If you’re too young to remember the hit TV series, you missed out on something magical. Knight Rider was an iconic show about a crime-fighting man and his futuristic, sass-talking sports coupe, KITT. Countless ’80s kids remember the excitement of hearing the show’s theme music and seeing the red lights scrolling back and forth across this car’s grille.
This Knight Industries Two Thousand car, aka KITT, was a sight to behold back then. And it’s making a modern-day comeback as Hollywood reboots the classic show into a Knight Rider movie. Let’s travel back in time to look at some of the real cars behind the KITT of the ’80s. We’ll also speculate which of today’s sports cars would be today’s perfect KITT.
The real cars behind the legendary KITT of the ’80s
With its cockpit-style technology, satellite communications, and self-driving capability, the TV show’s fictional car was ahead of its time. A variety of vehicles portrayed KITT from 1982 to 1984. Back then, Pontiac Firebird and Firebird Trans Am models — some with T-tops — made the cut. But considering there are only five remaining KITT models today, most in museums and occasionally appearing at Comicon events, it’s doubtful Hollywood will resurrect any of them for the new movie.
The Chevy Camaro would be an ideal fit for the ‘Knight Rider’ film
Thanks to its cockpit-style cabin full of tech, the Chevy Camaro would be a fitting pick. After all, it’s the sister to the now-retired Firebird. The Camaro is also famous for its aggressive stance, which would be ideal for crime-fighting. And regardless of whether the new KITT sports those scrolling digital red lights, the Camaro’s grille would look cool with them.
The movie reboot could use a pony emblem
If the Camaro isn’t up to the task — especially if rumors that Chevrolet might discontinue the car are true — the Ford Mustang would make an excellent smart-talking KITT.
KITT was actually a Mustang in one of the 2008 attempts to revive the TV series. And the pony car looked sharp even though the show flopped. Today’s Mach-E and Shelby variations already feature some of the coolest technology, so we know KITT as a Mustang would certainly look the part.
A Tesla would be a logical choice
On the ’80s TV show, KITT could reach speeds of 300 mph in Super Pursuit Mode. Today’s Tesla Roadster can achieve 250 mph and boasts a zero-to-60 time of 1.9 seconds without help from a fictional power booster. And let’s not forget Tesla already offers self-driving with its semiautonomous feature, Autopilot. KITT’s appeal is its revolutionary tech, design, and performance, and the Tesla Roadster delivers all three.
Can today’s cars carry on KITT’s legacy?
In the ’80s, a car capable of super-high speeds, satellite communication, and self-driving was unheard of and totally futuristic. But today’s everyday cars boast all of those features. Will that leave jaded audiences unimpressed with the new film?
The Knight Rider reboot, like many Hollywood projects during the pandemic, may take a little longer to come to fruition. We’ll have to wait to see what producers come up with — and hope the new KITT can compare to the ’80s car we thought was the coolest of all.