The Fast and Furious movies have been part of one of the most successful movie franchises in history. While many automotive enthusiasts find the movies cringe-worthy, we can all agree that they were the first to put JDM vehicles on the map. As a result, the aftermarket automotive scene lived its golden age during the first few movies from this franchise. As the franchise continued producing these films, the budgets kept increasing, the stunts became crazier, and the cars got more expensive.

With hundreds of extremely expensive supercars throughout nine movies, none are more expensive than the W Motors Lykan HyperSport car. With a $3.4-million price tag, we all loved seeing it jump through Dubai’s skyscrapers in Furious 7. In reality, regardless of how large the franchise’s budget may be, no stunt director in the right state of mind would let a $3.4-million hypercar get destroyed over and over. Instead, the stunt team got 10 identical replicas to play with for this scene. Genius Garage got their hands on one of those shells and restored it back to the hypercar’s original glory. We talked to Casey Putsch, Genius Garage Founder and Program Director, to get the scoop on the restoration process by Engineering Students for this iconic movie memorabilia.

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Genius Garage: Offering Hands-On Auto Experience

Genius Garage Lykan Hypersport Restoration in the Garage
Photo by Genius Garage

Genius Garage is a program that helps young students grow and prepare for the real world. They aim to bridge the gap between academia and the automotive industry by giving students hands-on experience, as well as allow them to work on projects that will serve as huge accomplishments on their resumes. As a non-profit, Genius Garage is always collaborating with manufacturers, racing teams, business and educational institutions, museums, and private parties. With these collaborations, students get to work with some of the leaders in the industry, which set them up for a successful start in their careers. In addition to their service, Genius Garage is always making videos to showcase their projects. For this project, Genius Garage got their hands on the Fast and Furious Lykan HyperSport stunt car shell, making it one of the most exciting projects for the students.

“We purchased the shell from Ed Bolian of VINwiki, who acquired it from Sam Hard in England,” said Casey Putsch, Genius Garage Founder and Program Director. “The shell came from the W Motors Lykan HyperSports glass fiber mold instead of the original carbon fiber. The shell served as one of the stunt cars for Fast and Furious, as well as a stunt car for Fast and Furious Live in England.” After the live auction show went out of business, the government took the assets and the stunt car ended up in a junkyard.

The Real Lykan HyperSport

Genius Garage Lykan Hypersport Car Restoration Finished
Photo by Genius Garage

The real Lykan Hypersport car serves as the first supercar out of the Middle East, specifically Lebanon. In addition to its supercar looks and extreme performance capabilities, the Lykan HyperSport combines a carbon fiber body with materials such as gold, platinum, silver, and diamonds throughout the interior. It’s powered by a variation of Porsche’s six-cylinder boxer engine designed by German trim specialist Porsche RUF.

The twin-turbocharged flat-six engine produces 750 horsepower and 738 lb-ft of torque. It sprints the Lykan HyperSport to 60 mph from zero in just 2.8-seconds, with a top speed of 245 mph. The Lykan weighs a little over 3,000 pounds, lighter than a Lamborghini Aventador, Huracan, McLaren 570 GT, and Porsche GT3 RS. Together, the fancy materials, unique body, and twin-turbocharged Porsche engine bring the price tag of this rare supercar to $3.4 million. This puts the Lykan HyperSport in the same category as the Limited-Edition Bugatti Veyron, and more expensive than the Aston Martin Valkyrie and Ferrari Pininfarina Sergio. With the rarity of the Lykan and the extreme price tag, it’s clear the Fast and Furious franchise needed to make a few stunt cars that they could throw off of buildings until they got their shot. This was the birth of the Genius Garage shell.

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Genius Garage's Lykan HyperSport Stunt Car

Genius Garage Lykan Hypersport Restoration Paint and Bodywork
Photo by Genius Garage

Unlike the real Lykan, the Genius Garage Lykan sports Porsche’s 3.4-liter flat-six naturally-aspirated engine. This engine delivers a fraction of the horsepower, but the manual-transmission makes driving it on track that much more fun. They restored this vehicle with track-capability and a real purpose in mind. “This was an ideal way for Genius Garage students to come together as a team and build their real-world engineering skills,” said Casey. “This builds their resumes, and because of the publicity of the project, it helps the students get noticed to get jobs and start their careers.”

Goals For The HyperSport Stunt Car Build

Genius Garage Lykan Hypersport Restoration Paint and Bodywork
Photo by Genius Garage

Every car project starts with a plan, but more often than not, setbacks occur, and only the resilient enthusiasts are able to adapt and continue pushing. This was no different for Genius Garage. “The original goal was to build a functioning car as close to an original Lykan HyperSport as was reasonably possible given the budget and time constraints within one year,” said Casey. As with any car project, the real bottleneck came down to the paint shop. “We had to push the deadline way back when we had a body shop that agreed to paint the car fail to deliver and live up to the task.” The project hiccup pushed the program back a few months, but things changed when Advanced Collision in Chattanooga, Tennessee, stepped up and took over this portion of the project. All in all, the paint part of the project took a full year to complete.

Porsche Platform For The Lykan Hypersport

Genius Garage Lykan Hypersport Restoration in the Garage
Photo by Genius Garage

With Porsche being the original platform foundation for the Lykan HyperSport, it was clearly the right choice for this build. “The Porsche Boxster S platform we chose is identical to the underpinnings of the Lykan HyperSport from the rear firewall forward,” Casey explained. “The original car is based upon an RUF CTR3, which is based on the 911 and Boxster platform we used.”

This didn’t mean this project was a plug-n-play, however, the Lykan HyperSport needed a lot of customization to make it fit. While it worked dimensionally, the wheel base of the Porsche Boxster was too short. This meant students had to completely re-engineer the chassis to. Make it fit, including roll structure to maintain chassis integrity.

Genius Garage's Upgrades For The HyperSport Upgrades

Genius Garage Lykan Hypersport Restoration Headlight
Photo by Genius Garage

“This was major engineering to the platform to co-entrust something fitting that was mid-engine and a proper performance platform for the build.” While the race-track was the goal, the team focused more on creating a well-balanced supercar in terms of suspension, chassis rigidity, and balance. However, they decided to stay with Porsche’s stock 3.4-liter flat-six engine.

To give the engine some added performance, they addressed airflow with Soul Performance headers and an exhaust system. In addition to the bolt-on upgrades, they installed custom polyurethane engine mounts to withstand the track abuse better. “Since the students’ project was to create a fully-functioning automobile, we deemed building the engine for massive power to not be the best use of funds for this year’s curriculum,” Casey explained.

After cutting the entire Boxster chassis in half and lengthening it, the team paid tremendous attention to re-structuring it, increasing roof rigidity, adding custom seat mounts, and stiffening the body and chassis. “There are countless small details as well; this is far beyond kit-car territory.”

The Road To The Track

Genius Garage Lykan Hypersport Student Resrtoration Project
Photo by Genius Garage

Projects with this magnitude are always filled with ups and downs. “The ups are always the amazing camaraderie of the team and achieving small milestones along the way,” Casey said. Despite calling them “small milestones,” achieving them was no easy feat. Finalizing the body design and fitting the body over the chassis took some serious engineering. The result was worth every ounce of sacrifice, however, and Genius Garage getting to Road America with the Laykan was the perfect reward.

“I am most proud of the students’ growth. I know we will accomplish our project’s goals and create something special at Genius Garage, but everyone here is most proud of the students and we can’t wait to see their time here at Genius Garage make a difference in their careers.”

RELATED: Here's What Makes The Fenyr Supersport SpecialOnce Genius Garage made it to the track, they were able to see everything come to life. “The car was exceptional.” The team didn’t have enough time to corner weight and balance the chassis the first time on the track, but their estimates of shocks and spring rates were as close to perfect as can be, as well as tire size and cooling upgrades. “While we can tune the car for even better balance, it performed perfectly on the track and we were legitimately the fastest ‘street’ vehicle on the track, even against modern Porsches and Z06 Corvettes.”

What’s Next For The Lykan HyperSport Stunt Car

Genius Garage Lykan Hypersport Restoration In the Garage
Photo by Genius Garage

The next group of students for the Genius Garage 2022 will be responsible for finalizing the Lykan. This will include finishing the inside of the doors, the roof, creating the exhaust tips, corner weighing and adjusting, installing the headlights, and making new lenses for them. The new team of students will also participate in racing, testing, various challenges, and tackling the next project that comes through the Genius Garage doors.

Once finished, they will sell the Lykan HyperSport and the funds will go directly back into the program to invest in new projects, tools, and equipment to allow this non-profit to continue helping engineering student secure a career in automotive. Thanks to non-profit organizations such as Genius Garage, new generations of auto enthusiasts and engineers are able to go out there and create new and improved vehicles that will keep the passion alive.

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