Everyone loves the Batman. The dark, brooding hero always stays one step ahead of the villains. Assisting him in his quest to defeat his opponents are his assorted array of gadgets. The Batarang and the Bat-grapple are some his iconic tools but there is one that is more iconic than them all and sometimes, manages to steal the show away from the Bat himself. So, here’s a look at the various incarnations of the Batmobile through the ages.
Crime Fighting with Class
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Before the live action TV series came along and introduced the now famous Batmobile, Batman’s choice of wheels for getting around Gotham were more akin to a regular car. The first ever mention of the Batmobile in the comic books was of a red Cabriolet that didn’t have all the gadgets that are now standard features in the Batmobile. All this red Cabrio had was a reinforced front end to smash through various unlucky walls in Gotham and a bat symbol hood ornament to show that it was the Bat’s own ride.
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In the 1960s live action TV series, Batman needed to have a ride that was futuristic and advanced. The answer? A 1955 Lincoln Futura concept car modified by George Barris into the Batmobile we know and love, with its entirely black body with red highlights and the red Bat-branding. This Batmobile started the trend of Batman’s rides getting advanced gadgets of its own. The 1960s Batmobile features a Batcomputer, Batphone, smoke screen and all the futuristic tech of the 60s. All powered by a Ford V8 and rounded off with a rear rocket thruster.
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All black. Sleek. And a menacing presence. The Batmobile from the 1980s was truly a terrifying vehicle. Even more than Batman himself. The front-end features what looks like a jet turbine, justifiable as the car also features an afterburner. Basically an old school MiG-21 on wheels. Standard on this Batmobile are the complete bomb-proof shielding, wheel hub bomb dispersal and dual machine guns. A true companion to Batman.
These Batmobiles can’t really be classified as Batmobiles. Subtlety is not their strong suit. This is the ride Batman needs when there’s a rave to infiltrate with gloss black paintjob and neon highlights. Apart from the standard “Neon” Package, other features include remote disabling of Robin’s bike and the optional “Ice Adapt” Package. The less we talk about this the better.
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It was time to give Batman a new lease of life on the silver screen and the man to do it was Christopher Nolan. Nolan’s Batman was going to be grounded in reality and his ride would also have to be appropriately grounded in reality. The answer was the Tumbler – the legitimate love child of an aggressive Lamborghini and a heavily armored tank. The ability to jump between rooftops, explosive cannons and a hidden Batpod are standards for this modern Batmobile. The howl of its engine was enough to make low-level henchman wet their pants and mid-level henchmen cower in fear well before the Batman got out of his car.
The Stealth Buggy-Mobile
The Batman vs. Superman: Dawn of Justice featured this sleek but intimidating Batmobile or rather Batbuggy. Design elements from both the Tumbler and the sleek Batmobiles from the 90s era seems to have inspired this tank of a car.
The Military Sports Edition
Another new Batmobile from the new Batman: Arkham Knight game. This one features quite prominently in the game, serving as Batman’s alternate mode of transport when gliding around Gotham City gets a bit tiresome. The Arkham Knight Batmobile has entire missions built around it and comes with auto-locking missiles and powerful cannons to battle tanks amongst performing a whole host of other functions. This Batmobile is probably the most spacious on the list as Batman can take two passengers with him in the back.