Saleen S281 "Extreme" Mustang - Evil Decepticon in "Transformers!"
Many of you have already seen Transformers and know all the characters. Today we will talk about one of the "bad boys" from the movie: Evil Decepticon, or, in another words the Saleen S281 "Extreme" Mustang.
Saleen, together with DreamWorks and Hasbro took months to design the S281 Extremes. After the car was designed, Saleen’s Troy production facility took numerous black-on-black S281 Extremes right off of the production line to star as Decepticon hunter, “Barricade,” in the movie. Saleen Troy also built two 2009 Chevrolet Camaros for General Motors to star as “Bumblebee” - Barricade’s arch rival in the movie.
The movie car built as “Barricade” was constructed as a Saleen S281 “Extreme” with stock performance and body components; the same car that you can find in a dealership today. The only element the movie cars lack is the 550 horsepower engine that normally comes as standard equipment on the Extreme. To give the character its evil alter ego, Dream Works also outfitted each Extreme as a Decepticon police car, including a push bar, white doors, emergency lights and Transformers/Police badging.
Industrial Light & Magic (ILM) was responsible for transforming the Saleen S281 Extreme into the Barricade robot. It took a team of 18 artists to build the Extreme on the computer and 11 weeks to transform it into the Barricade robot.
“We essentially cut up the vehicle,” Dave Floger, model supervisor at ILM explains. “We cut up a standard door panel into five or six sections, and we would cut the hood up into 10 sections. Other animators would take the car in one hand and the robot in the other hand and started moving stuff around until a panel on the car would fly up and become a panel on the robot’s arm. It’s a pretty involved process.