GM's best and brightest revise their starring roles in the latest ‘Transformers’ blockbuster, ‘Revenge of the Fallen’.
The all-new 2010 Chevrolet Camaro is scheduled to go on sale this spring. But before America’s latest muscle-car revival takes to streets, it will already have an illustrious acting career. A concept version of the new Camaro played the Autobot Bumblebee in the 2007 Dreamworks and Paramount Pictures motion picture "Transformers." The soon-to-be-released pony car reprises that role in the upcoming release "Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen."
Unveiled at the 2009 Chicago Auto Show, along with four of its Autobot friends, this version of Bumblebee is different from the last. The original movie car was actually a fiberglass-body replica of the concept car first shown at the 2006 North American International Auto Show in Detroit. This version is based on the production model, but it has the requisite black and yellow paint, different wheels and a more aggressive hood scoop and front fascia. General Motors says some of the modified components will be offered as accessories.
The Camaro may be upstaged in the movie by one particularly interesting character: the swoopy, stylish and futuristic concept Corvette that plays the character Sideswipe. The other automotive characters are Jolt, a stylized Chevrolet Volt; Skids, a slightly customized version of the Chevrolet Trax concept car first shown at the 2007 New York International Auto Show; and Mudflap, an electric green version of the Chevrolet Beat that also debuted in New York alongside the Trax. Chevrolet recently announced that the Beat will be offered as a 2011 production model called Spark.
The original "Transformers" movie was one of the 20 top-grossing movies of all time. GM says that after the first movie, awareness for the new Camaro jumped 97 percent, and the movie and subsequent DVD sales helped Chevrolet identify 500,000 people who were possibly interested in buying a new Camaro.
The relationship among Dreamworks, Paramount and GM was made possible by Michael Bay, director of both movies. Bay, a friend of GM for a decade, toured the automaker’s design studios with Ed Welburn, GM vice president for global design, and used what he saw there as characters in the new movie.
Corvette fans will love the Chevrolet Stingray concept that plays Sideswipe. It looks like styling study that could define the C7 generation Corvette. "This vision concept is part of the free exploration of future products that I encourage for our creative, talented design team to develop," said Welburn.
The Stingray concept pays homage to the 1959 Stingray racer developed by styling legend Bill Mitchell and the 1963 Corvette Stingray split-window coupe. The car has wide shoulders, swoopy fender shapes that seem to drape over the wheels, a hint of the Coke-bottle shape of the 1963-67 Corvettes, a new take on the rear split-window design, and even a new Stingray badge that looks like a top view of the sleek sea creature.
Corvette enthusiasts may be disappointed to hear Welburn’s take on the Stingray’s future: "It’s not part of any future production program. Its main role today is as a character in a movie." Of course, that could change if public sentiment suggests the Stingray could be a successful future Corvette.
None of the cars used in the movie was supplied by GM. Instead, GM’s designers turned over the production math data, or the vehicle schematics, to Paramount Pictures, which built the movie cars. GM says it did not pay a placement fee to get its cars in the new movie.
"Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen" will hit theaters June 26.