What make of car is Robert Pattinson's 'monster' Batmobile in The Batman?

The Batmobile in a scene in Warner Bros. Pictures’ action adventure 'The Batman' 

The Batmobile in a scene in Warner Bros. Pictures’ action adventure 'The Batman' - Credit: Warner Bros. Pictures/ ™ & © DC Comics

From Warner Bros. Pictures comes Matt Reeves’ eagerly awaited The Batman, starring Robert Pattinson in the dual role of Gotham City’s vigilante detective and his alter ego, reclusive billionaire Bruce Wayne.

Robert Pattinson as Batman in Warner Bros. Pictures’ action adventure The Batman.

Robert Pattinson as Batman in Warner Bros. Pictures’ action adventure The Batman. - Credit: Jonathan Olley/™ & © DC Comics / Warner Bros

So what Batmobile does Robert Pattinson's Batman drive in The Batman? 

The Batmobile is Batman’s awe-inspiring signature vehicle. Combining brute force with high-speed ferocity, this staggering feat of engineering provides Batman with the on-road muscle to chase down his fiercest foes.

Because Bruce Wayne is just into his second year as The Batman, everything 'Bat' in Matt Reeves' 2022 movie is in its early stages as well, and that includes his wheels.

Gotham City is decaying around him and the Batmobile reflects this through Batman's hand-built car, designed to suit his very specific needs.

Producers of the new Batman movie wanted their Batmobile to reflect the DIY nature of Bruce Wayne’s mindset.

“We loved the idea that Bruce doesn’t care at all about Wayne Industries and that he is doing all this himself,” says production designer James Chinlund.

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“The look of Wayne Tower, the look of the Batcave and the look of the Batmobile reflect that he couldn’t care less about his wealth and Wayne Industries."

That the film is set at the beginning of Bruce’s journey as The Batman also influenced the approach to the movie – and creating a Batmobile different from Michael Keaton's sleek machine from Tim Burton's 1989 Batman movie, which was partly filmed at Knebworth House and Hatfield House, and the tank-like Tumbler of Christian Bale's Dark Knight.

Robert Pattinson's incarnation of the Caped Crusader drives a bespoke muscle car in The Batman.

Robert Pattinson as Batman with the Batmobile in a scene from Warner Bros. Pictures’ blockbuster The Batman.

Robert Pattinson as Batman with the Batmobile in a scene from Warner Bros. Pictures’ blockbuster The Batman. - Credit: Warner Bros. Pictures/ ™ & © DC Comics

Batman's 2022 Batmobile is matte black all over, with a design that tips its hat to the original Batmobile from the 1960s TV show via red lighting and wings at the rear.

A solid steel bumper is attached to a steel frame that runs through the whole car, enabling it to crash through anything in its path, and the massive engine that powers the car is exposed when the vehicle powers up and the louvers open like gills on a fish.

“We wanted the Batsuit and the Batmobile to look obviously like it was designed by one man, by Batman himself,” says producer Dylan Clark.

Andy Serkis as Alfred Pennyworth and Robert Pattinson as Bruce Wayne in The Batman.

Andy Serkis as Alfred Pennyworth and Robert Pattinson as Bruce Wayne in The Batman. - Credit: Jonathan Olley/™ & © DC Comics /© 2021 Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc.


Designing The Batman's Batmobile

James Chinlund had watched the evolution of the Batmobile, from its early days in the original DC Comics, through the mid-century models of the TV series to the pumped-up sports cars on steroids of the films of the late 20th and early 21st centuries.

He and director Matt Reeves began thinking about the design of the car even before the script was finalised.

“There are certain things you get to do on a Batman movie that you kind of have to pinch yourself,” Reeves says.

“You say to yourself, ‘Well, we’re going to need our version of the suit and cowl, and we’re going to need gadgets, and we’ll need our version of the Batmobile.’

"Now, as a kid, I loved ‘Batman `66,’ I loved Adam West and that Batmobile, that concept car? I thought that was the coolest car ever.

"I loved the fire that came out of the back. So many cool Batmobiles have come out since then, and to me, the Batmobile has to be like the Batsuit: it’s meant to intimidate, it has to be like a monster.

"And because our Batman is just starting out, I wanted his Batmobile to feel elemental, too.”

Reeves and Chinlund looked at a lot of cars together.

“We both came back to the idea that it was all about function and utility for Bruce in our film,” Chinlund says.

“Bruce is single-minded in his mission and his construction of the car is all about function: if it’s useful, he keeps it; if it’s extra, he throws it out.

"We loved the idea of him using parts of a classic American muscle car as the foundation, and then adding the custom frame, amped-up engine, the armour, and so on.

"Bruce has built this Batsuit for function but also to instil fear, and we knew we had to deliver that same level of signature look in the car.”

Over a period of two years, the Batmobile took shape with the help of vehicle illustrators Ash Thorp, Benjamin Last, and many others.

From the initial designs, the team then moved the concept to 3D with vehicle art director Joe Hiura.

The end result is a car that has made the long journey to becoming the behemoth-on-steroids moviegoers are used to.

The Batmobile in a scene in from The Batman.

The Batmobile in a scene in from The Batman. - Credit: Warner Bros. Pictures/™ & © DC Comics


Building The Batman's new Batmobile

Special effects supervisor Dominic Tuohy and his team had to handle a car made up of over 1,000 individual parts, but the fact that the car is so detailed is one of the things that makes James Chinlund so proud.

“You can look anywhere in the car and there’s something exciting to see, some sort of mechanism or some detail, such as the thruster that controls the jet, which Batman uses when he needs that extra push; rear-view cameras; a control panel; the leather-wrapped dash; and then traditional muscle car gauges.

"It's a stripped-down, function-first design aesthetic.”

But that’s not the best part, the designer notes: “The car performs like a dream. It’s just amazing what these guys pulled off.”

Robert Pattinson as Batman with the Batmobile in a scene from Warner Bros. Pictures’ The Batman.

Robert Pattinson as Batman with the Batmobile in a scene from Warner Bros. Pictures’ The Batman. - Credit: Warner Bros. Pictures/ ™ & © DC Comics

Tuohy’s team began work with the physical build of the car, a process that took 12 weeks.

Apart from the engine, tyres and gearbox, the car is custom-made. For example, the windscreen would not fit a normal vehicle and required specially made windshield wipers precisely placed to ensure functionality when the script called for the car to be driven through artificial rain.

"That’s what was interesting about building the Batmobile,” says Tuohy.

“We didn’t use a donor car; we built a one-of-a-kind and, in this case, we built four.”

Robert Pattinson as Batman in Warner Bros. Pictures’ The Batman.

Robert Pattinson as Batman in Warner Bros. Pictures’ The Batman. - Credit: Courtesy of Warner Bros. Pictures/™ & © DC Comics


Technical spec of the 2022 Batmobile

The new Batmobile was built around a V8 engine with 700 horsepower and four-wheel drive. It includes a transfer box inside that would allow the driver to transfer from the front wheels to the rear wheels while driving using a pneumatic system.

Tuohy notes: “That is something that they use in the rally car fraternity, because it gives the car dynamics that you wouldn’t normally have and allows the driver to come around a corner with just the front wheels working, and with the push of a button, transfer all the power to the front wheels, or the rear wheels, or both.

"From previous experience, we know the stunt drivers love that, because they’ve got immediate power where they want it.”

The car also had to be able to jump.

“That was part of the remit when we designed the rear suspension of the car,” says Tuohy.

“We built the car so it could be put in either general driving mode or jump mode. One of the four vehicles we made had longer suspension and was for the jump.

"We also had to redesign the front of that car, because the bumper is injected molded plastic, which has a really good finish as well as strength, but we needed it to be as light as possible to go over a jump.

"So, we re-molded it out of fiberglass, which reduced the weight by nearly 100 kilos.”

For Tuohy, the best thing about the project was that “everything you see the car do is done in real time,” he says.

“There are no computer-generated graphics; what you see on screen is all down to the skill of the stunt team.”


There's even an electric Batmobile!

Surprisingly, one of the four Batmobiles special effects supervisor Dominic Tuohy’s team built for The Batman was electric – but for a very practical reason.

Says production designer James Chinlund: “That one was the show car for work on set, and it had the advantage of being totally silent.

"It also had a pod on top, where the stunt driver was seated while Rob Pattinson was in the driver’s seat below.”

The Batman

The Batman - Credit: Warner Bros. Pictures


What does Robert Pattinson think of his Batmobile

Robert Pattinson attends The Batman special screening at BFI IMAX Waterloo on February 23, 2022 in London.

Robert Pattinson attends The Batman special screening at BFI IMAX Waterloo on February 23, 2022 in London. - Credit: Jeff Spicer/Getty Images for Warner Bros.

For Robert Pattinson, the Batmobile fits exactly into his incarnation of the character’s aesthetic.

“It’s another part of the hand-made nature of everything in this film,” he says.

“It’s great that you can see the realistic construction – it’s not alien technology or super high-tech, Bruce has built it himself and we are able to understand that process.

"Batman has always been an accessible superhero, even though he’s a billionaire; the fact that he’s just a guy I think appeals to a lot of people.

"And when you get closer to that and you see that even the Batmobile looks like something handmade if you had the perseverance and the cash… I think that is appealing.”

And incredibly cool.

“It sounds unbelievable when you drive it, like you’re driving a jet or something.”

Andy Serkis, Robert Pattinson, Zoe Kravitz, Paul Dano and Jeffrey Wright attend The Batman special screening

Andy Serkis, Robert Pattinson, Zoe Kravitz, Paul Dano and Jeffrey Wright attend The Batman special screening at BFI IMAX Waterloo on February 23, 2022 in London. - Credit: Eamonn M. McCormack/Getty Images for Warner Bros.