With the latest Batman movie 'Dark Knight' nearing its theatrical release on July 18, lets take time to look back into the modification done on his famous vehicles.
Unlike Superman who has the ability to fly and Spider-Man who can cling to generally any surfaces, Batman has to rely on his mastered skills and on the advanced technology in fighting off his enemies. Whether in the comic books or in the movies, Batman is often required to chase after his nemesis. To cover up his inhuman disability, he mostly opts to use intricate and specially-designed vehicles.
With this famed Gotham's crime-fighter being brought again and again to the big screen over the past two decades, his popular vehicles are going through changes as well. Highlighting on these changes, AceShowbiz has prepared brief discussion about the modification done to his various mode of transportations for the last 20 years.
Generally an automobile designed to provide Batman protection as well as gadget to combat his foes, this particular conveyance can be considered to be the most popular among Batman's transportation media. Appearing in all of his big screen movies from the 1989 "Batman" to the upcoming "The Dark Knight", Batmobile has undergone changes from its design to the gadgets attached.
In "Dark Knight", Batman will still be using the batmobile he used in "Batman Begins". Called 'The Tumbler', this four-wheeled vehicle is described to be a cross between a Lamborghini and a Hummer. It has the form that will remind people of a military tank unlike the sleeker design of the previous Batmobiles.
Evolving from the previous Batmobiles used in 1989 "Batman", 1995 "Batman Forever" and 1997 "Batman and Robin", the Tumbler has an extremely different style. It eliminates the wing-shaped fins that symbolized the night creature Batman used as his design inspiration.
With the length of 15 feet, Tumbler is the shortest Batmobile in Batman's movie history. Previously, the shortest record was held by Michael Keaton's "Batman" which batmobile is measured in 21.7 feet length.
Though pretty much shorter than the other Batmobiles, Tumbler apparently is the widest among all. Measured at 9.5 feet, it is about two feet wider than the ones used in "Batman Forever" as well as in "Batman".
For its wheels, Tumbler uses the 44 inches tall mud tires to make it capable of going through any kind of terrains. Compared to the batmobile featured in "Batman and Robin" which uses custom 22 inches wheels, the latest batmobile has monstrous tires.
The Tumbler has a 5.7-liter Chevy V8 engine allowing it to race up to 266 mph with acceleration 0-60 in 5.3 seconds. Equipped also with a jet engine and vector control, the engine supported Tumbler to jump about 6 feet vertically and 40 feet horizontally. Though the new engine may have granted Tumbler actions that may not be performed by the previous batmobile, it couldn't boost Tumbler's speed which is relatively slower than other batmobiles which can race up to 350 mph.
Unlike any other batmobiles featured in the previous films, Tumbler has a unique attacking mode. If Batman needs to fight off the criminals using this high tech automobile, the driver's seat of the car will move to the center and then, the driver will be repositioned with his face-down between the front two wheel. Additionally, it is geared up with integrated fire-extinguishing system and stealth mode allowing it to be hard to be found in dark places.
Another transporting means used by Batman in the movies is Batcycle. Though rarely seen in any Batman feature films, it will be making an appearance in the upcoming "Dark Knight". The two-wheeled vehicle designed by Nathan Crowley, the man who designed 'The Tumbler', will be named Batpod. It has a special construction with 20 inches front and rear tires and an engine placed in the hubs of the wheels.
Uniquely designed, this Batpod will be unlike any other batcycles featured earlier in the sense of its operation. Instead of being steered using hands, this vehicle should be directed using the shoulders while the arms of the rider will be protected by shields. Allegedly, it is armed with grappling hooks, cannon and machine guns.
Before Batpod is introduced in the big screen, batcycle can be seen in "Batman and Robin" as Batblade when Batgirl played by Alicia Silverstone stole it. The design is said to be built on the body of a drag racer resulting on a bigger back-tire which is taken from a car. The uniqueness of Batblade is that it can be used under most extreme weather conditions.