Mar 10, 2016
On March 25th, Batman vs. Superman: Dawn of Justice hits our theatres and in the build-up to the titanic clash of these two mammoth forces, MyCarNeedsA.com is taking a second to remember one of the most iconic features of the Batman verse: the Batmobile.
Alike movie icons such as James Bond, whose equally impressive array of incredible vehicles we featured on the site last year, Batman simply could not be Batman without his enormously powerful ride by his side.
Whilst Batman has always drove high-spec cars since his comic debut in 1937, the Batmobile as called ‘the Batmobile’ didn’t appear until 1941. The first Batmobile was most unlike the traditional image of the Batmobile it would later become, being an adaptation of a red 1936 Cord.
Over the years, as cars themselves had advanced in spec and film budgets have swelled in their investment, Batmobiles have found themselves becoming grander and more epic in kind.
Including the famous scenes throughout cinema history which have featured these cars, let’s take a delve back through time to remind ourselves of the famous car’s twists, turns and eye-catching stunts of the past 50 years of Batman history.
The Batmobile that made Batmobiles cool before Batmobiles were a thing. The 1966 TV series and film was charted with finding a real-life variation of a comic book fantasy and turned to Ford’s Futura design for help. Having adapted the Futura in the pressed time of a mere few weeks, the original made Batmobile was the brainchild of car designer George Barris.
Following the work of graphic novelist Frank Miller and others in the 1980s, the Batman franchise underwent a darker, more morally grey transformation. Along with Batman and Gotham City’s design, the Batmobile was enhanced with menacing power. Spliced together with the chassis’ of two Chevy Impalas, the remainder of the body was a bespoke design atop of a Chevy V8 engine and Mickey Thompson’s racing tyres.
The third film in Warner Bros. Batman series, Batman Forever’s Batmobile underwent a radical redesign from Barbara Ling, whose vision manifested into a more personified organic appearance. The ‘95 Batmobile saw grating to resemble human ribs and more realistic wings installed as the fender. To enhance this, the bodywork was underlit with blue lighting and the headlights designed to double up as eyes.
Barbara Ling returned in 1997 to design the Batman & Robin Batmobile, upgrading the look of the ‘95 Batmobile, as she felt it didn’t have the screen presence she wanted. One of the longest Batmobiles ever at 30 feet in length, inspiration from its design came from old racing cars like the Jaguar D Type and Delahaye 165.
Along with Christopher Nolan’s famous, critically acclaimed rework of the Batman verse came a darker, more realistic tone. As much apart of that as any, the ‘Tumbler’ Batmobile lost the sleek, Hollywood feel of the 90s Batmobiles and was turned into an indomitable super-tank. Weighing 2.5 tonnes and yet capable of moving at 110MPH, power for this monster came from a 500HP V8 Chevy engine.
The new Batmobile looks to be a bonafide monster! Taking the tank appearance of the ‘Tumbler’ Batmobile and upgrading it to include a more streamlined, traditional Batman look, the 2016 bat car sees the return of the wings at the back and a more personalised image, whilst retaining its military spec. According to the director Zack Snyder, it’s a “batmobile that Batman himself would build.”
Cast your mind back 75 years to when the first Batmobile was drawn in 1941. Imagine, if you will, the idea of how far it has come in those 75 years. Would you have thought it possible?
As the next chapter in Batman’s epic saga prepares to land on our screens and the planned Justice League movies already having been cast and crew contracts signed, it’s clear that The Batman’s story is far from done.
Where will it go from here? What new additions to the famous Batmobile could we see as cinema continues to balloon into it’s most epic period in history? Only time and imagination will tell.
We’d like to hear which Batmobile over time was your favourite? Was it the low-key, classic of the 1960s? Perhaps the sleek, comic book feel of the mid-90s with the glowing lights and shiny wings? Or is it the rip-roaring reality of Chris Nolan’s epic, powerful tank?Vote in our poll of the greatest Batmobiles - Click here