How the Batmobile Works

Inside the Batmobile

The Batmobile interior set
The Batmobile interior set
Courtesy Warner Bros.; Photo: David James

One of the most interesting parts of the Batmobile when you watch the movie is the way that Batman gets in and out. It is almost like a flower opening -- the roof unhinges, the windshield slides back and the seats in the car actually rise up. To make all of that origami fold and unfold, a separate team built yet another Batmobile.

This car is the one that Batman "pulls up in." It has several unique features:

  • It is loaded with hydraulics to make the opening and closing of the cockpit happen in a realistic way.
  • It has a small electric motor that lets the car drive forward, but there is no massive V-8 engine and no need for the car to drive at a high speed.
  • The car actually has another driver hidden inside the vehicle -- he makes the car stop and start as needed for each shot.

When you see Batman inside the car, that is yet another piece of the puzzle. The interior of the car is actually a studio set that can't move at all. It is oversized so that cameras can fit inside, and it has all of the features needed to shoot the "interior shots" -- things like the seat that can move forward, the cockpit controls and so on.

And finally, there is one other version of the Batmobile -- the miniature version. It is a 6-foot-long (2-meter), 1:5 scale model of the Batmobile, complete with an electric motor drive. When you see the Batmobile flying through the air across ravines or between buildings, it is this scale model that does the flying. (But it's the 5,000-pound, race-car version that flies through the waterfall to land in the Batcave.)

So now you can start to see the complete illusion that makes the amazing car known as "the Batmobile" possible in the film.