The Trumpchi E-jet, the plug-in hybrid vehicle first showed off earlier this year by China-based Guangzhou Automobile Group Co Ltd. (GAC), will make its on-screen debut in next year's installment of the "Transformers" movie franchise. Your guess is as good as ours if the car will be a good robot (like Bender) or a bad robot (like, well, Bender).
The PHEV will have a prominent role in Transformers: Age of Extinction, Reuters says, citing a person familiar with the process. Distributor Paramount Pictures declined to comment, as did the studio's Chinese partner China Movie Channel. The film, which is being shot in both the US and China, will be directed by Michael Bay so we expect the E-jet to get blown up at least fourteen times in the film. The previous Transformers movie grossed $165 million in China in 2011
In January, GAC showed off the Trumpchi concept vehicle, in addition to two near-production vehicles. The car has a 1.0-liter four-cylinder engine powering an on-board generator, while the electric motor delivers 127 horsepower. Top speed was estimated at just short of 100 miles per hour. That's not exactly superhero territory, but we imagine Mr. Bay will make the car appear a little faster.
The idea of plug-in vehicles appearing on the silver screen is nothing new, though the fact that this one's made in China is a bit of a novelty. 2011's Tom Cruise-starring Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol featured a BMW i8 plug-in hybrid, while, more recently, a Fisker Karma extended-range plug-in made a star turn this year's Paranoia, starring Harrison Ford.