Films are big business and while the spotlight is typically on the starring thespians, in some cases the cars have stolen the show and became the main attraction. In this feature, we look at two more of the most beloved and iconic vehicles to grace the big screen: the Bale era Batmobile from the epic Dark Knight Trilogy and the 2006 Chevrolet Camaro Concept car from the uber-popular live-action Transformers movies. Let’s get started…
Icon One: The Batmobile (Dark Knight Trilogy)
Superheroes need to travel like the rest of us, but do so in different ways. Sometimes transport is needed and in Batman’s world, the most famous car of them all is the Batmobile. There are multiple variations of this unique vehicle but for this feature, we shall look at the Batmobile from the hugely successful and popular Dark Knight Trilogy directed by Christopher Nolan, starring Christian Bale as the Caped Crusader.
The Batmobile made its first appearance in the Batman universe in a 1939 issue of Detective Comics (no.27) and, like it’s owner, has changed considerably over the years. In the Dark Knight Trilogy, we see the Batmobile as a tank-like prototype developed by Wayne Enterprises’ Applied Sciences Division, originally intended for military use. Known as a “Tumbler”, Bruce Wayne/Batman immediately asks “does it come in black?”. This wheeled weapon isn’t anywhere as car-like in design compared to, say, the Batmobile from the rather different Adam West era of the character but is charming in its own way.
Although never officially named in the film trilogy as the Batmobile, it’s obvious that the modified Tumbler is just that. Once referred to as a cross between ” a Lamborghini and a tank” it is undeniably both robust and rapid, which is handy given what it has to cope with. It may not be as elegant as a Ferrari, but this vehicle still will get your attention and has the bonus of housing Batman’s Batpod motorcycle which can be deployed should times get very, very, tough.
So, what does this mighty machine have to offer? It may not have a warranty (that we know of) nor does it have a reversing camera, parking sensors or a dealer network but this vehicle does boast a jet engine, a stealth mode and armour so strong it can easily bust through concrete barriers and soldiers on with impressive durability. It has deployable mini mines and can even perform a ramp free jump. There’s also a rocket launcher, some autocannons and rear flaps to assist with braking, all useful additions for sure. The Bale era Batmobile (if we can call it that) is so good at what it does that in The Dark Knight Rises, the main villain Bane uses a number of stolen Tumblers as a tool of intimidation during his stint as overlord of Gotham City and it’s remaining residents.
You may be wondering though how much of this machine is actually real. How much is physically there and how much is CGI? Christopher Nolan wanted his take on the long-established comic book car to be able to actually function and perform for real. Several versions of it have been made (and used) for the films themselves and behind the scenes footage even shows the prototype being driven. It’s very much a practical project that is impressive and a great piece of engineering in its own right. The Bale era Batmobile can do 0-60 in 5.6 seconds and has a top speed of 160 MPH, so it isn’t at all slow. The engine is a 5.7 litre all American V8 (from General Motors) and the overall car weight is 2.3 tonnes in total, which is very heavy.
The Batmobile really is an iconic movie motor, safe to say, and though we’ve covered only one version of the Caped Crusader, there are many others from different Batman eras out there which could be covered in the future. The Batmobile, to conclude, is a car for all seasons and all people (as long as your name is Batman of course).