1. The redesigned Autobots for next summer’s Transformers 4 have been hitting the web this week, just as a different machine-bound franchise is tearing up the box office.
Director Michael Bay has promised that Transformers 4 would be a kind of re-boot, remaining within the universe of the last three films, but setting off into a brand-new story — and new Transformer designs — for the new film.
The kid-friendly GM cars of the earlier films have been been scrapped in favor of more souped-up and snazzy cars built for flash and speed. That they resemble the cars that populate the Fast and Furious movies may or may not be intentional, but it certainly doesn’t hurt. Here they are:
2. This is the new Hound.
This Hound is “one of the Family of Medium Tactical Vehicles from Oshkosh Defense,” according to Michael Bay’s website.
In the animated series, Hound used his ability to capture and project holographic imagery on a series of dinosaur fossils, which led to the creation of Dinobots named Grimlock, Slag, and Sludge. This either gets you incredibly excited or means nothing to you at all.
(Also, for non-gear heads, yes, Oshkosh Defense is a real thing, and has nothing to do with the kids clothing company Oshkosh B’gosh. Alas.)
3. This is the new Bumblebee.
It’s a custom 1967 Camaro, almost all black, which suggests a far less cutesy version than the one that followed Shia LaBeouf around like an enormous metal puppy.
4. This is the new Optimus Prime.
It’s another custom semi-truck (from Western Star, part of Daimler Trucks North America, in case you were wondering) — but it’s still long-nose cab, so I guess die-hard flat-nose Optimus fans will have to keep stewing in their juices.
5. This could be Sideswipe, or Slingshot.
It’s a custom Chevrolet Corvette Stingray, but there’s been no announcement about what character is connected to the car. This is the make and model that Sideswipe became in 2009’s Revenge of the Fallen and 2011’s Dark of the Moon, but JoBlo is quoting a source that this will be a character named Slingshot.
Meanwhile, in the first animated series, the only Chevy Corvette was named Tracks. Here’s Wikipedia’s description of him:
Tracks is somewhat of a rarity amongst the Autobots in that he prefers his new Earth car mode to his original Cybertronian form. His concern over his appearance has led to some friction with his fellow Autobots, as they think he should be less concerned with his looks and more on the battle with the Decepticons.
Translation: He’s fancy.
7. This might be Drift, but it would be awesome if it was Hot Rod.
It’s a Bugatti Grand Sport Vitesse, which Michael Bay’s website says is worth $2.4 million. JoBlo’s source says this is Drift. There aren’t any Bugatti’s from the original animated TV series, and the paint job is all wrong, but given how sleek and expensive the car is, I wonder if this could be Hot Rod — the perpetually self-doubting Autobot who took up the Matrix of Leadership when Optimus Prime died in 1986’s animated The Transfomers: The Movie.
But probably not.