Slated for a spring 2022 release, The Batman puts Robert Pattinson in the lead role under the direction of Matt Reeves. A newly redesigned Batmobile features prominently in the trailers that are now appearing for the film. The design is a complete departure from recent incarnations of the famous vehicle. It’s a hi-tech muscle car whose closest cinematic relative is the Pursuit Special from Mad Max. It also looks a bit like a first generation Chevrolet Camaro on steroids. From the flared fenders and sharply creased bodywork to the massive wheels and exposed engine bay, the design is unabashedly masculine.
In the engine bay sits a motor that looks like a regular piston engine. Although in keeping with the time-honoured Batmobile tradition, flames shoot out the back, which usually means a turbine. Turbine engines have long been a staple of Batmobile technology, going back as far as the 1960s TV series Batmobile designed by George Barris. Car manufacturers actually experimented with turbine engines back then but none of the prototypes made it into mass production.
The new Batmobile has an unrefined appearance reminiscent of a kit car. The body panels fit together like they were assembled in a garage rather than a factory, which means the car gets full marks for realism. After all, this vehicle is supposed to be something that Bruce Wayne made himself.
While most previous Batmobiles maintained a defensive posture on the streets, this one is ready to go on the offensive. The massive front bumper is designed for the express purpose of ramming vehicles when giving chase, as we see in the trailer. We’ll have to wait for the movie to come out to see what other gadgets are lurking under the car’s matte black bodywork.
There appears to be a hood scoop, although given that the car has a mid-engine layout, this element presumably serves some other function. There’s a mysterious red glow emanating from the hood—a weapon of some kind?
The new Batmobile is a refreshing interpretation of the classic comic strip vehicle that Dark Knight fans have always considered part and parcel of the character. The retro, form-follows-function look of the new design appeals to everyone’s inner mechanic and gives a tip of the hat to the muscle cars of the 1970s. Let’s hope the Batmobile gets plenty of screen time in the new film, and that at least one model kit manufacturer will have the marketing savvy to release an accurate miniature of the car.