The 2014 blockbuster “Transformers: Age of Extinction,” arriving on Blu-Ray tomorrow, is a triumph of stunt work, with choreographed explosions and mayhem at every turn. The film also showcases luxury sports cars from companies like Lamborghini and Bugatti. I was recently invited to Las Vegas, where I got the chance to drive some of these cars and get a taste of what it’s like to be behind the wheel of some of the most amazing cars in the world.
My Las Vegas adventure took place at Exotics Racing, located at Las Vegas Speedway. Our group arrived to the sight of a luxury Bugatti parked at the entrance. After a brief tutorial, I got to sit behind the wheel of two fine cars: the Porsche 997 Turbo and the Lamborghini Gallardo. The Gallardo is featured in “Transformers: Age of Extinction,” representing the vehicle form of the evil robot Lockdown.
The Porsche was great fun, but the Gallardo was extraordinary. I felt like I was riding a rocketship, reaching speeds of over 130 mph under the guidance of the Exotics racing instructors. Hopefully the packaged video above will give you a taste of what it was like.
The event continued with special appearances from Peter Cullen, voice of Optimus Prime, as well as stunt driver Sli Lewis, who discussed the thrill of doing stunts in some of the finest cars in the world. Lewis has led a remarkable life, serving as an Air Force marksman before becoming an accomplished free runner, stunt driver, action sequence choreographer and rapper, Lewis’ backstory could fill up an article by itself. I asked Lewis about the most difficult driving sequences in the film, and he discussed the limitations of driving in Hong Kong:
“We couldn’t have the streets blocked off for a long period of time, or sometimes we couldn’t have them blocked off at all,” said Lewis. “We had to do a thing which we call a ‘rolling roadblock,’ which is getting some other stunt guys in the regular cars around us, and then drive and just act like they’re regular traffic, [blocking] traffic from merging on or exiting into our shot.”
Sli also had nothing but kind words about working with the Hong Kong stunt community. “It was great. There was a language barrier, but each department was able to have someone who spoke English and would translate for us, and it worked out great. It almost felt like we were back in the U.S.”
You can view more of my interview with Sli Lewis here.
View the video above to see highlights from the Behind The Wheel experience. You may also view photos from the event in the slideshow above. “Transformers: Age of Extinction” arrives on Blu-Ray September 30.