Though Batman doesn't need powers or gadgets to be an effective crime-fighter, his wealth does allow for some really nice toys. The most iconic of these would be the Batmobile. Not only does it act as Batman's main form of transportation, but also as a weapon and mobile bat-cave. The Dark Knight's sweet rides has been appearing in live action films since 1966, and I'm going to walk you through the best of the best. Now keep in mind that I'm solely dealing with the live-action vehicles, so Batman: the Animated Series and the Arkham trilogy don't count. With that out of the way, let's get started!
Batman Forever (1995)
Developed by: Barbara Ling and TransFX Inc.
Probably the worst design of a Batmobile ever seen in theaters, this car still boasted a pretty impressive tail fin (it could stay closed like the comics or open up into a 'V') and Bat-logos on the wheels that remained upright. Defense systems included a grapnel gun which allowed the car to scale up buildings, as well as a tire-locking mechanism which would grant quick lateral movement. It had state-of-the-art computers on-board...for the 1990's, anyway. It was an attempt to be a throw-back to the comic books, but something more 'organic' than before (the ribs and bat-like fins). This created a bizarre, clunky look that was about as weird as the film itself.
Batman and Robin (1997)
Developed by: Barbara Ling and TransFX Inc.
Based on classic roadsters, this vehicle was perhaps the longest to ever be built. Thirty feet of late '90's goodness tore through the streets of Gotham, with multi-colored lights and the largest tail fins on a real-world Batmobile. It was simpler than its predecesor and lacked the gadgets and tricks. The cockpit was open (once again a return to the oldest of Batmobiles) and the car boasted the only 'Bat-shield' on the nose. This vehicle was interesting, and again closer to the source, but it still had some absurd additions. The movie itself is enough to rank this pretty low on the list.
Batman Begins/Dark Knight (2005)
Developed by: Christopher Nolan and Nathan Crowley
To be honest, this was one of the most impressive Batmobiles to ever hit theaters. It was a brand new direction from everything Batman. Gone was the sportscar, in was the tank. Originally a prototype for the military, the Tumbler boasted a 500 hp engine and 44" rear tires. The Bat-tank boasted massive machine guns and remote control. It's armor was thick, and it took a well-aimed bazooka to destroy the beautiful vehicle. In the event that destruction occured, it could eject the Bat-pod as a final precaution. The elephant in the room is that this tank looks nothing like what a Batmobile should look like. This stems from Christopher Nolan's attempt to create a more realistic mythos. Nothing wrong with that, but the Tumbler loses points for straying from the source.
Dawn of Justice (2016)
Developed by: Unknown
Not much is known about the newest Batmobile, other than its gorgeous look. It's a good mix between the sleek look of the comics and the tank-like build of the Tumbler or Arkham Knight's car. It seems to boast a pretty substantial shock system, and it would appear that Batman is not afraid of guns. The turret on the front of this beast is larger than any other Batmobile's armament. Possibly developed by Blue Realm Studios, we'll see whether or not this car can achieve the legendary status of its peers.
Developed by: William Schmidt and Barris Kustom City
A classic, this car was the first I ever saw ferry the Dark Knight to and fro. It's the only car built on a real design ( 1955 Lincoln Futura) and is one of the few to be completely practical. That is to say that every gadget you saw on the show and movie were built into one car. The design was sleek, and the paint job was very classy in great contrast to the show. Like I said, all the oil slicks, chain slicers, parachutes and more were practical effects. The car also carried a 'Bat-phone' and radar. Though our technology has advanced, many Batmobiles take inspiration from this one vehicle. Too bad that such a cool car had to get such a campy show.
Developed by: Anton Furst
To all intents and purposes: this is the Batmobile. Tough, sleek, and beastly, this car has everything the Dark Knight could ask for. Bombs, machine guns, chin-breakers, and disc launchers made up the car's arsenal. For more intricate maneuvers, the car could push itself up on hydraulic jacks and perform a 180 degree turn. Nearly indestructible as it may be, Batman also installed a defense mechanism that encased the Batmobile in armor. The vehicle was simple but effective. Michael Keaton's ride has been the basis for the most iconic of designs (like Batman: the Animated Series), and has served as a benchmark for every other Batmobile to have existed. To myself and many others, this is the true Batmobile.
No doubt about it, Batman has had some crazy awesome toys. Through the years, the designs have changed, but every single Batmobile has cemented their places as some of the coolest cinema cars to ever exist. What do you think? Do you disagree with me? Let me know what your favorite Bat-ride is in the comments below! Oh, and many thanks to batmobilehistory.com for all the information on these sweet rides.