2016 Batmobile revealed

14 May 2014
, CarsGuide

After teasing the first glimpse -- although half-concealed -- of the 2016 Batmobile designed for Ben Affleck, film director Zach Snyder has followed up with a better look at both the vehicle and the costume of its caped crusading owner.

Following the design of the more recent Tumbler Batmobile, the new one shows a similar trend to hardcore military styling with a stealth-spec finish, but with the kind of sharp angles that would do a Lamborghini show concept car proud.

What we're seeing is the next development of Batmobile design (created by by Patrick Tatopoulos, who's also handled 300: Rise of an Empire, Underworld, and Live Free or Die Hard), which has progressed a long way over the decades since the 1960s TV series finned double-cockpit car designed by George Barris on a 1955 Lincoln Futura show concept.

Check out our gallery to see the best of the Batmobile through the ages, following the timeline below. And stay bat-tuned for the movie -- current working title Batman vs Superman -- to arrive in May 2016 with Ben Affleck as the Caped Crusader and Henry Cavill as the Man of Steel.

Batmobile Timeline

Batman (1989) and Batman Returns (1992)

Designed by Anton Furst for the Tim Burton films that kicked off the current Batman movie franchise, this was a sleek and menacing vehicle with Art Deco influences that also reflect Furs' design for Gotham City.

The car was built on a Chevy Impala chassis with a jet turbine with an afterburner at the rear, and featured  machine guns in the fenders, bombs, a batdisc-firing weapon, oil slick and smokescreen dispensers -- and Batmissile mode that retracted the wheels and ejected the side panels.

Batman Forever (1995)

Noted, and notably weird, artist HR Giger (Alien) was originally appointed to create the Batman Forever wheels, but had creative differences with director Joel Schumacher -- after initial director Tim Burton was sacked and Michael Keaton quit the Batman role. It may have been better if they'd settled the creative differences because the replacement design was an underwhelming result even with the added blue lighting effects.

Powered by a Chevrolet 350 ZZ3 engine, its streamlined shape suggests nothing of Batman's power as a hero -- although during the movie, Nicole Kidman as Dr. Chase Meridian comments: "It's the car, right? Chicks love the car."

Batman & Robin (1997)

While following the sleekness of the previous Batmobile, the 1997 version looked more imposing and started to head slightly more towards the menacing attitude of the later vehicle. Again powered by the Chevrolet 350 ZZ3 engine, it ditched the single rear jet exhaust in favour of a trio of exhausts in the boat-tail rear.

Designed by Harold Belker, and sporting the largest fins ever seen on a Batmobile, it rode on larger 22-inch wheels -- which lit up, along with the engine bay -- while another light display accented the turbine intake.

The Dark Knight Trilogy (2005-2012)

The Tumbler we're now familiar with as the Batmobile started off with the tank-like military prototype for 2005's Batman Begins -- which itself owes a great salute to the Frank Miller comic book series The Dark Knight Returns.

Rather than an aerodynamic shape to slip through the streets, the Christopher Nolan designed Tumbler is a 370kW 5.7-litre engined leviathan that will simply roll over the top -- or crush -- anything in its way. And anything it can't crush, it can blast. In attack mode the driver's seat slides to the centre and Batman stretches out face-down to manouvre the vehicle deftly and get more protection from enemy action.

It echoed the dark side that emerged in Batman, and it looks like we're going to get more of the same in 2016, judging by Zach Snyder's brooding images of the coming Batmobile.

This reporter is on Twitter: @KarlaPincott