Analysing the good and the bat among the 4 greatest Batmobiles

As far as automotive royalties go, the Batmobile is right up there with K.I.T.T. and time-traveling DeLorean. The caped crusader’s personal chariot has evolved through multiple models throughout the decade, each with their own strengths and weaknesses. Today we take a look at a few of those models and compare their advantage and limitations.

Dozierverse Batmobile

Although unknown to many modern fans, but William Dozier's somewhat silly and over the top tv series was the first to give Batman his own personalized set of wheels. The producers used a concept car, the 1955 Lincoln Futura, as the base for the new vehicle. The end result was a one of a kind, sleek, black & red car that cemented itself in the Bat mythos.

Strengths: The car was powered by an "Atomic turbine", effectively giving the car virtually unlimited range. It was armed with explosive "Bat-zooka"s and featured various advance tracking and surveillance systems such as the Bat-deflector, Bat-dust, Odor Sensitometer Radar and many others. The car was also equipped with the versatile "Bat-ray", capable of accomplishing any task required to further the plot.  

Weaknesses: As cool it is to have a convertible crime-fighting machine, the open-topped nature of this Batmobile left the dynamic duo exposed to outside attack. Also, using nuclear energy to power a car is a risky concept, even for Batman.

Burtonverse Batmobile

From the cheesy TV series to the Movie that defined modern Batman, we have the iconic Batmobile from the Tim Burton movies. Unlike its processor, this was built from the ground up to represent the edgier, darker setting of the new movies. The result was a sleek but menacing vehicle, resembling an armoured F1 car with bat wings sticking out from the rear.

Strengths: The car was powered by a jet turbine, which gave it a blistering top speed of 530 km/h. Protection was also top-notch, being capable of entering "Cocoon-mode" which protected it from all kinds of small arms fire. A pair of forward-mounted fixed .30 calibre machine guns gave it its teeth, while non-lethal options included oil slick dispensers and smoke emitters. Additionally, the car could enter an emergency "Batmissile" mode that basically shrunk down the car to half its size by jettisoning the rest of the body panels.

Weaknesses: Remember I said the car was powered by a jet engine? That can't be good for the car's fuel economy. The car was also surprisingly light on the weapons department, with those .30 calibres being inadequate to handle anything other than soft targets.

The Animated Series

While the first golden screen appearance of the Batmobile was great, the successive iterations became less menacing and focused on being more flamboyant and "family-friendly". This changed with Batman: The Animated Series, which bought back the darker setting. With the change came a new Batmobile, complete with its own origin story. The new car was designed and created one Earl Cooper, a car designer kicked out of the auto industry for being a whistleblower. And unlike the neon light shows seen in the last two movies of the original quintology, the new car was not only nice to look at but also a formable fighting machine.

Strengths: To quote cooper, the car had "Titanium construction, ablative skin cowlings and tri-nitro propulsion units." It also fixed the firepower problem incorporating a missile rack, while tire slashers were added to the wheel hub for vehicle takedowns. The car was also capable of stealth, disguising itself as an alley dumpster when left unattended.

Weaknesses: The car was long, really long. The turning radius was less than ideal, something that put the car at a disadvantage when facing off against fast and nimble opponents. The issue caused the car to be eventually phased out in favour of a new sleeker coupe, with a much more manageable wheelbase.

Nolanverse Batmobile AKA "The Tumbler"

Moving from the classics to contemporary, we have the new Tumbler from Christopher Nolan's Trilogy. Originally designed as a bridging vehicle for the military, the vehicle was rejected, likely because of is overengineered nature. Bruce Wayne later discovered the prototype, and after a quick coat of black paint, a new Batmobile was born.

Strengths: Unlike the previous Batmobiles, the Tumbler was less car and more tank. It was both heavily armed and armoured and could rampage through any obstacle put on its path. Amusingly, it also had a "stealth mode", switching to an electric motor to conceal its engine sound. The most impressive of the feature was the Vector-controlled jet engine, which allowed the car to make "rampless" jumps. Finally, it came equipped with a Batpod, which Batman could use as an escape vehicle in the event the car takes crippling damage. 

Weaknesses: Of all the Batmobiles on this list, the Tumbler is undoubtedly the slowest. Moreover, the cumbersome nature of the vehicle means it is more inclined to go through obstacles then around it, racking up a massive collateral damage bill in the process.


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