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Batmobile (Burton Films)

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General Information
Official name: Batmobile
Appearances: Batman
Batman Returns
Designed by: Anton Furst
Tim Burton
Terry Ackland-Snow
John Evans
Keith Short
Type: Custom automobile
Used by: Batman
"Get in the car!"

The Batmobile is the Batman's primary mode of transportation. At first Batman often simply referred to this Batmobile as "the car", he would later come to call it the Batmobile. The vehicle is one of the most daunting components in his vast arsenal, keeping it stored in the Batcave when not in use.



Batman first used the Batmobile to rescue Vicki Vale from the Joker. Parking it out front of the Flugelheim Museum, he instructed Vale to get into the vehicle as the Joker's goons gave chase in their own cars and vans. Completely outmatching the villains' and the police for pure speed, the car unfortunately became caught in a bottleneck. With the road blocked by a construction crew the Batman and Vale had to abandon the car to continue their escape. Eventually, Batman used a remote to call the Batmobile to him after dispatching the last of the Joker's goons. In an attempt at killing the Joker after the recollection that the villain was responsible for his parents' deaths, Batman used the Batmobile to lay siege to the Axis Chemicals factory, effectively demolishing the complex despite the Joker's escape.

Batman ReturnsEdit

Months later, Batman would drive the Batmobile into battle against the Red Triangle Gang. When Gotham's central Christmas presentation is disrupted by an assault by the gang, Batman enters the fray with the Batmobile, systematically using the car's arsenal of abilities to deter the criminals from causing further damage.


The Batmobile later became the target of a scheme by Oswald Cobblepot to frame the Batman as a criminal. Sabotaging the vehicle while Batman was elsewhere, the Penguin gained control of the Batmobile, using it in a destructive joyride through the civilian-filled Gotham streets before the Batman managed to deactivate the device controlling the car. While freed from Cobblepot's control, the incident caused the desired effect; with the public labeling Batman as a criminal. To narrowly escape from the GCPD, Batman was forced to eject the vehicle's side panels, transforming the Batmobile into the Batmissile.

Although Wayne later repaired and restored the Batmobile, he would eventually quit actively using this Batmobile, and go on to use at least two different models.

Technical specificationsEdit


The Batmobile outside the Flugelheim Museum.


  • Length: 260.7 in
  • Width: 94.4 in
  • Height: 51.2 in
  • Acceleration: 0-60 in 3.7 seconds
  • Maximum Speed: 530 km/h with booster
  • Engine: Jet Turbine
  • Fuel: High octane; 97% special (gasoline paraffin mixture)
  • Torque: 1750 lbf.ft at 98.7% ROS
  • Wheelbase: 141.0 in
  • Wheels: Cast alloy, 15 x 6.5
  • Tyres: High aspect L60-15
  • Two-seat cockpit featuring aircraft-like instrumentation, a passengers' side monitor, self-diagnostics system, CD recorder, and voice-command operation and recognition system.



Cocoon Mode.

  • Side-mounted grappling hook launchers, disc projectile launchers and bomb dispensers.
  • Side chassis-mounted shinbreakers.
  • A central "foot" underneath the vehicle, capable of lifting the car and rotating it 180°.
  • Armour plated body with an additional "Cocoon" of heavy armour capable of being deployed while vehicle is stationary (dubbed "Cocoon-mode").
  • Rear oil slick dispensers and smoke emitters.
  • 2x forward mounted Browning machine guns.
  • Exhaust after-burner.
  • An emergency "Batmissile" mode that sheds all material outside of the central fuselage and reconfigures the wheels and axles to fit through narrow openings. Once employed, the mode essentially destroys the car's exterior, requiring rebuilding afterwards.
  • Only shown in the games, the Batmobile also features forward mounted dual-missile launchers.


Behind the ScenesEdit

Background Information and NotesEdit

Designed specifically for the 1989 Batman movie, during production, Anton Furst looked at jet aircraft components, war machines, and other such vehicles in their search to produce a car for an edgier, darker Batman than what has previously been seen. In the end opting for pure expressionism, the production crew took design ques from the Salt Flat Racers of the 1930s and the Sting Ray macho machines of the 1950s to produce a veritable tank of a car.

The scene in Batman of the Batmobile making its way to the Batcave was partially filmed using a remote controlled Batmobile-model, driven through a miniaturized forest set.

When Jay Ohrberg built the Six Flags theme park versions of the Batmobile, he narrowed their rear quarters by about 4" on each side to allow the car to be transported easier as the width of the original Batmobile's hind quarters cause the wheels to hang over the side of a typical transport truck.


Affectionately dubbed the "Keaton-mobile" after Michael Keaton; the actor playing Batman/Bruce Wayne in the films at the time, the car's popularity with fans has established a strong following. It has been used as a basis for several comic book cars (as well as itself making various cameos in the comics), as inspiration for the Batman: The Animated Series car, served as a spokesmodel for OnStar in 1999, and easily ranks with the 1966 Batmobile as one of the most popular Batmobiles of all time.

The concept of the Batmobile shedding its shell to reveal a smaller escape vehicle would later be used in 2008's The Dark Knight. After the Tumbler is catastrophically damaged, it folds and jettisons the parts around its two front wheels into an escape vehicle called the Batpod.



OnStar promotional image.

  • A Diet Coke commercial features Batman driving it on the way to the store to pick some up as Alfred Pennyworth (Played by Michael Gough) calls the store and tells them that a unique car is on its way to pick some up as they are down to their last Diet Coke.
  • The car was built upon a Chevrolet Impala chasis with a Chevy V8 engine, and based on and modified from a 1970 Corvette body when previous development with a Jaguar and Ford Mustang failed. A second car was based on an Oldsmobile Cutlass convertible.
  • All gadgets (aside from the Cocoon-mode) on the Keaton-mobile in both movies were fully functional although the exhaust after-burner could only be run for 15 seconds at a time due to the amount of fuel it consumed.
  • Initially, Batman's cowl-ears were too big to clear the roof when entering the vehicle and a modified cowl with shorter ears had to be made (as explained in the featurette Building the Batmobile, from Batman: The Motion Picture Anthology).
  • In addition to a new array of gadgets, the Batmobile in Batman Returns also possesses additional window-wipers that it did not previously have in Batman.
  • The "Keaton-mobile" has appeared in over 14 different videogames associated with the Batman and Batman Returns movies.
  • For the scenes where the Batmobile deploys the Cocoon armour in Batman, a life-size model of the vehicle was built and the animation was provided by stop motion technology. In Batman Returns, the shields had the same characteristics. However, the design was slimmer and the special effects were provided by computer-generated imagery.
  • Replicas of the Tim Burton-era Batmobiles are on display in front of several Batman: The Ride roller coasters and also in the street near Batman Adventure – The Ride 2 at Warner Bros. Movie World.
  • Historic auto attractions in Roscoe, Illinois displays a replica of the Batmobile from Batman Returns as well as the "Batmissile" in addition to a replica of the Batmobile from the 1960s television series.

Cameo and Guest AppearancesEdit


Cameo in Jason Todd: The Lost Days #2.

  • A series of Onstar TV advertisements featured this particular Batmobile being equipped with the system. This which allowed Batman to call various Gotham characters, summon police, remotely unlock the vehicle's doors and find the nearest jet fuel station.
  • This version of the Batmobile was later seen in the Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman episode called "Don't Tug on Superman's Cape", an episode which shows that some collectors had apparently stolen the Batmobile.
  • In the movie Looney Tunes: Back in Action, Daffy Duck drives the Tim Burton version of the Batmobile into the water tower on the Warner Bros. studio lot, causing it to fall over and nearly crush Jenna Elfman's character.
  • On the TV series Animaniacs, the Tim Burton version of the Batmobile approaches the WB studios front gates, the guard at the door greets the driver by saying "Good afternoon Mr. Keaton".
    • Yet another Animaniacs cartoon features a parody of the poem Twas the Night Before Christmas. As the WB studios empty out for the Christmas break, the Tim Burton version of the Batmobile pulls up to the gate, and Ralph the Guard waves it through, saying, "Goodnight, Mr. Keaton, that's a lovely sedan".
    • In a third Animaniacs appearance, Dot Warner's interpretation of a Puck soliloquy from A Midsummer Night's Dream renders the line, "And Robin shall make amends ere long" as "And the Boy Wonder will save us". The Tim Burton version of the Batmobile then drives up to the Warner siblings and opens its canopy; Robin pulls the trio into the car, which departs, saving them from an angry fairy.
  • In the "RPM" episode of the animated series The Batman, one of Bruce Wayne's Batmobile prototypes is the Batmobile from the Tim Burton films.
  • In the segment Working Through Pain episode of the animated flick Batman: Gotham Knight, Alfred uses 1989 Batmobile to pull the sewer gate to rescue Bruce Wayne trapped underneath.
  • The Batmobile makes an appearance in a Tiny Toons episode "The Return of Batduck", where Hamton J. Pig, as a parking attendant, has to try to park the Batmobile while Batman (Michael Keaton) visits a restaurant attended to by Plucky Duck. In this episode the Batmobile possesses a "Bat-Warp" drive and flies up to, and through, the moon.
  • The Batmobile is set to appear as the primary Batmobile in the Batman Live - World Arena Tour in London.
  • In Batman: The Animated Series, the Penguin sabotages and takes control of the show's Batmobile in a similar fashion to how he took control of the Batmobile in Batman Returns.
    • In another episode of the show, while Poison Ivy and Harley Quinn are escaping a museum heist together, Ivy orders Harley to "Get in the car", to which Harley exclaims "Which car?". This is an allusion to a similar exchange between Batman and Vicki Vale in the 1989 movie, Batman.
  • The Burton-era Batmobile is seen in Batman: The Dark Knight Returns - Part 2 when Bruce Wayne (with the aid of his mechanical suit of armor) lifts it up to tests his strength prior to his final showdown with Superman.

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