Not Motorcyles, But Cars: Kamen Rider Drive’s Tridoron and NEXTridoron
Kamen Rider Drive debuted on October 2014 and aired for one year, lasting 48 episodes.
Previously, the Kamen Rider series featured motorcycles. However, Kamen Rider Drive showcased a car instead of a motorcycle. The Tridoron played a major part in the series. The Tridoron used the Honda NSX (known as the Acura NSX in North America) as a base model.
Kamen Rider Drive’s protagonist Shinnosuke Tomari was portrayed by Ryoma Takeuchi (竹内涼真), who has now become a popular actor in Japan. Providing the voice of Kamen Rider Drive’s transformation belt “Mr. Belt” and Drive Driver was Chris Pepler. The transformation belt has a will of its own.
The Tridoron was not the first car to appear in the series to help a Rider. Kamen Rider Black RX had a car called the “Ridoron,” which is similar to the “Tridoron.” The base of the Rideron was the Mazda RX-7 (First gen, SA22C type). But, that’s a discussion for another time.
The antagonists of Kamen Rider Drive are Roidmudes, mysterious monsters who can slow down time using “Heavy Acceleration.” The Metro Police Department established the Special Investigation Unit to deal with this mysterious phenomenon. Tomari was assigned to this special unit and fought as Kamen Rider Drive.
Tridoron can change into three different forms, as “TRI-” indicates. The primary function is “Type Speed” which is suitable for high-speed driving. The front of the car is equipped with the Tridoron Shoot, which can fire at enemies. The second form, “Type Wild” is best for rugged terrain but much slower. The third form, “Type Technic” is the Tridoron’s slowest form but has an arm used for multiple purposes and can take on any environment.
The Tridoron model is “TRIDORON-3000,” which has an output of 3,000 horsepower and a max speed of 560 km/h. To put it in perspective, the Honda NSX has a 573 horsepower and a max speed of 191 mph.
As for Kamen Rider Drive, he primarily transforms into Kamen Rider Drive Type Speed, which can move as fast as the Tridoron. He can also “shift” into the forms Flare, Spike, Shadow, and so on. Kamen Rider Drive uses “Shift Cars” to transform, placing them in his arm’s Shift Brace. Tires from Trideron will then appear on Kamen Rider Drive’s chest. This action is called “Tire Exchange.”
Various elements of cars are shown within the series, such as Kamen Rider Drive’s visor appearing like a car’s headlight.
In the film Kamen Rider Drive Surprise Future, released in 2015, an antagonist appeared from the year 2035. Kamen Rider Dark Drive wanted to destroy Kamen Rider Drive. He also drove a car as his primary vehicle instead of a motorcycle.
The NEXTridoron used the Mercedes-AMG GT as a base model. Compared to the bright red and white of the Tridoron, the NEXTridoron was black with blue lines. Its output is 3,900 horsepower with a max speed of 808 km/h. The normal Mercedes-AMG GT is 469 hp with a max speed of 307 km/h (191 mph). With its beautiful style and high performance, it was successful in making viewers believe it was a “car from the future.”