Does NOS really activate like in the Fast and the Furious?

Whether its jumping from buildings or surviving a bomb explosion, movies tend to exaggerate situations like no other.

One of those movies is the Fast and the Furious franchise. Each of the eight movies released to date has seen mind-blowing yet unrealistic action scenes and one of those includes when Paul Walker’s character activates Nitrous Oxide.

Not like the movies

Once the steering wheel-mounted button is pressed, it apparently gives the driver an almost unreal boost of speed with everything else being blurred out. No folks, that is not what actually goes down when you press the ‘fun button’.

Back in 2001 not many people knew about NOS and the movie gave people the perception of how it is – myself included. But as you come of age and start getting your hands dirty, all is not what it seemed when you were an eager petrolhead back then.

More to the point, the activation of NOS in a real car is silent on the ear but you feel the instant increase in speed from the driver’s seat. Depending on the type of system – dry, wet and direct – a power increase of more than 300kW can be obtained.

Image: John Abella/Flickr

Having been behind the wheel and passenger in a car fitted with NOS, the first thing you feel is the speed and revs rise as if something is pushing you from behind. While it is adviseable to use higher up in the rev range, most racers use it to launch off the line – anyone remember Willie Nel at Killarney?

NOS is also referred to as a ‘sleeper mod’ because you can’t see or hear it but can leave opponent some way behind in a drag race. It does not come cheaper either and can cost upwards of R5000 for a basic system.

So before you think you’ll get that feeling of things blurring out and being sucked into space, no it is not at all what the movie portrays.