Five Cars With Starring Roles in Christopher Nolan’s Tenet

The mind-bending new film from Christopher Nolan, Tenet, features several interesting vehicles, including a black BMW 5 Series driven by star John David Washington.

Movie fans have been waiting for Tenet for months now. The film has been delayed three times due to the ongoing pandemic. It’s finally scheduled to premier in theaters in the United States tomorrow, September 3, 2020.

To celebrate Tenet‘s arrival, we’re doing what any normal moviegoer would do:  focusing entirely on the vehicles featured in the film.

At Art of Gears, we can’t help but pay attention to the cars that show up in pop culture. Extra credit goes to shows and movies that take pride in selecting unique and interesting cars to play featured roles.

Not every movie is The Fast and the Furious or Ford v. Ferrari, but we often find that there are some pretty interesting automobiles in unexpected places.

Unfortunately, that’s not the case in Tenet. Since we haven’t seen the full film yet, we’ll withhold final judgment. But the cars that show up in the trailers are relatively workmanlike, spy thriller fare. Nonetheless, the film clearly has some automotive surprises up its sleeve.

Tenet features a sci-fi car chase, which plays a big role in several of the trailers. You’ll notice right off the bat that this isn’t any ordinary car chase, since it appears several of the vehicles are driving at highway speed – in reverse.

1. BMW 5 Series

The protagonists’ car in the trailer looks like a BMW 5 Series from around 2010-12, before BMW updated the car’s front fascia. It’s a solid choice for any spy movie, particularly in the blacked-out color scheme that we see here, but there doesn’t appear to be anything remarkable about this BMW.

2. Saab 9-5

Here we get into more interesting territory. The Saab participates in the same chase scene as the BMW. The first notable aspect of this car is that it’s a 9-5 from most likely the final year that these cars were made:  2011. This one appears to be a Saab 9-5 Aero, which means it has a 2.8-liter V6 making 300 horsepower. Which brings us to the second notable feature of this car:  in the trailer, it’s seen flipping multiple times before landing on its wheels and matching the BMW’s speed while driving backwards. Pretty impressive. What appears to be happening is a car chase in reverse, but we’ll leave it to the movie to explain how that’s possible.

3. Audi Q7

The blacked-out Audi Q7 that participates in the chase scene is apparently driven by some of the film’s antagonists. It looks from the trailer like Elizabeth Debicki’s character is being held captive in the Audi’s back seat. The German SUV also employs the reverse-at-highway-speed trick, keeping pace with the BMW as it swerves around intervening traffic.

4. Opel Astra

This hapless 2016 Opel Astra hatchback makes a brief appearance in the trailer, playing the role of an obstacle in the path of the chase. The Audi effortlessly evades the Opel and leaves it far behind. We’re of the opinion that this chase would have been more exciting had it included a few more compact hatchbacks, but Christopher Nolan clearly didn’t share that opinion.

5. Mercedes-Benz S-Class

Finally, we see a newer silver Mercedes S-Class. This one appears to be manned by villains as well. The shot in the trailer depicts a character emerging from the back seat and preparing to leap to the Audi.

We won’t even begin to try to figure out what’s happening in the chase, but clearly European cars are the name of the game in Tenet. We’ll have a better idea of the interesting vehicles that show up in the film now that it’s finally hitting theaters.