There’s one thing that you should know about the Batmobile: there are a LOT of them. Whether you followed the Detective comics, the classic 60s series with Adam West, Saturday morning’s The Animated Series, or the recent trilogy directed by Chris Nolan, there’s no doubt that you would have seen the Batmobile and thought that it was the best thing ever. You wouldn’t be wrong, either: of all vehicles, the Batmobile is one full of surprises.
Most surprising would be the evolution of the Batmobile through the ages. Each incarnation with
Batman, whether campy, animated, or more serious, has seen a different Batmobile featuring
different aesthetics and capabilities. Here are a few, but watch out. You’ll soon be scouring a John
Hughes car sales yard to find the perfect second hand car to convert into your own Batmobile…
The First Batmobile
While Batman did drive high-performance vehicles since his debut, only one became the Batmobile,
and it’s nothing like we’ve come to associate with the term today. The first Batmobile wasn’t black –
it was red, and, far from having all of the special tools and features that we’ve come to expect from
it today, it was bright red with a gold bat as the hood ornament. What it lacked in grappling hooks
and explosives it made for in sheer engine power and a heavily reinforced nose that could smash
through buildings without causing any damage to the car itself.
Adam West’s Batmobile
Considered by many to be the Batmobile, this legendary car was custom-built by George Barris.
Created exclusively for ABC’s TV series, Barris used Ford’s abandoned plans for the concept car, the
Futura, as its basis. With fins on the back and bubble canopies, the Futura was perfect as a starting
point for what would become one of the world’s most famous cars. In addition to the bat mask
integrated into the nose, it would also feature lasers, rocks, an onboard computer, and a battering
ram, to name just a few.
Tim Burton’s Batmobile
Easily ranking alongside with Adam West’s Batmobile as the favourite Batmobile, designer Anton
Furst and Tim Burton’s reimagining of the Batmobile took a complete overhaul. It took away the bat
mask, a legacy of the TV series, and instead has a jet turbine intake at the front. While armoured, it
could also surround itself in armour. With a few simple features like spherical bombs, machine guns,
and grappling hooks, it had definitely cut back on all of the features of the 60s’ TV series. Its greatest
feature, however, was that it would launch missiles by shedding the outside and reconfiguring the
wheels and axes to make room for the missile – which left the Batmobile essentially destroyed and
in need of reconstruction.
As a completely new start to the Batman movie series, Nolan’s Batmobile was yet another major
overhaul in the design of the Batmobile. It was a heavily armoured bridging vehicle capable of
making jumps without ramps, and featured two modes of driving: a typical driving mode, where
Batman would sit on the left in a normal position, and an attack mode, where, lying prone, he
would be shifted to the centre. This Batmobile was also capable of providing Batman with an escape
vehicle, the Bat-Pod, formed by taking its front and rear wheels, leaving the rest of the car to self-
Article Bio: Joe Bedet is a car and Batman enthusiast who has not had enough room here to convey
his love for everything Batmobile. He’s been prowling the yard of John Hughes for something to
make his own Batmobile one day.