As one of the world's favorite superheroes, Batman has a certain image to maintain. He's well known for his jet-black stealthy style and hi-tech equipment. However, the pinnacle of all of his innovation is something almost as iconic as Batman himself: The Batmobile.
In fact, DC's official copyright of the infamous car describes it as an 'automotive character' and explains that it has its own story and style throughout its appearances in movies, tv shows, and comic books.
While this might be true, The Batmobile also comes with its fair share of nonsensical features and continuity problems that have been noticed throughout its long on-screen career. Many of them might have gone unnoticed, but not these.
The Batmobile has been through a number of incarnations, in live action, animation, and DC's comic book series, with its styling ranging from tank-like to eccentric to just plain weird. With so many different versions of the iconic car, it's no surprise that some things just don't add up.
So, whether you're a fan of Christopher Nolan's militarised Tumbler from the Dark Knight Trilogy, Tim Burton's sweeping art deco Batmobile from Batman Returns or the classic 1960's Batmobile with its red accents and curved canopy roof, read on for 21 things that don't quite make sense about the Batmobile.
21 Bruce and Batman Shared The First Batmobile
The Cadillac Series 61 Convertible that was used in the very first Batman (1943) was driven by both Batman and Bruce Wayne. The eccentric billionaire and his crime-fighting alter ego were forced to share a car, making it harder to drive around unnoticed.
The only difference between Bruce's Caddy and Batman's was that when Batman and Robin were in the vehicle, the roof was put up and when Bruce and Dick Grayson (Robin) were driving the roof was down.
With such a lapse attitude to stealth, it's surprising that The Dynamic Duo wasn't caught out by a quick number plate check or someone peering through the Series 61's side windows.
20 It Isn't Exactly Nimble
The Batmobile from the 1960s Batman TV series and Films measured a whopping 20ft from bumper to bumper. That's 5ft longer than a military Humvee and only several feet shorter than a London bus!
When you pair this with the fact that the Batmobile needs to be light on its feet in a chase and easy to maneuver in Gotham's traffic-packed city district, you have a bit of an issue on your hands.
The issue hasn't improved in modern incarnations of the vehicle either. Batman V Superman (2016) sees Ben Affleck drive a Batmobile that is equally long and over 12ft wide!
19 No Room For Robin
Where would the caped crusader be without his trusty boy wonder sidekick? We know Robin would do anything to help Batman in his time of need, but it seems Batman isn't quite as altruistic.
The Batmobile from 1997's Batman and Robin had only one seat in its cockpit, leaving Robin high, dry and without a ride. Hopefully, he has a bus/monorail pass!
Ok so this isn't addressed in the films, but it's a continuity error that could have left the producers red faced had there been a scene where Robin has to be seen entering the car with Batman.
18 The Batmobile That Wasn’t
It's been described as a "cross between a tank and a Lamborghini." The Tumbler from the Nolan films is possibly one of the most striking Batmobiles to hit the silver screen (and that's saying something).
However, at no point in any of the three films is it referred to as "The Batmobile." It wasn't even made by Bruce Wayne himself. In Batman Begins (2005) Lucius Fox introduces Wayne to a military "bridging prototype," hidden away at Wayne Industries, that can jump and withstand heavy impacts.
Despite the brilliant line "Does it come in black?", it seems a little strange having a Batmobile that is essentially a used car (even if it looks the way it does).
17 A 350mph Top Speed?
With huge tail fins and lighting filled bodywork, the Clooney era Batmobile was one of most extravagant machines to enter the DC universe. It also featured equally extravagant performance stats.
With a 350mph top speed, the 1995 Batmobile from Batman Forever has an impressive top speed, owing to a ZZ3 Chevrolet V8 and a Jet afterburner. To many petrolheads, more speed is good, but something doesn't make sense here.
The Batmobile is built to pursue villains around Gotham City, not down Route 66! That crazy top speed is pretty much useless when you need to be able to make 90 degree turns and weave through Gotham's winding streets with ease.
16 It's Useless In Traffic
While the Batmobile is far from a regular car, the fact is that it is still a car. It has four wheels (most of the time) and uses the roads just like every other car. So a little rush hour traffic could spell disaster for Batman.
The Batmobile isn't equipped to deal with busy roads and tailbacks. It's long, wide and doesn't appear to have any mirrors so blind spots will be an issue too.
Without any kind of hovering or flying capabilities, Batman might be left drumming on the Batwheel if he hits rush hour in Gotham City, so no criminal activity between the hours of 4 pm and 6 pm, please!
15 A Jet Engine Under The Hood?
The striking design of Micheal Keaton's Batmobile in 1989's Batman and Batman Returns (1992) is centered around a huge central turbine that runs through the center of the car. Of course, it's all for show and the Batmobile didn't really run on Jet power in the films.
But that didn't stop one Batman enthusiast from fitting his Replica Tim Burton Batmobile with a Boeing Helicopter jet engine! The Jet under the hood generates 365bhp, driving the rear wheels.
It's noisy, uneconomical, scary and kind of brilliant. But it also makes absolutely no sense.
14 Holy Expense Report Batman!
Bruce Wayne may be a millionaire, but he won't be for long if this is how he spends his money. The Tumbler (although we've already covered that it isn't technically a Batmobile) is used as the Batmobile-y vehicle in the Nolan films.
Each Tumbler, of which there are 5, cost $1million to produce, and that's not including the upkeep or fuel these monsters needed just to keep them moving. Remember there are 6 specialist tires to replace and a special fuel mixture, not including the jet booster on the back.
Considering how quickly Christian Bale's Batman destroys (see Tumbler 1 in The Dark Knight), or loses (see the Lamborghini Aventador in The Dark Knight Rises) his vehicles, this is quite an expensive vehicle to be throwing around.
13 It's Not Much Of A Looker
One look at the Affleck era Batmobile and you could be forgiven for thinking a battleship had crashed into a go-cart. But alas, this is the actual Batmobile from Batman V Superman (2016).
It isn't pretty. In fact, it seems to incorporate all of the worst aesthetic features from all Batmobiles past. The tank-like aggressiveness of the Tumbler, the billowed nostrils of the Schumacher Batmobile and the overall hugeness of pretty much every Batmobile ever.
It's hard to incorporate so much history into one vehicle, and this incarnation of the Batmobile shows it. The front turret isn't doing it any favors either!
12 Stealth Mode: Nonexistent
"I wonder who that is driving the long black car with a 12ft high tail fin and bat symbols in its wheels. The one that's lit up like Gotham Fair," said nobody ever.
Like many of the Batmobiles, the Clooney era car was far from discreet. You could see it coming a mile away, and with a roaring V8 under the hood, you could probably hear it too.
As the films progressed, the cars did become more stealthy. But this car and Joel Schumacher's iteration of the Batmobile are about as incognito as a tap-dancing cat burglar.
11 It Has Too Many Gadgets
Batman is a big fan of tech, that's why the Batmobile is full of cutting edge gadgets. But when does 'a lot' become 'too many?'
Perhaps if your driving position looks like this. Full of distractions, flashing buttons, moving screens bright gauges, you've overcomplicated it. Imagine being in a chase through traffic, rounding tight turns and underpasses and all you can see are peripheral illuminations. It wouldn't be ideal.
Maybe Bruce needs to decide which features the Batmobile really needs. Remember Mr. Wayne, just because you can, doesn't mean you should.
10 It's Extremely Heavy
The current version of the Batmobile weighs in at a hefty 7000lbs. That's a lot for a two-seater. When you consider that the Mazda Miata, another two-seater, only weighs around 1000lbs, the Batmobile is certainly a little on the heavy side.
At twice a weight the equivalent to two Ford Tauruses, Ben Affleck's Batmobile would require a Class 2a 'Light Truck' license to operate, making it more of a bat truck than anything else.
The weight of this Batmobile would make the Tumbler rooftop chase scene from Batman Begins impossible, at the risk of Batman falling through somebodies ceiling.
9 The First Batmobile Was Bright Red
When Batman first appeared in issue #27 of Detective Comics (which, of course, became DC), his Batmobile wasn't the sleek, jet black Batmobile we've all come to love. It was, instead, a bright red sedan.
Based loosely on popular cars of the time, such as the Mercury 8, comic book Batman cruised around in a flamboyant convertible with Robin at his side. Not only would this have drawn some unwanted attention, the red isn't very on-brand.
The red car was never actually named as 'The Batmobile' and three issues later DC changed the car to black and blue with a bat's head on its front trim. The Batmobile was born.
8 Many Of Its Features Wouldn't Be Allowed On The Road
While it harbors some impressive and innovative features, the Batmobile raises a lot of question when it comes to how road legal it actually is. Machine guns, spinning saws, 'shin breakers,' and bomb dispensers sound like a car insurance salesman's worst nightmare.
Part of Batman's persona is that he leads by principle. Firm but fair. If he's cruising around in a swiss army knife car that could single-handedly take on a small army, what example does that set to the rest of Gotham?
It's only a matter of time before police commissioner Gordon sellotapes a rocket launcher to his car, or the Joker bolts a torpedo to the underside of his chopper.
7 It Can Turn Into A Motorbike?
Is this Batman or a Transformers movie? Ok, the Batbike is pretty cool, but the way in which it is made doesn't make any sense at all. We see the Batbike first in The Dark Knight (2008) when the Tumbler is destroyed by The Joker.
It shudders and writhes around before Batman pops out in a prone position on what appears to be a motorbike that is made from the wheels of the Tumbler.
Batmobiles shedding body parts to become other vehicles isn't new in Batman films (see the 'Batmissile' in Batman Returns) but this transformation was truly obscure and doesn't seem to be physically possible.
6 Enormous Tractor Tires In The City
What is the need for such humongous tires? The Tumbler rocks tractor tires that sit some 44 inches high! That's great for a mud-plugging offroader or a trusty farm vehicle, but for a Batmobile that needs to be nimble on the streets of a city?
This isn't a plot hole, however. The Tumbler's military background is explained in Batman Begins. It just seems strange that Bruce didn't adapt the tires to be more suited to the tarmac surfaces of Gotham City.
You could argue that the dirt track to Wayne Manor warranted some kind of offroad capability, however, after the move to lair under the Docklands, it's hard to justify those super swampers on the back.
5 Little Room For Luggage
Ok, it's unlikely that Mr. Wayne will be popping to the shops in the Batmobile. Why would you when you have a plethora of supercars and luxury vehicles to drive and Alfred does all of your shopping anyway?
With that being said, if Batman wants to take a large piece of evidence back to the Batcave, he's out of luck. With no trunk, storage or even a roof rack to carry the load, it's unlikely that anything larger than a briefcase would fit in the Batmobile.
It is extremely convenient then, that most villains or secret organization hide their most prized possessions, secret access codes and crucial-to-the-plot chemicals(?) in briefcases. The day they use a larger than average suitcase is the day Batman will fail.
4 It's Easily Traceable
The 1997 Batmobile featured tires with bat emblems engraved into the treads. Not only is this a very poor design when it comes to grip, it means that any enemies of Batman, or even journalists looking to get the scoop on who Batman actually is, can simply follow the tire marks all the way to Wayne Manor.
It's not something you'd expect the world's greatest detective to miss, especially when it must have taken more effort to custom make bat emblem tires than to just use standard ones.
Thankfully this feature didn't survive in the much more realism based Nolan films, as the funky tires were replaced with much more robust grippy specialist tires for the aggressive-looking Tumbler.
3 Batmobile or Spidermobile?
In perhaps one of the most bizarre car chases of all time, George Clooney as Batman drives his Batmobile straight up the wall of a dead-end alley, leaving Twoface's goons to crash in a ball of flames below.
The fact that the Batmobile can now climb walls is a little strange.
It begs the question of how many times is this situation happening to warrant such a system? Also, wouldn't knowing where you're going so you don't drive down a sketchy alley be more productive than giving your car the capabilities to lift off the ground, onto a building and have it drive up said building to safety?
2 Why So Heavily Armed?
The Batbike from The Dark Knight Trilogy features 8 guns. 8! That's four for each hand. How can anyone make use of that much weaponry? We only ever see two of them fire in the movie, so what is the point in all of them?
If the weapons were mounted any other way then all facing forward there might be an iota of sense in this one. However, with 8 forward facing guns, it's hard to imagine what the intended purpose of this motorbike is.
Is Batman about to fight exactly 8, very short henchmen, all stood in two lines, one behind the other? If so, they're really going to meet their match. If not the whole 8 guns thing seems like overkill (no pun intended).
1 You Can't Fill It From The Pump
Almost all of the Batmobiles run on special mixture fuel made from a gasoline, paraffin combination. This makes it impossible to fill up at the gas station, should Batman run the Batmobile's tank dry (which, let's face it, is quite likely considering the size of its engine).
If the Batmobile splutters to a halt anywhere that isn't a military airbase, Wayne Manor or the Batcave, Batman has got a lot of explaining to do, and a very long journey in a recovery truck.
Perhaps a second tank for Gasoline only would make sense, or electric motors that give the vehicle a 'limp home' option. Either way, it's a little risky going out on a single tank of gas every time you take the Batmobile out for a spin.
Sources: Batman Wiki - Fandom, Business Insider, Top Gear