Autosalon-bots, roll out! Modified Nissan R33 GT-R to star in new Transformers movie

The big louvres and questionable body kits of the 1990s car show scene will hit the big screen in Transformers ‘Rise of the Beasts’.

The confusing battle between good robot cars and bad robot cars is coming to the big screen for the seventh time in Transformers ‘Rise of the Beasts’. The explosion-packed, sci-fi-action, toy commercial is due for release in mid-2022.

Currently in production in Peru, the film’s director, Steven Caple Jr, has shared a first look at some of the automotive stars.

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A post shared by Steven Caple Jr. (@stevencaplejr)

While this writer is happy to announce that Autobot leader Optimus Prime will be featured in his traditional form of a cab-over Freightliner semi-trailer, and fellow good-robot car Jazz is back as a Porsche 911 – although now a silver 964 Turbo and not a Martini Racing-liveried 935, it’s the ‘bad guys’ who raise the most questions.

Among the trio of Decepticons (which includes a GMC tow truck and an apocalyptically themed prime-mover) is a heavily modified R33-generation Nissan Skyline GT-R.

The character, Nightbird, is a female ninja robot car known as a Terracon. The car, however, features a body kit from Japanese tuner Pandem (or Rocket Bunny).

Famous for its wild widebody conversions, an R33 Skyline kit was only revealed by Pandem in late 2020. The Transformers version makes things even wider, and includes elements reminiscent of the 1993 Nismo GT-R LM road car.

Heavily vented, boxed fenders are combined with an aggressive ground-effect aero package, a deleted rear bumper and an enormous rear spoiler. The car is finished in grey with purple wheels, and bronze highlights, which include the questionable choice to colour-match the headlamp inserts.

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A post shared by Kei Miura (@trakyoto)

It’s worth noting the renders from the Pandem designers don’t feature this; nor do they include the array of spoilers, which look like an Aunger louvre, on the Skyline’s rear window.

We’ll just assume there was a ‘we’ll take it from here’ moment from the production team.

The R33 has seen a recent rise in favour, with a near-standard car fetching $US235,000 ($AU320,000) at a recent auction. Having a Hollywood star by way of a Transformers movie should lift the profile, and prices, of the ‘BNR33’ even more.

Given history has taught us that things never end well for movie cars (especially ‘bad’ ones) it’s worth noting that the Pandem kit will fit a ‘regular’, rear-wheel-drive R33 GTS-T Skyline, so the movie will probably use, and break, these instead.

They are robots in disguise, after all.

Transformers ‘Rise of the Beasts’ is scheduled to be released on 24 June 2022.

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