is the fictional personal automobile
of comic book superhero Batman
. The version featured in the films Batman
and Batman Returns
takes a dark appearance to match with director and producer Tim Burton
's portrayal of Gotham City
Design and features
that roamed the streets of this Art Deco
city reflected its environment. It was huge, long, low and sleek. It combined design elements from 1930s coupes like the Bugatti Type 57
and modern racing cars such as the Lowenbrau962.JPG
and was built on a Chevy Impala
Gadgetry included twin retractable machine guns, and small bombs ejected from the wheels. To prevent tampering, the Tim Burton Batmobile featured an armored "cocoon" mode, a hard layered shell that would cover every inch of the vehicle, including the wheels. Reputedly, every gadget seen on the Batmobile used in these films was fully functional, including the jet engine, which consumed fuel at such a high rate that there was only enough fuel capacity to run it for the approximately fifteen seconds of the longest shot in which you can see it operating.
Role in Batman
We first see the Batmobile when Batman
comes to rescue Vicki Vale
from the Joker
and his henchmen outside of the Gotham Museum of Art. The two then escape in the Batmobile and Batman drives them to the Batcave
, where he then gives the secret of the Joker's chemical combinations to Vicki.
The Batmobile's next appearance is when Batman sends the car into Axis Chemicals on autodrive, and has it drop explosives inside, destroying the factory.
Role in Batman Returns
In Batman Returns
, the Batmobile also had a secondary mode referred to as the "Batmissile", where the wheels would retract inward and the sides of the vehicle would break off, converting the car into a thin bullet train-like form capable of squeezing through tight alleyways. This comes after Batman is framed by the Penguin
for kidnapping and murder. In the process, Batman finds himself trapped in the Batmobile under Penguin's control.
Fictional technical specifications
- Length: 260.7 in
- Width: 94.4 in
- Height: 51.2 in
- Acceleration: 0-60 in 3.7 seconds
- Maximum Speed: 530 km/h with booster
- Engine: Jet Turbine
- Fuel: High octane; 97% special (gasoline paraffin mixture)
- Torque: 1750 lbf.ft at 98.7% ROS
- Wheelbase: 141.0 in
- Wheels: Cast alloy, 15 x 6.5
- Tires: High aspect L60-15
For quick maneuvers, this Batmobile had side-mounted grappling hook launchers and a central "foot" capable of lifting the car and rotating it 180°.
- Spherical bombs
- Afterburner in the back
- Two Browning machine guns hidden behind flaps in each fender
- Grappling hook - Once hooked on a structure, it serves as an anchor to allow the batmobile to make an extremely sharp turn at high speed that its pursuers typically cannot duplicate.
- Superhydraulics for course changes
- Batdisc Ejector (side-mounted) - Could fire precisely 15 Batdiscs in the 1-second pulse.
- Chassis-mounted shinbreakers
- Oil slick dispensers
- Smoke emitters
Inside, the two-seat cockpit featured aircraft-like instrumentation, a passengers' side monitor, self-diagnostics system, CD recorder, and voice-command recognition system.
The Batmobile's "cocoon"
is made up of ceramic fractal armor
panels. They explode outward when struck by projectiles, deflecting injurious force away from the car and its occupants.
If Batman has to exit the Batmobile for an extended period of time, he can, through a voice command (specifically, the phrase "Shields"), activate the Batmobile's cocoon system. This prevents people from tampering with the car while it is left unattended.
Bulletproof and fireproof steel plates envelop the body and cockpit entirely. While this armor is in place, the vehicle cannot be driven.
Role in Batman
The cocoon in Tim Burton
's 1989 Batman film
was not a fully functioning shield
. In reality, a life-size model was built and the cocoon animation was provided by stop motion
Role in Batman Returns
The cocoon seen in Tim Burton's second Batman film, Batman Returns
), had the same characteristics as the previous one. However, the design was slimmer and the special effects were provided by computer-generated imagery
- Replicas of the Tim Burton-era Batmobiles are on display in front of several Batman: The Ride roller coasters.
- Historic auto attractions in Roscoe, IL displays a Batmobile from Batman Returns as well as the "Bat Rocket" in addition to the Batmobile (1966) from the television series.
In other media
- A series of OnStar TV advertisements featured this particular Batmobile being equipped with the system. This which allowed Batman to call various Gotham characters, summon police, remotely unlock the vehicle's doors and find the nearest jet fuel station.
- This version of the Batmobile was later seen in the Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman episode called "Don't Tug on Superman's Cape", an episode which shows that some collectors had apparently stolen the Batmobile.
- In the movie Looney Tunes: Back in Action, Daffy Duck drives the Tim Burton version of the Batmobile into the water tower on the Warner Bros. studio lot, causing it to fall over and nearly crush Jenna Elfman's character.
- On the TV series Animaniacs, the Tim Burton version of the Batmobile approaches the WB studios front gates, the guard at the door greets the driver by saying "Good afternoon Mr. Keaton."
- Yet another Animaniacs cartoon features a parody of the poem 'Twas the Night Before Christmas. As the WB studios empty out for the Christmas break, the Tim Burton version of the Batmobile pulls up to the gate, and Ralph the Guard waves it through, saying, "Goodnight, Mr. Keaton, that's a lovely sedan."
- In a third Animaniacs appearance, Dot Warner's interpretation of a Puck soliloquy from A Midsummer Night's Dream renders the line, "And Robin shall make amends ere long" as "And the Boy Wonder will save us." The Tim Burton version of the Batmobile then drives up to the Warner siblings and opens its canopy; Robin pulls the trio into the car, which departs, saving them from an angry fairy.
- In the "RPM" episode of the animated series The Batman, one of Bruce Wayne's Batmobile prototypes is the Batmobile from the Tim Burton films.