The film begins where the fourth installment ended and before The Fast And The Furious: Tokyo Drift, with former cop Brian O’Conner (Paul Walker) leading an assault on the bus transporting Dominic Toretto (Vin Diesel) to prison. Toretto is freed and the party splits up, making their way to South America.

O’Conner and Mia Toretto (Jordana Brewster) arrive in Rio de Janeiro expecting to find Dominic, but their friend Vince (Matt Schulze) has not heard from him for weeks. Vince needs O’Conner and Mia to help on a job he had lined up for Toretto: stealing 3 cars from a train (a DeTomaso Pantera GTS, a Ford GT40, and a Chevrolet Corvette Grand Sport Roadster). The job goes awry when O’Conner notices that there are DEA agents on-board the train, and the cars had been seized in a raid. Toretto arrives late, and realises that the crew is only interested in one of the three cars. With Mia’s help, they are able to steal the Ford GT40 the crew is after and escape, but a shoot-out ensues and the three DEA agents are killed in the cross-fire. O’Conner and Toretto escape, only to be apprehended by Hernan Reyes (Joaquim de Almeida), a corrupt Brazilian businessman and the owner of the cars. After killing Reyes’ men, O’Conner and Toretto meet Mia at their safehouse in Favela and begin taking the car apart to find out what Reyes was after. Vince returns to the safehouse hours later, claiming he was being followed, but gives himself away when he tries to take a computer chip out the custom-built DVD player in the car. Toretto accesses the files on the chip to discover it is a shipping manifest of all Reyes’ business activities, and evidence of how he is laundering over one hundred million dollars.

Tipped off by the three dead agents on-board the train, DSS federal agent Luke Hobbs (Dwayne Johnson) arrives in Rio with a fugitive apprehension team to locate Toretto. With the help of Elena Neves (Elsa Pataky), a local police officer, and her knowledge of the roads around the city, he is able to track down the garage where O’Conner and Toretto are set up, but arrive in the middle of an attack by Reyes’ men. O’Conner and Mia flee over rooftops while Toretto escapes through the alleyways of the favela, saving Neves from gunfire in the process. After the flee, Dom, Brian and Mia come together and Dom realises that they will get caught unless they split up and go different ways, Mia begs Dom to stay and reveals that she is pregnant with Brian’s baby, Dom promises to stay with them. Regrouping after the attack, O’Conner and Toretto decide to go after Reyes. They put together a heist crew with the intention of stealing all of Reyes’ laundered money. They invade one of his distribution centres and burn several million dollars, prompting Reyes to use his connections to move all of his money to a secure location: the evidence vault in a central police station.

While planning the heist, O’Conner and Toretto realise they cannot find cars fast enough to evade the security cameras in the police garage, and so steal four police cars. Meanwhile, the crew acquire a model of the same vault used by Reyes, a copy of his handprint, and access to the security feeds inside the station while Vince returns in time to save Mia from Reyes’ men, earning Toretto’s trust once more. The night before the heist Mia and Brian reveal to everyone that they are going to have a baby. Before they can start there plan, Hobbs and the fugitive apprehension team arrive, and after a lengthy fistfight with Toretto, arrest several members of the crew. Hobbs plans to take them directly to the airport and fly them to the United States, but Reyes uses his connections to find their route and attacks the convoy. Most of the apprehension team are killed before O’Conner convinces Neves to release them so that they can aid Hobbs. Wanting revenge for his slain team, Hobbs joins Toretto’s crew. Vince later dies from a gunshot wound.

The heist takes place the next day, with Hobbs using an armoured truck to access the evidence room. O’Conner and Toretto secure the vault, and using a pair of modified police cars, tear through the city with the vault in tow. Han Lue (Sung Kang) and Roman Pearce (Tyrese Gibson) ride shotgun in the second pair of police cars, buying O’Conner and Toretto a lead over the Rio police. The final confrontation takes place on one of the bridges out of the city, with Toretto cutting O’Conner loose from the vault and doubling back to take out Reyes, destroying his car in the process. Reyes survives, only to be shot in the head by Hobbs. Hobbs refuses to let Toretto walk free, but cannot bring himself to arrest him, and so agrees to give O’Conner and Toretto a twenty-four hour head start. He opens the vault to discover that there is no money inside, and realises that O’Conner and Toretto had switched it in transit for the one they had used to plan the heist. Back at the safehouse, the crew open the safe to find Reyes’ money, which they divide amongst themselves and go their separate ways.

Tego (Tego Calderon) and Rico (Don Omar) gamble in Monaco, Roman (now driving a Koenigsegg CCXR) visits Tej (Ludacris) at the latter’s garage in Goa, where Tej reveals that he also owns a CCXR, to Roman’s surprise. Han and Gisele (Gal Gadot), now in a relationship, are seen driving a Lexus LFA in Germany. O’Conner and a pregnant Mia retire to a beach in the Pacific, where they are met by Toretto and Elena, who arrive in a new Dodge Challenger. While the women talk, O’Conner (who now owns a Nissan GT-R) challenges Toretto to one final race with no pressure and no prizes to decide who really is the better driver.

There is a bonus scene at the end of the initial credits, which shows Hobbs being delivered a report by U.S. Customs agent Monica Fuentes (Eva Mendes). The report details a heist, but Hobbs is initially uninterested since it doesn’t involve Toretto. However, encouraged by agent Fuentes to continue reading Hobbs finds that the heist was pulled off by Letty Ortiz (Michelle Rodriguez), who was presumed deceased.