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Not your father's Batmobile

June 12, 2005

Not your father's Batmobile

Gone are the sexy curves, replaced by a rugged military vehicle that is a cross between Mad Max's Hummer and a stealth-bomber-inspired Lamborghini. "Batman Begins" production designer Nathan Crowley developed the film's untraditional Batmobile, dubbed "The Tumbler" for its acrobatic prowess in the film opening Wednesday. The moviemakers produced eight cars at a cost of $250,000 apiece.

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"Tumbler" specs

Max speed: 220 mph

Weight: 2.5 tons

Width: 9 feet, 4 inches

Length: 15 feet

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Batmobiles through the years

Year: 1944

Appearance: Comic books

Prototype: Studebaker

Features: Bat-mask grill, vertical roof fin, red racing stripes

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Year: 1966

Appearance: Television show and movies

Prototype: 1955 Lincoln Futura concept car

Features: Telephone, radar, smokescreen, battering ram, rocket launchers, drag chute

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Year: 1989

Appearance: "Batman" and "Batman Returns" movies

Prototype: Custom design

Features: Front jet intake, smokescreen, twin machine guns, grappling hook, armor shield

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Year: 1995

Appearance: "Batman Forever" movie

Prototype: Custom design

Features: Aircraft-style cockpit, vertical roof wing, jet thruster, grappling hook

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Year: 1997

Appearance: "Batman & Robin" movie

Prototype: Custom design

Features: Single-seat cockpit, video-conferencing screen, radar system

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Note: Illustration shows an idealized cinematic car as envisioned by the movie's production designer. It is a composite of the stunt car, interior cockpit set and special effects shots used in the film.

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Sources: "Batman Begins" production designer Nathan Crowley, The History of the Batmobile, Warner Bros., graphics reporting by Brady MacDonald

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