2022’s The Batman offers a fresh take on the Caped Crusader. Robert Pattinson plays a Bruce Wayne who is a retired street racer turned vigilante crimefighter. It’s no surprise that a second-generation Dodge Charger (1968-1970) is the origins of the highly-modified new batmobile.
What kind of car is the new batmobile?
The new batmobile’s swooping widebody kit gives it the nose of an oversized Camaro and the fenders of a Stingray. But don’t let Bruce Wayne’s modifications fool you: Batman’s new ride started as a second-generation (1968-70) Dodge Charger.
Bruce Wayne riveted a flowing widebody kit onto his old Dodge Charger. In addition, he hacked out the trunk to convert it into a rear-engine car. He also welded some kind of battering ram over the grille. The car’s resulting front end slopes forward, its tail slopes back. The vehicle even ends in two sharp, batwing-like points.
The roofline and C-pillars of the new batmobile are unmistakably leftover from a 1968-1970 Dodge Charger.
It is nearly impossible to see the original car beneath this new batmobile. But the angles of the front windshield and C-pillars are unmistakably MOPAR. And these are some of the only unmodified bits of metal left on the car.
Furthermore, the angle between the rear fenders and C-pillar–before the stock fenders disappear between the flared widebody fenders–looks like a Dodge or Plymouth. Now, some have guessed 1970 Plymouth Barracuda. And while the angles might be right, the scale is wrong.
The rear window, still intact behind Batman’s seat, is far too long for an E-body such as a Barracuda. The roofline and C-pillars of the new batmobile are unmistakably leftover from a 1968-1970 Dodge Charger.
Why would Bruce Wayne rivet Corvette-like fenders onto a second-generation Charger? Well in the trailer, we see him get out of a stock Corvette Stingray, so maybe he started with a Dodge but is now more of a GM fan. Or maybe he just wanted to make his car look like a bat.
Why does Batman use the batmobile?
The Bruce Wayne of Matt Reeve’s 2022 Batman reboot spent years on the wrong side of the law. He fell for an old Dodge Charger, fixed it up, and became an amateur street racer. When he turns to masked crime-fighting, he converts his beloved car into a batmobile.
To turn his old Charger into a batmobile, Bruce Wayne first stripped out everything extraneous. He removed every seat except the driver’s (no room for Robin here). Then he converted the car to rear-engine, presumably for better handling.
The new Batmobile looks comfortable on-road and capable off-road: It has massive tires and possibly beadlock-style rims. Though early pictures of the batmobile show it “slammed” all the way to the ground, it has side steps to help Batman get in and out. I expect it has truck-like adjustable air suspension.
Next, Bruce Wayne welded a massive battering ram onto the nose of the new batmobile that would be at home in Mad Max or Death Race. Finally, he fit the rear engine with a massive ten-into-one exhaust pipe which ends in an afterburner.
What is the new batmobile engine?
The exposed engine at the rear of the new batmobile is a Ford Triton V10. This 1968-70 Charger came stock with anything from a slant-six to a HEMI V8 up front. And with a hood scoop and side-exit exhaust intact, I suspect some powerplant is still under there too.
Wait! There’s an engine at both ends of the new batmobile? Sure, why not? This is after all a movie based on a comic book about a billionaire who dresses up in a cape and beats criminals with his bare hands. Realism is not its first priority.
So let’s start at the front of the car. The absolute base engine on this 1968-1970 Charger would have been the stout 225 cubic-inch slant-six. And while a reliable engine, it wasn’t winning any street races.
The top-of-the-line powerplant was the rare 426 HEMI V8, originally engineered for NASCAR. Many hot rod fans opted for the more common but lower compression 440 cubic-inch V8, then souped it up themselves.
Is the new batmobile a rear-engine car?
There is a very obvious engine at the rear of the new batmobile. Bruce Wayne has torn out the trunk to turn this car into some kind of rear-engine monster. It’s very Fast and Furious 9, but serves little real-world purpose. Maybe this is his overly complex AWD solution.
The engine looks to be a V10. Andrew Collins of Jalopnik pointed out that of the few V10s in existence, the angle of this unit’s cylinder banks looks most akin to the notoriously underpowered Ford Triton V10. It looks like Bruce Wayne solved the power issue with a series of turbochargers.
And finally, there’s the afterburner. It just would not be a batmobile without some kind of jet for boost. The V10’s huge exhaust pipe is ringed with jets. Are they plumbed to the tanks which are riding shotgun? We’ll have to watch the movie to find out. But the trailer gives us a glimpse of quite a tail of flames! Check out the trailer below:
You can see more angles of the new Batmobile in its public appearances here: