The following article was submitted by Amir
An iconic line that made the Gundam 00 series popular. A line that every single Gundam fan will notice immediately when it is said. But for those new Gundam fans, you must be wondering what this weird contraption is? Well, get a chair and some warm teh tarik because Uncle Amir is going to explain to you what a Trans-Am is and how it works!
Now before we get to the Trans-Am System, you need to know the workings that made this possible, the GN-Drive.
Now according to Gundam Wikia
“A Gundam Nucleus (GN) Drive is a semi-perpetual generator, scaled for installation in a mobile suit, which harnesses the by-products of baryonic decay as an energy source. Like every other power source, a GN Drive has a limited moment-by-moment output; however due to its very nature a GN Drive will continue to supply power for a theoretically infinite period of time, so long as the GN drive is not pushed to breaking limits.”
In simplest terms, it’s a self-charging generator that is used by the mobile suits in the Gundam 00 series to propel their suits!
Now background done, let’s get to the best part, the Trans-Am!
Remember when I said that it’s a self-charging generator? Well, as they generate and release energy, excess GN particles are stored inside the GN Condensers, which is like when your car stores the extra electricity in your battery during your driving for future uses.
Now, when the TURANS-AMUUUU System (Trans-Am) is activated, those stored particles are released as the output of the GN Drive is maxed out. These particles saturate the frame of the Mobile Suit, turning the frame of the suit to its iconic glowing reddish-pink hue as seen below.
With the Trans-Am System activated, its overall performance is increased 3-fold in terms of Speed, Defense and Attack. When the suit moves, the speed it generates is so fast that it leaves afterimages of itself, which is often used to confuse enemy attacks. It is said that a single Drive with Trans-Am activated is superior to three Drives that are not using the system.
So that basically makes it the ultimate system for a mobile suit, yes? Well, NOPE!
While it does increase the mobile suit’s performance by 3-fold, the system itself is a double-edged sword. Remember when I said that it stores the excess particles inside the GN Condenser and releases it alongside the GN Drive, maxing out its output when the system is activated?
Well, when the system releases more GN particles than it can create and runs out of excess particles stored, the system will turn itself off so that the particles can be replenished in conjunction with a lower GN particle generation rate; kind of like an overheated engine in that you need to let it cool off first in order for it work properly.
This lower particle generation rate dramatically reduces the performance of the suit and makes the suit highly vulnerable to enemy eyes. Currently, the system only works for a maximum of 3 minutes, which is the duration of a song!
So there you go people, a simple explanation for one of the most popular systems to exist in the Gundam franchise. Do comment below on what is your favourite system and maybe I’ll write something about it!