Culture > Diversion

Mirage is the newest Autobot in ‘Transformers: Rise of the Beasts’

Disguised as a Porsche 911 Carrera RS 3.8

Autobot Jazz and Autobot Mirage in the Transformers G1 series. SCREENSHOT FROM SUNBOW PRODUCTIONS

If you grew up in the 1980s, chances are you were a keen follower of the Transformers animated series.


As a car enthusiast, I was drawn to the characters’ alternate mode (which they transformed into) instead of the robot form and their character traits. Characters that stood out were Jazz (a Porsche 935 with Martini Racing stripes) and Mirage (a Ligier JS11 Formula 1 car from the 1979 and 1980 seasons).

Autobot Jazz in the 2007 theatrical release as a Pontiac Solstice. SCREENSHOTS FROM DREAMWORKS PICTURES

Jazz has since become a silver Pontiac Solstice in the film series that started in 2007. Mirage, meanwhile, takes the form of a Porsche 911 Carrera RS 3.8 in the current Transformers: Rise of the Beasts.

“The 911 Carrera RS 3.8 is perfect not just because the film plays in 1994, but because of the character traits of Mirage,” said Oliver Hoffmann, head of marketing communications at Porsche. Mirage’s distinguishing feature is his blue stripes—to give semblance to the original character’s color, perhaps?

Autobot Mirage in 'Rise of the Beasts' as a Porsche 964 Carrera RS 3.8. PHOTOS FROM PORSCHE

Only 55 examples of the 964 Carrera RS 3.8 were ever built. Considering how rare this 911 is, no actual model was used in the filming. As an alternative, five picture cars were built accurately to replicate the RS 3.8’s exterior, with the inside matching Mirage in robot form.

Each picture car performs a specific task: one tweaked to go reverse at high speeds, another prepped for stunt sequences, and another rigged with a stunt driver on the top of the rear for when Mirage is driving himself.

“We did a lot of stuff live and in action,” explained director Steven Caple Jr. “We had Noah (the main character) in the driver seat. He wasn’t driving because the car stole him.”

While the car is not a genuine 964 Carrera RS 3.8, Porsche was consulted to help nail all the fine details. SCREENSHOTS FROM PORSCHE

A genuine model, however, was used for the distinct engine sound of the 964 RS 3.8.

“It was important for us to represent the sound of the 911 model depicted in the film,” shared Ayesha Coker, marketing vice president for Porsche Cars North America. “It was extremely ambitious due to the number of cars needed from a limited-production 911, but we are thrilled with the result and hope audiences are, too.”

We hope the movie does justice to the newest character.

Jason Dela Cruz

Jason is a veteran member of the motoring community, having worked as an automotive journalist and a car industry executive. He is now based in Cebu, where the car culture is vibrant.