Ford has a bit of a tradition when it comes to featuring the Mustang on the silver screen. Back in 1964, Ford featured the Mustang in Goldfinger before anyone knew what the mustang would even look like. In a similar fashion, Ford brought the 2015 Mustang to Need For Speed.
Ford made a high-security effort to get the 2015 Mustang GT to the Need For Speed set in Nevada last June, a full six months before the car’s official debut. Ford has always enjoyed featuring the Mustang in movies because it creates a special cultural attachment to the Mustang. The car that was used in Need For Speed was taken from the Ford’s calibration team and was set up to star in the movie. So even then the car was still a prototype–internally some of the parts changed, but visually it looked like the one that would be sold at the dealerships. The crazy part was the intense security for the car. It was shipped the night before and had Ford employees taking care of it and they were the only ones allowed to drive it. To make sure that no one got a photo of the car, they got the police to block off a 5 mile radius of where they were shooting the scenes the Mustang would appear in.
The shoot itself was uneventful and quick. And once the car had done its movie duty—which included having actor Aaron Paul behind the wheel—it was put back in its trailer and shipped back across the country.
The 2015 Mustang’s appearance in Need For Speed is quick and at the end. Most of the Mustang-heavy action in the film was performed by 2014-model Mustang GTs (including six donated to the production by Ford), plus a true Shelby GT500 “hero car” that was used for close-ups. It’s probably no surprise that most of those were destroyed over the course of production.