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Transforming Vehicle

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While Transforming Mecha is about robots transforming into vehicles and vice-versa, Transforming Vehicle is about vehicles that don't turn into robots, but rather just forms certain helpful features. Guns and other weapons may sprout from a car. Spiked Wheels could pop up. Maybe the car has jet engines come out and wings that unfold. There could also be deployable sidecar for motorcycles. Sometimes, the vehicle can completely change into something else (just as long as it isn't a robot). These vehicles do not transform into robots, but rather have features that are not visibly present, but come out when needed.

A Super-Trope to We Don't Need Roads.

A Sister Trope to Transforming Mecha, Cool Car, Dual Mode Unit (Real-Time Strategy), Amphibious Automobile.

Compare Retractable Weapon.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • In JoJo's Bizarre Adventure: Stardust Crusaders, the stand Wheel of Fortune, used by ZZ, has the ability to modify a vehicle to suit the situation. This is shown when Wheel of Fortune modifies the tires to have spikes and climb up the side of a cliff to reach the heroes.
  • Science Ninja Team Gatchaman. Gatchaman's Cool Ship God Phoenix could change into a fiery bird-shape called the Science Ninja Technique Firebird. Its component vehicles likewise have civilian and action modes.
  • In SD Gundam World Heroes, Benjamin V2 Gundam is the captain of a pirate ship that can also turn into a submarine.
  • In Speed Racer, Speed's race car is fitted with many equipments inside it; it can turn into a Flying Car or a hover car (on water) when he needs it.

    Comic Books 
  • Robin (1993): Tim Drake's first Redbird could transform to look like a somewhat clunky outdated publicly available sports coupe or a speedy personalized armored vehicle with tinted windows. The second one has a sleeker looking "civilian" mode which strongly resembles a Porsche.
  • Wonder Woman (1987): As the Amazon's tech level was stuck back in the Bronze Age for this reboot the invisible plane is no longer an Amazon stealth plane, but a transforming bit of sentient alien tech gifted to Diana. It eventually gets stuck in the form of a plane after overdoing it by transforming into a dome and shield to protect the coastline from a tsunami.

    Films — Animation 
  • The Bad Guys (2022): Diane has a motorcycle that can transform into a briefcase disguise.
  • In Cars 2, the two car spies Finn and Holly have several weaponries and flight jet boosters (respectively, among other things) equipped inside them and can be called out at will. Later they do some modifications to Mater to turn him into this as well.
  • Bad Cop from The LEGO Movie pursues the heroes atop a moving train while driving a police cruiser. Blinded by the locomotive's exhaust, Bad Cop drives off the train and starts falling into the canyon. Unfazed, he yanks on a lever that converts his cruiser into an aircraft, and continues to torment the heroes.
  • My Little Pony: Equestria Girls – Rainbow Rocks: Just before the Final Battle (a Battle of the Bands), DJ Pon-3's car transforms into a DJ booth with several big speakers and a laser light show to help the Rainbooms compete against the Dazzlings.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Batman:
    • The Batmobile in Batman has shields that would clamshell over the car, hubcaps that turned into bombs, and Gatling guns that would raise out of the front wheel-wells.
    • In Batman Returns, the wheels tucked in and the side panels dropped away, converting the car into the "Bat missile".
    • Similarly, when the Batmobile in The Dark Knight was critically damaged, two wheels and the cockpit would split away and become the Batpod, a motorcycle-like vehicle.
  • Duck Soup: The President of Freedonia (Groucho Marx) has as his personal vehicle a motorcycle (driven by Harpo) with a sidecar. The first two times Groucho gets in the sidecar, Harpo drives off without him. The third time Groucho gets on the bike and has Harpo get in the sidecar. Harpo drives off in the sidecar, leaving Groucho on the motorcycle.
  • Fantômas Unleashed: As he's pursued by the good guys, Fantômas's Citroën DS engages on a runway and transforms into a Flying Car to escape them.
  • Marvel Cinematic Universe: The Avengers has an example of a scale rarely seen: what appears at first to be a standard aircraft carrier deploys its turbines and turn into the S.H.I.E.L.D. Helicarrier before lifting from the sea and taking to the sky.
  • In Men in Black, the car that J and K drive around in transforms into a jet-propelled flying car whenever the Big Red Button on the gear shift is pressed.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Kamen Rider also have several Transforming Vehicles
    • The first of these is probably the Agito Tornador from Kamen Rider Agito which is a bike that turns into a hoverboard.
    • The most versatile of them is probably the Tridoron from Kamen Rider Drive. It can transform from a sports car into an offroad vehicle or a construction vehicle. Tridoron can also combine with two small hovercrafts to form one himself. Its final ability is to turn into a suit of armor, allowing Drive access to his Super Mode.
  • Knight Rider:
    • The first series has KITT receive Super Pursuit Mode in season 4. Activation would cause KITT to extend various spoilers and other aerodynamic aids and boost his top speed. He also received the C-button, but that simply lowered the roof, making him a convertible.
    • The 2008 series has KITT outright transforming into various vehicles, including a minivan and a pickup truck.
  • Most episodes of Monster Garage have this as the end result. The goal is to take an ordinary car and install various upgrades to turn it into something it wasn't originally meant to do. (For example: A Ford Explorer into a garbage truck.)
  • Super Sentai and its adaptation Power Rangers have a few of these
  • Viper featured the Defender, a seemingly ordinary Dodge Viper (or as ordinary as a Viper can be) that could transform into a combat vehicle.

    Music Videos 
  • Gorillaz: The title car in "Stylo" turns into a shark-ish submersible when Bruce Willis chases them off a cliff and into the ocean.

  • LEGO:
      • The Codrex Vehicles have an alternate form that extends and exposes more weapons.
      • The Thornatus vehicles have extendable side blades that greatly change the vehicle's shape.
    • LEGO Mars Mission: The MX-41 Switch Fighter can transform between a rover and a spacecraft.
    • The Undercover Cruiser from LEGO Space Police III can convert into a civilian space freighter as a disguise.
  • Hot Wheels
    • Around 1990, a sub-series called Key Force was released. It featured two factions doing battle with cars, trucks, and motorcycles that transformed into battle vehicles through use of a key.
    • Another sub-series in The Oughties called Shogun Racers. This featured two factions of racers with cars that transformed into planes, boats, or snowmobiles.
  • This is the entire concept of the M.A.S.K. franchise, which features civilian vehicles that turn into fighting machines with hidden weapons. Ditto for its Spiritual Successor Vor-Tech: Undercover Conversion Squad.
  • In the early '80s, LJN Toys released a sub-series of the Rough Riders line called Switch Force. Pressing a button on the toy caused weapons (and wings in the case of the Black Bird) to pop out from behind panels on the bodywork.

    Video Games 
  • In the point-and-click adventure game Amerzone, the Hydrafloat is a vehicle that can turn into a power boat, sailboat, submersible, prop plane, or helicopter, depending on how its wings and rotors rearrange themselves. In a pinch, it can also drag itself along by its grappling hook when it's hung up on underwater debris.
  • The three Agency vehicles in Crackdown all physically transform in correlation with the player's Driving skill whenever the player drives them. While still at level 1, they appear as a modest-yet-awesome looking sports car, SUV, and truck cab. By level 4, they become, respectively, a Batmobile-Expy with dual machine guns, a monster truck with a hydraulic boost system for crazy stunts, and a gigantic armored semi-truck that, at top speed, will annihilate anything in its way.
  • The Falcon mount in Final Fantasy XIV can transform between a wheeled vehicle on land, a small Cool Airship in flight, and a submarine underwater.
  • In Neon Drive, in addition to the Transformers-inspired robot mode in Level 7, the player's car also transforms into a spaceship for the shmup sequences in Levels 4 and 8, and a Macross/Robotech-esque jet fighter for the airborne section of Level 6, which is actually titled "Valkyrie" on the soundtrack album.
  • Every vehicle in Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed can turn into a plane for aerial sections of the track or a hovercraft for crossing water.
  • Speed Power Gunbike has the titular Gunbikes, special motorcycles driven by the playable characters that can transform between a Bike Mode, an all-terrain Armored Rally Mode, and a powerful Fighting Robot Mode.
  • The G-6155 Interceptor from Spy Hunter is a sports car that can change into a speedboat, possibly inspired by the Lotus from The Spy Who Loved Me. In the 2000's reboot, it will also shed most of its plating and turn into a motorcycle when highly damaged.
  • StarCraft:
    • The Terran Siege Tank is a regular, rather low-range tank that can deploy into an immobile long-range artillery weapon.
    • In the sequel, the Terrans also have the Viking, an anti-air flyer/anti-ground walker to replace the Goliath (an anti-air and anti-ground walker).
  • Mario Kart 8 features cars and bikes that automatically transform into hover cars or grow hang gliders to aid in certain parts of the track.
  • Played in a mundane and realistic way in Farming Simulator, where farming equipment usually has a folded arrangement for transportation across the map, and an unfolded arrangement for field usage. Large machines often have unfolding sequences elaborate enough to make them count as a transforming machine.

    Western Animation 
  • The Amazing Chan and the Chan Clan had a van that could change into other automobiles at the push of a button for disguise purposes.
  • The DuckTales episode "Double O Duck" sees Launchpad become a spy. The agency gives him a car that can transform into a helicopter.
  • In Hanna-Barbera's pitch film for Duffy's Dozen, the Duffys' RV is shown transforming on the fly for different kinds of terrain, and even water.
  • In Heathcliff & the Catillac Cats, the Catillacs are named after their main ride, a red and white Cadillac convertible that can somehow transform into several other vehicles, like a boat or a RV camper.
  • Hong Kong Phooey's Phooeymobile, which changes into a helicopter or submarine with the hit of a gong.
  • Inspector Gadget:
    • The Gadgetmobile, a sleek sports car that could transform into a van.
    • Dr. Claw himself has the Madmobile, a menacing-looking car that can transform into a jet plane or a submarine.
  • The Magic School Bus, from The Magic School Bus, is a magic school bus that can transform into anything Ms. Frizzle wants.
  • Almost every single vehicle used by the good guys and bad guys in M.A.S.K. can transform to become more combat-capable. Big Bad Miles Mayhem's vehicle is the most extreme, transforming from a mini-jet to an attack helicopter.
  • Road Rovers: "I love being a Road Rover! Cars turn into boats, boats turn into planes..."
  • Storm Hawks: Vehicles with both land and air modes are standard for the setting. The most common are skimmers, motorcycles that turn into biplanes. There are also heliscooters, scooters that sprout helicopter blades.
  • Super 4: The Chameleon can change form to fit into whatever world they visit. It looks like a high-tech car in its origin city of Technopolis, but turns into a wooden ship around Gunpowder Island, a siege engine in the medieval Kingsland, and an ethereal floating ship on the Enchanted Island.
  • SWAT Kats: The Radical Squadron:
    • Usually, the three jet engines of the jerrybuilt Turbokat suffice, but when these daring heroes need to venture above the atmosphere, the Turbokat can sprout four extra engines that let them zoom around in space.
    • The SWAT Kats also have the Cyclotrons, a pair of manned missiles that can be launched from the Turbokat, where after launch, they transform into motorcycles for when the SWAT Kats need to fight bad guys on the ground. In one episode where the SWAT Kats pursue Dr. Viper across a flooded part of Megakat City, they utilize jet ski variants for travel across water.
  • Professor Pat Pending's Convert-A-Car in Wacky Races will transform into something else at least Once per Episode.
  • The title thief in Where on Earth Is Carmen Sandiego? often has vehicles that do this, sometimes to serve as a "plan B" and help escape her pursuers.

    Real Life 
  • The R/P FLIP is a towed barge that can transform into a stationary research platform.
  • The Evolution was a Russian ultralight plane that could also function as a speedboat and a dune buggy.