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As the Batman films were handed over to director Joel Schumacher from Tim Burton, the design for the Batmobile became increasingly fanciful. Decorative lighting was added to the vehicle's rims, sides and front edge, and the wing-shaped fins reached further into the air. New abilities included a grappling hook allowing the Batmobile to drive up walls, as well as the speed to perform large jumps from surface to surface during chases across Gotham City's elevated freeways and gigantic statues.

In Batman & Robin as Batman and Robin were in pursuit, Mr. Freeze shoots the underside of the car for several seconds with his freeze-gun, before the car crash-lands. However, in the next scene in the Batcave, the Batmobile is sitting back on its pedestal appearing to be in perfect condition.[1]

The design of the Batmobiles of the Schumacher films have garnered criticism for allegedly resembling giant phalli.[2]

Technical specificationsEdit

In Batman & Robin, the aerodynamic chassis design and "T" axis wheelbase provided the Batmobile counter-balance gyrometric stability, allowing for high velocity 90-degree turns at speeds greater than 70 mph without losing momentum. Initial plans had the Batmobile being able to transform into the "Bathammer" vehicle seen in this film,[A] but were abandoned. The specifications for the Batmobile in this film are as follows[3]:

  • Length: 33 feet long; 10 meters long. The six flame columns formed a V-shaped output of 1,80 m length.
  • Height: 1.5 m
  • Maximum Speed: 230 mph on open road, 350 mph with afterburner thrust; TFX road tested the Batmobile at 140 mph. 350 km/h and the additional jet propulsion brings the cars to 530 km/h.
  • Engine[4]: Chevy 350 ZZ3 (off-road racing motor). Instead of a single jet exhaust, this Batmobile had a "boattail" rear flanked by separate fenders, each with three smaller exhaust nozzles.
  • Axle Base: 388 m
  • Tires: It rode on custom 22" wheels with prototype, 55 m GoodYear tires with Batsymbols in the treads.

FeaturesEdit

Batmobile01 Batman & Robin

The Batmobile of Batman & Robin.

The second Schumacher era Batmobile (as seen in the 1997 film Batman & Robin) featured neither a passenger seat nor a canopy. Like the Batman Forever car, this Batmobile (which was designed by Harald Belker[5]) featured light-up wheels and engine panels. The displays were much more involved with this car, however, with red, orange, yellow, and blue lights, as well as special pulsating lights in the counterrotating turbine intake. The nozzles were canted away from the centerline of the car slightly, so the final effect was that the six exhausts made a "V" pattern to keep the car pointed straight ahead. A bat mask was incorporated in the nose of the car, though the sculpted lines made it somewhat difficult to make out at first. The fins were unmistakable, though, and remain as the largest set ever built into a real-world Batmobile. On the Batman & Robin version[6] the arsenal of weaponry and gadgets is controlled by an onboard voice-activated computer which surrounds the single-seat cockpit. From behind the wheel, the driver has access to a multifunctioning key command response system which delivers immediate weapon activation during attack and defensive procedures. The Batman & Robin Batmobile was equipped with dual-mount, subcarriage rocket launchers, front and rear grappling hooks, multipoint infrared and laser scan tracking units, anterior/posterior wheel-based axle bombs, catapult ejection seat, and disguised central carriage, which detaches to become an emergency road vehicle. The single-seat cockpit[7] featured a two-way videoconferencing screen, radar unit, and Redbird communication switch.

ReferencesEdit

  1. Batman then climbs into a stupidly long convertible Batmobile, Robin jumps on his "Redbird" motorcycle, and both speed off out of the Batcave.
  2. Tom Hawker. "Worst of the Bat Movies" IGN; July 11, 2008; Page 2 of 3
  3. Clooney Car - Specifications
  4. Clooney Car - Batmobile Turbine
  5. The Cat's car was designed by Harald Belker, who also did the futuristic red Lexus that Tom Cruise drove in Minority Report. Born in Germany, Mr. Belker went to the Art Center College of Design and worked for Porsche and Mercedes-Benz before turning to movies, video games and comic books. He designed the Batmobile for Batman and Robin; a muscle car for the Vin Diesel-powered film XXX; cars for Battlefield Earth and Inspector Gadget; and electric bikes for Lee A. Iacocca.
  6. Clooney Car - Batmobile Gadgets
  7. Clooney Car - Batmobile Dashboard