Robert Pattinson’s Batman Is a Retired Street Racer; The New Batmobile is a Weaponized Muscle Car

2022’s The Batman might as well be titled The Bat and The Furious with its Dodge-based new batmobile

As a motorhead, I’m intrigued by director Matt Reeves’ fresh take on the Caped Crusader. As a teenager, Robert Pattinson’s Bruce Wayne often found himself on the wrong side of the law–as a street racer. He’s replaced the thrill of racing with crime-fighting. But he continued tuning his original Dodge muscle car into the rear-engine, battering-ram-equipped new batmobile depicted in the film.

2022’s ‘The Batman’ will not be an origins story

Robert Pattinson dressed as batman and standing next to his new batmobile in a publicity shot.
Robert Pattinson’s Batman and his batmobile | Warner Bros via Matt Reeves’ Twitter

While Robert Pattinson is a relatively young actor to portray Batman, Matt Reeves’ upcoming film will not be an origins story. Instead, The Batman portrays an all-new Dark Knight at least one year into his crime-fighting career.

To catch fans up on this new take on an old superhero, DC published a prequel novel. This book is called Before the Batman: An Original Movie Novel. It is jam-packed with street racing and motorhead adventures.

Robert Pattinson’s Batman was a street racer

A birds-eye view of batman and the muscle-car based new batmobile in an intersection.
The muscle car based batmobile | Warner Bros via Matt Reeves’ Twitter

While Christian Bale’s iconic Batman just repainted some old Wayne Enterprises tech for his Tumbler batmobile, Robert Pattinson’s hero rolled his batsleeves up.

Before the Batman shows a Bruce Wayne who left Wayne manner at an early age: his father had donated the house to an orphanage. This Bruce grew up in a penthouse atop Wayne tower. After he was orphaned, he explored the tower until he found an abandoned train station below–this would become his bat cave.

As a teenager, this Bruce Wayne also fell for an old muscle car. The book does not specify the make and model of the car, but Jalopnik writer Andrew Collins believes it started life as a MOPAR E-Body (Plymouth Barracuda or Dodge Challenger).

A young Bruce taught himself to work on the car, in the abandoned station below Wayne Tower. He fixed it up and then went driving, getting himself into an underground street race. Bruce was instantly hooked: not only did he continue racing but began to modify and improve his muscle car.

The Batman film will also feature the infamous Riddler as its villain. In Before the Batman we learn that Edward Nigma grew up in the orphanage that was once Wayne manner. He was nearly killed by rich kids street racing and infuriated to learn that one of them was the entitled Bruce Wayne.

When Nigma decided to become the Riddler, he planted a bomb on one racers car. When Bruce Wayne saved the other racer, he got more of a thrill than he ever did racing.

The new Batmobile is a labor of love

Detail shot of the V10 engine in the rear of the new batmobile.
The new batmobile’s rear engine | Warner Bros via Matt Reeves’ Twitter

After his incident with Nigma, Bruce Wayne began his crime-fighting career in earnest. Even though he had quit street racing, he repurposed his beloved muscle car as his batmobile. With battering ram and afterburner, this gritty batmobile is ready for anything.

The batmobile in 2022’s The Batman may have begun life as a muscle car, but Bruce Wayne modified it beyond recognition. It features massively flared fenders, with a batwing-like swoop. Beneath these fenders are huge tires, but tall and wide. A step under the door suggests Batman can adjust its suspension height.

One of Bruce Wayne’s biggest modifications is a rear-engine. Some huge V10 (a Ford Triton?) rumbles in place of the trunk. It even has an afterburner setup on its huge exhaust.

Pattinson said of the car, “There’s this kind of tangibility to it,” because, “Bruce built it himself.”

Find out which infamous movie car inspired Matt Reeves’ new batmobile design.

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