This morning, I was forwarded an email from a reader who had broken down nearly every aspect of the new Batmobile from The Batman. In his incredibly nerdy and detailed YouTube video, Josh White worked to identify everything from the body to the (two) engines to the make and model of the seats. But, in all 21 minutes, there’s one single assertion I disagree with: The engine sitting between those two rear wings.
White says he’s “90 percent sure the engine in the back of the vehicle is a Dodge Hemi” due to the coil-on-plug ignition system’s location and mounting style. He’s not wrong — the plugs look almost identical to those used in a Hemi Ram — but I think the story goes deeper than that.
While the coils look right, the valve cover and head casting don’t seem to match the 5.4L, 6.1L, or 6.4L Hemi offerings from Mopar. While the valve cover may be a custom job for the movie, built to hold Dodge coil packs onto an unrelated engine, the head casting would be more time consuming to change — yet, I can’t find a single engine it matches.
The LS is too smoothed-over in its casting, it’s missing the fine details of the Batmobile’s rear engine (thought he unseen front engine, described as a 650 hp Chevrolet mill, does sound like the LT4 out of the Corvette Z06, Camaro ZL1, and Cadillac CTS-V). The 4.6 Modular doesn’t match, nor does the Coyote. Thinking it could be a Japanese part, I checked out the UZ, UR, VK, and VH lines from Toyota and Nissan — no matches.
VAG’s 4.2L V8 was similarly a miss. The head and valve cover combo feels reminiscent of a modified K24 somehow, but mashing two of those together is more the territory of enthusiasts than film studios. When you reach the point of researching multi-engined frankensteins, though, you know you’ve run out of options — so instead I turn to you all.
Whatever engine this is was likely available in the US somewhat commonly so as to be accessible to the crew who built the prop cars (though much of the vehicle production team seems to be based in the UK — maybe it’s an engine we didn’t get here at all). The serpentine belt pulleys may be a red herring, since they vary between prop cars, making it unlikely they’re actually functional. The engine is likely at least somewhat modern, given the detail on the heads, but probably not so new as to be unattainable on short production notice.
Do you have any ideas? I’ve been staring at photos of engines all day and am about five minutes from scrawling “redrum” all over the Jalopnik offices in 10w40. Before that happens, and I start getting very confused looks from the other sites, let’s try to solve this mystery together.