Batman is one of the most famous fictional characters in the world. He was first featured in May 1939 in Detective Comics issue 27 and got his first feature film in 1966. Batman is portrayed as a superhero operating in Gotham City, serving as a protector, waging an eternal war against criminals of the city in the name of avenging the death of his parents when he was a child. Unlike other superheroes, Batman lacks the typical “superpowers”. Instead, he’s a billionaire who uses his lifelong combat training and arsenal of technology.
Among his wonderful toys and gadgets are cool batpods/batbikes that strike a chord with his die-hard fans, and his Batmobile brand. The bat-themed car is a beautiful work of art, equipped with high-tech gear, making it one of the coolest cars we’ve ever seen in the movies. He has been known to fly, drive himself, climb and smash through walls, and even shoot weapons. Since it’s impossible to buy a Batmobile, diehard fans have decided to resurrect the Batmobile in several models. We feature the most awesome home-built Batmobiles and some that are ridiculously bad.
ten Awesome: Batmobile Corvette British Street-Legal
A UK fan built this replica, inspired by Batman’s Batmobile from 1989. Unlike many replicas, this one is quite impressive. Besides being street legal, he also has flamethrowers. Built from the ground up, the owner fitted it with a powerful Jaguar-derived 3.2-litre V6 engine that rocketed the Batmobile from 0-60mph in just 3.7 seconds.
But it is also a practical car with a modern suspension system and safety devices. Other cool features include full LED driving lights. Eventually, the owner wasn’t too attached to the car and put it up for sale.
9 Ridiculously Bad: Ford Orion Batman
This simple Batmobile sedan just isn’t for diehard Batman fans. If anything, it’s actually laughable. It lacks that cool Batman factor and quality.
Even the rear fenders don’t look like those typical of a Batmobile. If it weren’t for the Bat emblems and badging around the car, it wouldn’t be identified as a Batmobile; it’s old, clunky, not elegant and of course ridiculous.
8 Awesome: Casey Putsch’s Batmobile Replica
Fans have built homemade Batmobiles, but none come close to Casey Putsch’s replica. It’s true. Engineer Casey Putsch recreated Tim Burton’s 1989 Batman. But unlike other Batmobiles, it featured a street-legal 400hp turbine engine taken from an anti-marine helicopter drone. It was mated to a torque converter automatic transmission that sent power to the rear wheels.
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As you can imagine, the turbine was noisy but ultimately cool. Casey Putsch registered it as a road car and fitted it with air suspension to counter the huge overhang. Only two people could fit in the cabin, which featured a host of high-tech controls. It is still the only turbine-powered replica to date.
seven Ridiculously Bad: The Smart Batmobile
Who would have ever thought that Batman would ever go green? Well, that’s the idea portrayed by this Smart ForTwo Batmobile. We have no problem with the build design of the car; the practicality of the small car is a diversion. Heck, even if Batman decided to patrol the streets of Gotham in one, the Joker would probably burst out laughing and surrender.
Amazingly, this Batmobile was built by George Barris, designer of the Hollywood Batmobiles among other famous cars. We have to give it to include almost every detail in a batmobile; a jet nozzle, red stripes and bat wings. Other than the cost advantage and easier parking, there’s nothing striking about this tiny Batmobile.
6 Brilliant: the homemade Batpod
A lucky customer walked away with one of six real Batpods when they came up for sale at an auction. It was sold for around $80,000 to $106,000. Sure, many have tried to emulate the Batmobile, but the Batpod? There aren’t many lying around as they are quite complicated.
One particular group took the initiative in 2010 to enlighten other fans on how to build a homemade Batpod. Fans could even win a full one by entering an eBay raffle. Closer examination of the Batpod reveals no visible strings; the creator pointed out that he uses a sprocket to spin the driveshaft via a short chain. It even features front-mounted cannons, but it was unclear if they were functional. And as you can see, the complete bike is nearly identical to the real deal.
5 Laughably Bad: Little Batmobile VW Beetle
To be honest, it’s hard to tell if it’s a Batmobile or a whaleboat, going by that massive wing. And the last time we checked, the Batmobile featured two wings. Let’s not even get started on what hangs on the front of this VW Beetle.
Granted, many Batman fans have tried customizing their VW Beetles in an effort to emulate the Batmobile, but none come close. That’s because the shape of the VW Beetle doesn’t replicate the Batmobile. It takes a full rebuild of the car to reveal that coolness in the Batmobile.
4 Brilliant: the $1 million Batmobile
A few years ago, almost everyone wanted to get into building a DIY Batmobile. But as one Swede discovered, building a Batmobile doesn’t come cheap. He spent $1 million to develop this stylish Batmobile replica. And it’s not just about the money; the rich man spent 20,000 hours building it.
The replica is built on a 1973 Lincoln Continental chassis, stuffed with gadgets like satellite navigation, rear view cameras, voice recognition, plasma TV, DVD player and, of course, machine guns. Any Batman fan would envy this 700hp beast streaking past them; even Bruce Wayne would smile at the sight of it.
3 Laughably Bad: Superbus Batmobile by UT Delft
A Batmobile Superbus doesn’t sound like a very bright idea, but that hasn’t stopped UT Delft students from pursuing it. Looking at it, the Superbus is just a stretched out Batmobile without the typical Batmobile fancy gimmicks. The all-electric bus was powered by lithium-polymer batteries, giving it a range of 130 miles on a full charge.
Although not the most attractive Batmobile, it had some interesting features such as a carbon fiber shell, sixteen independent gullwing doors and a low chassis. You can bet the ride quality was better than a big yellow school bus, but nowhere near a typical Batmobile.
2 Awesome: 1989 Batmobile by Zac Mihajlovic
Zac Mihajlovic didn’t just build a Batmobile replica, he also dressed up in a Batman costume he bought for $10,000. His model was inspired by the 1989 Tim Burton movie, and the result was an impressive engine that looks and feels like the original Batmobile seen on the big screen.
Most impressive was that Zac was using original Batmobile parts acquired at a Hollywood auction. These were surplus parts from the car from the 1989 film, intended to be used as spares in case the Batmobile broke down during filming. Like Bruce Wayne, who plays the hero, Zac has also partnered with Make-A-Wish Foundation to help terminally ill children.
1 Ridiculously bad: Toyota Yaris Batmobile
We’d all give up on Batman as our dearest superhero if he traded in his cool Batmobile for something like this Toyota Yaris – it just doesn’t exude that kind of badassery reserved for Batmobiles.
And no, we’re not just slandering the owner; he should have done better or abandoned the whole project. It’s a head turner for the wrong reasons; the weird “Heroes for Christ” rear label, not-so-good fenders and fake exhaust.