Most everyone has seen the new Batmobile, known as the Tumbler, in action on the big screen. But not everyone knows what makes it tick. Sure, there was that one guy who made his own Tumbler single-handedly, but the rest of us may not have studied up on the Dark Knight's ride so extensively. How Stuff Works has put together a dummy's guide for the completely clueless, but we'll break it down to the important bits for you.
The filmmakers wanted to avoid computer-generated imagery as much as possible. So, the original conceptualization was done by mashing together parts from various plastic model toy kits to create a roughly 1:12 scale concepts. The resulting Lamborghini-meets-Hummer design was the result of six of the creations made over four months. From there, a giant block of styrofoam was hand-carved into a full-scale model that was used to create wooden molds for the 56 body panels. Then it was time to make the real deal.
Weighing in at about 5.000 pounds, the 9'4"-wide vehicle may actually not be as heavy as you'd expect. That's because the Tumbler you see driving around is merely a tube-frame chassis with carbon fiber body panels. Why use race car tech on a mere movie prop? The team wanted to ensure the Tumbler could reach a top speed of over 100 MPH and launch from 0-60 in five seconds. Of course, the car also had to consistently endure jumps of up to 30 feet without being damaged, so it had to be strong as well as fast. We're guessing they couldn't find a dyno big enough for the four 37-inch rear tires, but rest assured, the Wayne Enterprises-tuned Chevy V8 was churning out plenty of grunt. All said and done, the cars "only" cost about $250,000 each to build, so the studio ordered four constructed. Two were "race" versions for the action shots, one had an actual jet engine bolted in the back, and the other was for the elaborate flower petal-like cockpit. We wonder if they'd consider building a fifth, you know, for us to fight crime and hoon about in. [HowStuffWorks]