Prime mover switches makes

The Courier-Mail - Motoring - - BIG WHEELS -

FAMED ac­tion hero Op­ti­mus Prime, leader of the Au­to­bots, has been trans­formed — into a Western Star truck.

It will star in the fourth Trans­form­ers movie, di­rected by Michael Bay.

Chil­dren of the 1980s might re­call that in the orig­i­nal cartoon se­ries Op­ti­mus Prime was based on a cabover Ken­worth, the K100. The toy ver­sion changed from a ro­bot into a model truck.

For the first Trans­form­ers films, he switched to a Peter­bilt 379, a clas­sic Amer­i­can rig with a su­per-long bon­net and up­right nose that hurts fuel econ­omy but looks cool.

Now, Bay has re­vealed Op­ti­mus Prime has switched to a fu­tur­is­tic Western Star model that is still par­tially on the draw­ing board.

Western Star, now owned by the gi­ant Daim­ler group, has been in­volved in the process, al­though it’s not clear what kind of com­mer­cial deal it has with the pro­ducer. Con­firm­ing its in­volve­ment, Daim­ler says the Op­ti­mus Prime char­ac­ter will not be limited to the big screen.

‘‘This movie will fea­ture a new truck now in de­vel­op­ment from Western Star that show­cases the next level of in­no­va­tion in the truck­ing in­dus­try,’’ the maker says.

Daim­ler pro­vides no more de­tails, ex­cept to say the new pro­duc­tion Western Star truck that Op­ti­mus Prime is based on will be re­vealed next year.

The pro­duc­tion ver­sion of the truck won’t be an ex­act replica of the movie model, which fea­tures a mas­sive bon­net bulge that would dra­mat­i­cally re­duce the driver’s vi­sion and triple ver­ti­cal ex­haust stacks tow­er­ing over a cor­ner of the cab.

Trans­form­ers 4 also will fea­ture an Oshkosh mil­i­tary truck.

James Stan­ford

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