Kup has taken on the role of mentor and advisor to the impetuous young Hot Rod, offering him wisdom and advice when he needs it (although Hot Rod rarely feels like he does, much to Kup's chagrin). Arcee also serves as a calming influence on Hot Rod, and tends to worry about him when he is not around, or to tease and tease him when he is. Their relationship is antagonistic, but friendly. Exactly how deep Hot Rod's feelings for Arcee could go is unknown.
Hot Rod, also known as Rodimus, is a heroic Autobot knight. Using the Autobot Leadership Matrix, he took the title of Rodimus Prime and has been a Targetmaster. Sometimes it helps to form the Optimus Maximus combinator. When Optimus Prime left the Autobots and surrendered to humans, Hot Rod and a few others decided to separate from the main group of Autobots and leave Earth.
Hot Rod returned to Metroplex just as he was being attacked by Trypticon and a mentally controlled Fortress Maximus. When an injured Prime broke into the citadel, Hot Rod, Ironhide and Springer provided cover fire, knocking down several Guardians in the process. In some European countries, the Laser Rod known as Jolt was released under the name of Hot Rod, although it seems to have no relation to the Generation 1 Hot Rod. When Hot Rod heard the battle between the Megatron powered by Ore-13 and the rest of Prime's troops, Prowl prohibited him from interfering and entrusted him with the safe return of the facsimile.
Later, Hot Rod ran a simulation combat scenario against Kup, and won using tactics that, in Kup's opinion, would have killed both of them if it were real. When they realized that Laserbeak had been spying on them all along, and would soon inform Galvatron about the lost Energon shipment, Hot Rod and the others rushed back to Metroplex to inform Ultra Magnus of the situation. Hot Rod easily stuck with the Directors, and noticed that for some reason they had lost their advantage. After returning with the Ironhide body, Hot Rod was shocked when Optimus Prime resigned from his position as leader.
When Magnus later registered, Hot Rod reported that they had done some process with Headmaster technology. Everyone Hates Metroplex Later, Rodimus, Brawn and Mirage discovered that Bazooka, while in a trance, had drawn a map of the Primus Chamber on the Metroplex floor. Impressed by the technological wonders possessed by the people of The Watcher, Hot Rod became convinced of his altruistic nature. After rescuing her from the Decepticon attack, Hot Rod and the others put Sarah to safety inside Metroplex.
Unfortunately, Hot Rod found himself struggling well outside his weight class as he was a Scorponok driven man, who cheerfully punched his face, turned off one of his optics and broke his leg. After the Autobots narrowly avoided the Insecticon swarm and Sunstreaker sacrificed himself, Hot Rod jumped to Drift's defense when Bumblebee insulted him. A few months later, Hot Rod questioned Optimus Prime's choice to go to Earth again, accusing its leader of feeling guilty about Bumblebee's death in Serpent O.