Cinema's most exciting car chases, according to science

Mad Max: Fury Road features cinema’s most exciting car chase of all time, according to a new study. The 2015 Tom Hardy and Charlize Theron film beat some of the most famous chases of the last 50 years in the study, which used science to determine the most nerve-wracking motoring moments. To come up with the result, a test audience of 100 people was shown a series of famous car chases and their heart rates measured before and during the scenes.

It found that there was an average 33 per cent increase in heart rate – from a resting 64bpm to 85bpm – during Fury Road’s massively destructive chase.

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That puts it just ahead of Fast and Furious 6, which caused a 31 per cent spike in heart rates. In fact, the Fast and Furious franchise accounted for five of the top 20 films, with Fast 7 sneaking into third spot on the Money.co.uk list.

The Vin Diesel-starring Fast and Furious franchise makes five appearances in the top 20 list (Photo: Kevin Winter/Getty Images)The Vin Diesel-starring Fast and Furious franchise makes five appearances in the top 20 list (Photo: Kevin Winter/Getty Images)

The momentous chase through Paris in 1998’s Ronin – featuring a genuinely terrified-looking Robert De Niro – comes in at number four, ahead of Edgar Wright’s love-letter to chase movies, Baby Driver. The Bond and Bourne franchises also both make appearances in the top 20 but fans of several classics will be disappointed.

Despite being among the most famous chases ever committed to celluloid, there’s no room for Bullitt’s Mustang v Charger race around San Francisco, nor for the Turin-based exploits of The Italian Job’s Mini Coopers.

And while The Matrix Reloaded’s snooze-worthy CGI-fest somehow squeaks onto the list, Duel’s nerve-jangling pursuit between a blacked-out truck and Dennis Weaver’s Plymouth Valiant doesn’t get a mention.

The top 20 most exciting car chases

Rank      Movie Average BPM    Uplift (%)       IMDB Rating
1 Mad Max Fury Road (2015) 85 33% 8.1
2 Fast & Furious 6 84 31% 7.1
3 Furious 7 83 30% 7.1
4 Ronin 82 28% 7.3
5 Baby Driver 80 25% 7.6
6 The Fast & The Furious (2001) 78 22% 6.8
7 Quantum of Solace 77 20% 6.6
8 The Bourne Supremacy 76 19% 7.7
9 The French Connection 76 19% 7.7
10 Batman: The Dark Knight 75 17% 9
11 Terminator 2: Judgment Day 74 16% 8.5
12 The Bourne Identity 74 16% 7.9
13 Mad Max 2: The Road Warrior 74 16% 7.6
14 The Raid 2 73 14% 8,0
15 Fast Five 72 13% 7.3
16 The Matrix Reloaded 72 13% 7.2
17 Need for Speed 72 13% 6.4
18 Deathproof 71 11% 7
19 Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw 71 11% 6.4
20 Gone in 60 Seconds (1974) 70 9% 6.5

Data: Money.co.uk

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