If you are anything like us, you’ll know that epic cars play a huge part in making a great movie. Think of James Bond and his Aston Martins, or the Italian Job and the fleet of Mini Coopers. The vehicles add a whole extra dimension to the movie for car lovers, and there is no more iconic movie and car combination than Batman and his Batmobile.
After getting the chance to take a look around the new Batmobile from the new ‘The Batman’ movie for a CT video, we’re pretty much certain that the Batmobile is the coolest movie car of all time.
Over the years, we’ve seen a whole host of different Batmobiles taking different approaches in the eternal struggle against criminals wearing elaborate fancy dress costumes. From army surplus weapons of mass destruction to more conventional-looking cars, every Batmobile has managed to carry the caped crusader with some style and most offered an array of extraordinary gadgets designed to wipe the smile off The Joker’s face.
As always seems to be the way with any trip down memory lane, our look into Batmoble history provoked some mild arguments over which are the best Batmobiles ever. Below you’ll find the final results, so unlock the Bat Cave, strap on the utility belt, chuck a Batarang at Alfred the butler and get ready to disagree with our pick of all-time greatest Batmobiles…
The 6 best Batmobiles… according to us
6. Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (2016)
The movie’s Production Designer Patrick Tatopolous famously sketched his vision for this Batmobile on a napkin while at a coffee shop. From that moment, this epic military-spec vehicle started on its path to becoming a real-life beast.
It took over a year to build three models of this Batmobile entirely from scratch, and the final cars each produce a staggering 540bhp. The rear tyres alone weigh around 500lbs each, while custom made Brembo brakes were commissioned to help bring the 8500lbs behemoth to a standstill. Airbag suspension was fitted to enable the car’s stance to be altered on the move, which explains why some shots from the movie showed the car riding low like a Lamborghini, and in other scenes, the rear section was raised for an aggressive, Cobra-like stance. These Batmobiles were designed to perform like proper supercars, and a huge amount of effort went into getting the car ready for the stunts that made it into the final film.
Oh, and how could we possibly skip over the giant machine gun turret mounted on the front of the car - consider this Batman’s version of the Rolls Royce Spirit of Ecstasy. Combined with a grappling hook and a range of countermeasures such as smoke grenades, this Batmobile has to go down as one of the most aggressive looking in the entire Batman movie catalogue.
5. Batman (1966)
Is the original Batmobile the best? Driven by none other than the legendary Adam West, this wacky looking machine featured in the very first Batman film in 1966. It was based on 1956 Lincoln Futura concept car and included an onboard Bat-computer, Battering Ram, and Bat-ray, to remotely shut down criminal cars and catch the thieving scum inside.
If you have more money than sense, Fibreglass Freaks of Indiana will build you a replica of this V8 monster for the price of $300,000. It’s a high price to pay, but one of these custom-made machies may be the best way to live out your childhood Batman fantasies. So, who’s up for some vigilante justice?
4. Lamborghini Aventador SVJ
If Batman had to pick a daily driver, we think it would be a Lamborghini. With their aggressive looks and outrageous power reserves, there’s no other car more fit for the purpose. A Murcielago made a brief cameo in The Dark Knight, and an Aventador was spotted in Batcave in The Dark Knight Rises.
Bruce Wayne may not have any actual superpowers (apart from a shedload of money - handy when you’re buying Lambos), but this car certainly does. The fully kitted out, 759bhp Aventador SVJ is part of a minority of cars that can reach 0-62mph in less than three seconds, making it one of the fastest rides around.
If you’re looking to fulfil your own Batman fantasy (no judgement, we promise), then you’ll need to spend well into six figures for an Aventador SVJ. To be honest, it’s probably worth every penny.
Nolan’s critically acclaimed Batman reboot is a dark and gritty series, so it needed a no-nonsense Batmobile, and it really did get one.
The Tumbler appeared in three of the Batman series’ most acclaimed films: Batman Begins (2005), The Dark Night (2008) and The Dark Knight Rises (2012). The idea was that the car had been designed by Wayne Enterprises for military use as an impenetrable war machine, though the concept was never adopted. Thankfully for us, Batman had some enemies that needed seeing to, and after a matte-black paint job, this thinly disguised tank was destined to become another Batmobile. It’s safe to say the Tumbler is one of the most iconic Batmobiles to date and ideally suited the dark, action-packed tone of the Dark Knight series.
The military spec ride weighs in at two-and-a-half tonnes but hits 60mph in a mind-blowing 5.6 seconds thanks to its trusty 5.7-litre GM V8, good for 500bhp. Its rear tyres alone stand over a metre tall, but it’s not just a big black bulldozer. There are airbrakes, a rocket launcher, and the ability to split into the Batpod motorbike. So that’s The Tumbler. And you want one.
The latest machine to join the Batmobile arsenal is a step away from the heavily-armoured military-grade vehicles we’ve seen in recent years. The apocalypse-ready take on a classic American muscle car has us well-and-truly foaming at the mouth. The director of the new movie’s, Director Matt Reeves, explained that he wanted the car to look as if it had been constructed and kitted out by Batman in his own garage. Given his history of epic rides, it’s safe to say Batman is definitely a car guy, but we had never taken him for a DIY modder. Maybe he likes his JDM stuff, too?
Before The Batman had even hit the screens, CarThrottle had an opportunity to get up close and personal with the new Batmobile. You’ll be pleased to know that the stripped back, utilitarian design of Batman’s retro, muscle car-inspired hotrod is combined with some outrageous performance. The car’s beastly twin-turbocharged V8 sits directly behind the driver’s Corbeau bucket seat, putting out a monstrous 700bhp and likely deafening the driver while doing so - some Bat Plugs for the Bat Ears may be in order. Side exhausts also feature, as well as jet-propulsion exhaust at the rear - a nod to the car featured in the 1966 film.
This Batmobile can shift between all-wheel drive, front-wheel drive and rear-wheel drive for gnarly drifts, which came in handy as the car completed all of the stunts you’ll see in the film with CGI only being used for scenery and visual effects. The car’s chassis and body panels are constructed from solid steel, providing the tank-like rigidity Batman needs for troublesome daily drives and trips to the supermarket. Four cars were built for the film, one of which featured uprated suspension and a fibreglass front bumper for jump scenes.
1. Batman Returns - 1989
Is there a more iconic Batmobile than this ludicrous machine from Batman Returns? Tim Burton’s Batmobile was supposedly powered by a jet engine with an afterburner, capable of rocketing Batman from 0-62mph in just 3.9 seconds and reaching a top speed of 330mph.
Of course, these numbers are based in fantasy rather than reality. The real car was based on a 1970 Chevrolet Corvette body and used a Chevy V8 engine, and needless to say the jet engine was a dummy. Nevertheless, this absurd machine is essentially a jet-powered drag strip racer, so we’ve put it at number one.
But we can’t forget the ‘real’ Batmobile…
1973 BMW 3.0 CSL 'Batmobile'
Okay, it may not strictly be an official Batmobile, but come on. Just look at the thing - with its frankly frightening rear wing and other unusually designed aerodynamic body parts, it’s no wonder it has earned the nickname ‘Batmobile’. It may have never been near The Joker, but it still deserves the name, and we had to mention it on this list.
Like so many other great cars, the 3.0 CSL was created as a homologation special for the BMW racing division. The seventies’-spec aerodynamics led to some questionable design choices: deep front air dam, rubber strips down the wings, and massive wings on the back window and boot lid.
The 3.0 CSL was an incredible racer, winning at both European Touring Cars competitions and Le Mans. The road-legal variation of the racecar looked like it’d jumped straight out of a comic book and became affectionately known as the ‘Batmobile’, earning its place on this list.
So, what do you think is the best Batmobile?