You may know Darth Vader as the dark lord of the Sith in Star Wars, but what you didn’t know is what kind of wheels he’d drive if he was here on Earth. Some pretty Hot Wheels, it turns out. Mattel’s using the occasion of San Diego Comic Con to launch its new Star Wars Hot Wheels line, and the company has chosen an interesting promotional vehicle – or rather, had one created by PCW Brands.

The Darth Car is based on a C5 Corvette, with a body crafted mostly from fiberglass (with carbon fiber used on the front splitter), and the result weighs almost half of the standard Corvette. The chassis was lowered slightly, giving it an even more ominous look. It’s perfectly street-legal, too, and it’s been road-test up to 80 mph – though PCW Brands CEO Billy Hammon says the Darth Car could hit up to 150 mph.

What’s under the helmet It’s not scarred and ugly, it’s a GM LS3 V8 engine that is tuned to put out 526 horsepower. Hey, the Sith Lord doesn’t want to be left behind at a stop light. Of course, the Darth Car uses a six-speed manual transmission, which no doubt can be handled telekinetically if you’re so inclined (and have the requisite Force skills). The Darth Car also has a secondary, hand-acutated drift brake on the rear axle for when you need to outmaneuver a pesky landspeeder on a curve.

The Darth Car is fully armed and operational, outfitted with plenty of fine Hot Wheels touches – like the logo on the side. The wheels are custom-milled for the Darth Car, and the unique tires are high-performance while also deliving the Hot Wheels look. The missiles mounted on the side are machined from stainless steel, and the side pipes look just like Lord Vader’s light saber – and of course, they are illuminated. Not to omit the special sounds of Star Wars, the car can emit the unmistakable sounds of Vader breathing and his light saber activating, all controllable remotely via an iPad.

Oh, and just to top things off, the hatch opens like Darth Vader’s helmet, and includes a smoke machine to generate the appropriate vapor when opening. The Darth Car took seven weeks from final design to completion, and it’s already causing jaws to drop wherever it goes – and generating interest in Mattel’s new Star Wars Hot Wheels line, too.

Source: Car and Driver