LOS ANGELES — Optimus Prime has transformed and is rolling out.
The Optimus Prime truck from Transformers: Age of Extinction features an entirely new design vastly different from the classic Peterbilt truck from the first three movies.
In Transformers: Age of Extinction (due out June 27), Optimus is a larger, Western Star truck with a flashy aerodynamic design.
"They built it from the ground up and they modified it," says Randy Peters, the Transformers transportation coordinator who has driven Optimus Prime for each movie. "The other one was awesome. But this one is way better. …You have to have a little flash."
USA TODAY’s Bryan Alexander gets an exclusive look at the new Optimus Prime from ‘Transformers: Age of Extinction’ before it hits the road for Uber.
"It took a while to get used to it because it's bigger," Peters adds, speaking from inside the truck parked at Paramount Studios in Los Angeles. "But once I got used to driving it, it suited me pretty well. I'm happy with it."
Peters ran the truck at peak performance during stunts on the Detroit set of Transformers: Age of Extinction. It took some modifications to get it stunt ready — such as placing a Brodie knob on the steering wheel to allow him to spin it quickly for high-speed turns.
"But now I can drift this thing probably as good as any guy drifting a rally car," says Peters. "I ran it through the paces. I am pretty proud of the fact that it's in one piece."
The top stunts are to be expected by director Michael Bay.
"Every time you do a Michael Bay movie you pretty much push everything to the limit of what you can do. But if you break something he's not happy," says Peters. "There are a couple of nicks and scratches."
Peters even recalls that the truck had to drive through some explosions on the set during one memorable stunt.
"You could see the burns (on the truck), but they touched it up," says Peters.
The touch ups and street-ready modifications are going to be needed since Optimus Prime will be going on a tour in cities such as Dallas, Phoenix and Los Angeles this week. Fans in those cities can open their Uber transportation app and have the opportunity to order Optimus Prime to pick them up instead of a regular Uber car.
There will be no stunts performed in the rides. Even Peters noticed that all of his set modifications such as the Brodie knob steering wheel have been removed to make Optimus Prime legal for street use.
"I think they took all my tricks out of here," says Peters.