The Batmans new iteration of the iconic Batmobile is surprisingly low-tech for the Caped Crusader, but it ties into the films direction and tone.
With a new Batman usually comes a new Batmobile, and Robert Pattinson’s Dark Knight gets a wonderful - albeit low-tech - new version of the iconic car in The Batman. The Batmobile has existed as long as Batman himself, and just as Batman is perhaps the superhero genre’s most malleable character, his most famous form of transportation is too. Throughout the various live-action Batman adaptations, the Caped Crusader’s car has reflected the style and relative realism of its respective universe, and The Batman’s Batmobile is no exception.
Belfast (2022) Ganzer Film
The Batmobile debuted in the same 1939 issue of Detective Comics as Batman himself, and the vehicle initially appeared to be an ordinary car. Over time, however, the Batmobile grew in sophistication, becoming more stylized and featuring a massive arsenal of gadgetry to defend itself and disable enemy vehicles. As Batman has been adapted and reimagined for various live-action productions, the Batmobile has had numerous forms on film and television.
While the 1960s Batmobile is based on the Lincoln Futura concept car, the three Batmobiles shown in the Tim Burton and Joel Schumacher films were stylized vehicles that took inspiration from drag racers. The Batmobiles of Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight Trilogy and the DCEU franchise were far more utilitarian, with the former being an experimental US military vehicle. The Batman’s Batmobile is conceptually the most similar to the 1960s version, as a modified vintage muscle car, though its offensive and defensive systems are far less sophisticated than previous Batmobiles due to The Batman’s focus on realism.
The Batmobile charging through the highways of Gotham City in The Batman
Enhanced durability is one of the key features of most Batmobiles, which Batman drives into battle against Gotham City’s criminal element. The 1960s Batmobile automatically mitigated damage from The Riddler’s incendiary grenade in the Batman TV series, while the Tim Burton and Christopher Nolan Batmobiles could endure small arms fire and explosives with ease. The Joel Schumacher and DCEU Batmobiles were even more durable with the Batman & Robin Batmobile absorbing Mr. Freeze’s ice gun’s rays and the Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice Batmobile remaining unharmed by all attacks, save for running into Superman himself. The Batman’s Batmobile, however, simply uses bulletproof glass, which protected Batman from The Penguin’s automatic gunfire.
Batmobiles also often carry a large array of offensive gadgetry, ranging from guns and explosive canons to more outlandish ray guns. Just as The Batman’s Batmobile uses only a realistic defensive countermeasure, its offensive weaponry is just as grounded. The car’s hood was heavily reinforced, allowing Batman to ram The Penguin’s car, disabling it and allowing Batman to capture him.
The Batman and the Dark Knight Trilogy both put a stronger focus on relative realism than any other Batman adaptation. Christian Bale’s Batman used a car meant for the US military, resulting in a heavily armed and armored vehicle. The Batman took a different approach, having Bruce Wayne and Alfred modify the car themselves, resulting in a low-tech but visually-pleasing new version of the iconic Batmobile.