos A-Z(Universal Pictures/ Chrysler)
Movie: “The Dark Knight”

Motorcycle: Batpod

What we know: If the trailer for “The Dark Knight” is any indication, Bruce Wayne’s Lamborghini will have to take a back seat to Batman’s new motorcycle, called the Batpod. Designed by Nathan Crowley, who updated the caped crusader’s four-wheel ride for “Batman Begins” in 2005, this two-wheeler was built by Chris Corbould and driven by French stunt rider Jean-Pierre Goy, who also rode for the 1997 James Bond film “Tomorrow Never Dies.”

At a theater near you: July 18

Click here to watch the trailer.

More “Dark Knight” news in Hollywood A-Z.

For more on the Batpod, click here(Warner Brothers Pictures)
Movie: “Hell Ride”

Motorcycles: S&S Cycle copies of Harley Panhead and Harley Shovelhead; restored 1947 and 1939 Indian Chiefs; new Xile custom V-Twin

What we know: With Quentin Tarantino as the executive producer, be ready for a rough ride. Even Harley Davidison didn’t want their brand associated with the material (thus the S&S look-alike bikes). The mad-as-hell and hard-as-nails biker group, the Victors, played by Michael Madsen, (pictured here on an S&S Cycles copy of a Harley Shovelhead) Eric Balfour and writer/director Larry Bishop, seek retribution in the form of pain and suffering for rival gang leaders Deuce and Billy Wings for the death of one of their friends. Since the film draws from the gritty biker flicks of the ‘60s and ‘70s, the production turned to designer Justin Kell, who owns the clothing and vintage motorcycle shop Glory in Silver Lake, to authenticate the fleet.

At a theater near you: August 8 (limited)

Trailer: Not available

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More autos and motorcycle news can be found here(Will McGarry/ The Weinstein Company)