How the Batmobile Works

The Actual Components

When they had the test frame performing the way they wanted, the basic configuration of the car and its drive train were set:

  • The car uses a 5.7-liter Chevy V-8 engine. This engine has been tuned so that it can provide the power necessary to take a 5,000-pound vehicle from zero to 60 mph (100 kph) in 5 seconds.
  • The rear axle is a truck axle, with a truck transmission carrying power from the engine to the axle. The truck axle added a lot of weight to the vehicle. They wanted the car to be as light as possible so it would jump better, and this axle was the opposite of "lightweight." That extra weight is one of the things that contributed to the strain on the front end in the first jump tests.
  • The rear tires are 37-inch-diameter, off-the-shelf, 4x4 mud tires called Super Swampers made by Interco.
  • The front tires are racing tires made by Hoosier.
  • The front wheels have independent suspension elements inspired by the long-travel suspensions of Baja racing trucks. When airborne, the front wheels pop out about 30 inches on their suspensions to absorb the shock of a 30-foot fall.

By this time, the design and development process had taken about nine months and consumed several million dollars.

However, the payoff was high, because now the team could begin manufacturing Batmobiles on an assembly line.