It’s hard to explain just how important the 1989 Batman movie was to the current crop of superhero films. It took a comic book character, treated him (mostly) seriously, and paved the way for Marvel and DC’s prevalence in movie theatres. It also introduces non-nerds to the sheer awesome of the Batmobile. And now you can own one.
Just like the now-unavailable Lego version of the same vehicle, laying hands on this particular Batmobile will be a mission. Not because they’re not in stores anymore. It’s because there’s just one available and it’s priced at a mighty R26 million ($1.5 million).
Building a better Batmobile
Before you get too excited, this isn’t the original Batmobile from the 1989 motion picture with Michael Keaton, Jack Nicholson, and Kim Basinger. The folks over at Classic Auto Mall are very specific about it never being used in any films. Instead, this is a full-scale, functional replica that spent most of its life as an attraction at an American theme park.
This is the Number 1 Six Flags Batmobile. If you choose to drop R26 million on it, you’re also not getting a road-legal vehicle. Part of the reason for this is the British Harrier jet engine turbine built into the vehicle. It’s not functional, of course. That would be absolutely mental. No, this Bat-car is powered by a 48-volt electric drivetrain. That’s reason number two why it’s not road legal — it’ll max out at about 50km/h. Finally, there’s a functional flamethrower in the back, for that iconic 1989 Batman look.
There are a few other features. There’s space for a third, hidden, person in addition to the two cockpit seats. This hidden seat is where the car’s actual controls are. The main cockpit is just for show. The third seat is also where the flamethrower effect is operated from. Oh, and there are airbags, of course. Bat-safety first.
Powering Batman’s car using electric motors seems to be something of a trend. A replica of the Tumbler, the Christian Bale-era Batmobile, also took an EV approach to its development. The major difference here is that there’s no working flamethrower. And it’s able to move at speeds of up to 105km/h. Turns out, these designs are only visually practical. Properly working vehicles tend to rely on a Bruce Wayne level of funding.