How to Build a Real Batmobile

By Spencer Hart on at

Ah, Batman. Personally, I can live without the thought of being beaten within an inch of my life every night, having the psychological trauma of being taunted by the world's scariest clown or the awkwardness of having the hired hand being your paid-up surrogate parent. But the Batmobile? Now, the Batmobile. That's something else.

Without doubt the coolest part of being Batman would be cruising around Gotham in the tank-cum-sportscar that is the Batmobile. The vehicle first appeared in Detective Comics #27 (May 1939) as a red saloon car, but quickly became a signature of the crime fighter's arsenal, and over time developed into the technology-filled crime fighting machine we know and love today.


So, genie-in-a-bottle aside, is it even possible to build the fictional vehicle? If you've just won the lottery and have more money than you know what to do with, we're here to help. While you'll need a greater mind than ours to put it together (try the Riddler) we've found real-world equivalent tech to many component parts of the Batmobile so that you (yes you!) can maybe-possibly-probably-not recreate the Caped Crusader's ride at home.

Jet Engine from the Bloodhound SSC

[Image Credit: Bloodhound SSC]

Not even Ferrari could produce a petrol engine good enough for the Dark Knight. We need something more powerful (plus, could you imagine the Batmobile filling up in the forecourt of a Marks and Spencer petrol station? No, of course not).

The Batmobile has been jet powered as far back as 1965, so we’re making use of the 135,000 horsepower engine from the world record hopeful Bloodhound SSC. The Rolls-Royce EJ200 jet engine was originally designed to sit in a Eurofighter Typhoon fighter plane, producing more than 6 times the power of all the F1 cars on a starting grid put together! So it should be perfect for Gotham's finest.

Price: £6.6 million

Stealth Armour Plating from an MH-60 Black Hawk

[Image Credit: NationStates]

In order to help you stalk prey under the cover of darkness, we’ll need some stealth armour.

In May 2011, a secret, modified version of the MH-60 Black Hawk was used to evade Pakistani radar, allowing six US Navy SEALS to get the jump on Osama Bin Laden. The helicopter crashed in the raid, and the only surviving piece revealed a number of noise reduction measures, including high-tech materials, harsh angles, and flat surfaces.

Price: The unit cost of the H-60 models varies due to differences in specifications, equipment and quantities. The US Army's standard UH-60L Black Hawk is £3.8 million, for a top-secret stealth version, we’ll double the price to £7.6 million.

Weapons from a Leopard 2A7+ Tank

[Image Credit: Wikipedia]

Despite not being a fan of killing, Batman’s ride has always featured an impressive amount of firepower. Whether it’s the front-mounted twin machine guns from Tim Burton films, or the rocket launchers from Batman and Robin. Since the Tumbler is basically a tank on wheels, why don't we borrow tank weaponry?

The Leopard 2A7+ is considered by some as the greatest tank in use today, it features a Rheinmetall 120-mm smoothbore gun, and a 12.7-mm machine gun. The main gun fires programmable rounds which can engage targets behind cover and within buildings, and the secondary armament is remotely controlled from within the cockpit.

Price: £3.9 million

Remote Control Function from Land Rover Jaguar

[Image Credit: Jaguar Land Rover]

The first true Batmobile, designed by George Barris for the 1960's Batman TV show, could be driven remotely.

This year at their Technology Showcase, Land Rover Jaguar showed off a Range Rover Sport which could be driven remotely from an iPhone. We played with it, and it was amazing, essentially turning a two tonne, £75,000 vehicle into a remote control car. It's the perfect tech for getting Mr Revenge out of a spot of bother.

Cost: £80,000

Room for a Motorbike like a Ford Transit

[Image Credit: Gizmodo UK]

When the Batmobile can't carry on any further, the Bat needs an alternative method to escape. We've seen this happen in The Dark Knight, when the Tumbler finally gives up, and from it emerges the Batpod.

Earlier this year at MWC, Ford showed us an adapted Ford Transit van with space for an electric courier bike in the back. The idea being that if the van gets held up in traffic, the bike can finish off the journey. Slap some matt black paint on it, squint a little, and it's almost impossible to tell the difference, right?

Price: £15,000

Drone Hacking Tech from SkyJack

[Image Credit: David Rodriguez Martin Flickr]

Drones are everywhere nowadays, and they're particularly annoying on the streets of Arkham in Arkham Knight. Luckily they can be taken out of the sky at a push of a button thanks to SkyJack.

SkyJack is a drone engineered to autonomously seek out, hack, and wirelessly take over other drones within WiFi distance, creating an army of zombie drones under our hero's control. If that's not right up Batman's street, I don't know what is. SkyJack makes use of a Parrot AR drone and Raspberry Pi, so it's also cost effective, not that that matters to Brucey.

Price: £250

Ejector Seat from an F-35 Lightning II

[Image Credit: Wikipedia]

One of the coolest things about the Batmobile in Arkham Knight is how quickly you can jump out and glide down onto unsuspecting victims.

Here, we'll borrow an ejector seat from the world's most advanced military aircraft, the Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II. The fighter jet features a Martin-Baker US16E ejection seat, using a twin-catapult system housed in the side rails.

Price: The entire aircraft costs around £55 million, the ejection seat individually costs £162,000.

Grappling Hook from Battelle

[Image Credit: Market Wired]

One of the staples of the Batmobile has been a grappling hook, the Caped Crusader uses it to scale walls, immobilise vehicles and turn right angles.

Battelle's Tactical Air Initiated Launch (TAIL) already looks like it's taken inspiration from Wayne Industries. This arm-sized black cannon is capable of pneumatically firing a hook 250 metres. It was developed for Navy SEALS, but it would look right at home on Gotham streets.

Price: £6,000

Ability to Drive Sideways from the EO 2

[Image Credit: DFKI]

The tankmobile in Arkham Knight is extremely manoeuvrable, so much so it can even move sideways, like a crab. Not only does this allow you to strafe while shooting, it also lets you parallel park like a boss.

The tiny EO 2 has wheels that can rotate 90-degrees, it's also fully electric and autonomous. It doesn't exactly scream Batman in its current form, so some adaptation might be necessary.

Price: £12,000

Access to Police Database Courtesy of Lizard Squad

[Image Credit: BBC]

In order to keep up to date with the latest crimes happening around Gotham, Batman needs access to the police database. His original car contained a police radio scanner, but things are a little more high-tech now.

In order to gain access to the coppers' servers, we'll need the help of an expert hacker. Luckily, Lizard Squad, famed for taking down Xbox Live and Playstation Plus on Christmas day, offer their skills to paying customers. The group will tailor their services to your needs, with prices generally ranging from £20 to £325, depending on the intended target. We're guessing the Gotham Police Department would warrant a significant price increase.

Price: £4,000

Optional Extra: Shark Deterrent from Shark Shield

One of Batman's zanier moments was the time he whipped out Shark Repellent Bat Spray to see off his aquatic foe. This may not be necessary if you live in Central London, but could be vital if you live somewhere like Cornwall, where shark attacks are all but guaranteed.

Shark Spray was once science fiction, but there's now a whole industry built around this deterrent tech. Shark Shield creates an electronic field that disorientates and discomforts any sharks in a nearby radius.

Price: £390

Total Cost

So there we have it, if you want to pack your Batmobile with the best tech around, it'll cost you a shade over £18 million (£18,379,250, to be precise)

Of course, going around a buying just one of everything would cause suspicion, to cover his tracks Bruce Wayne would buy an army's worth of technology to make it look like a business purchase. You'll need to do the same, shall we say 100 of each item? That means the actual price could be around £1.8 billion. Better get saving.