- "I'll get my car."
"I brought mine."
- ―James Gordon and Batman[src]
A black Tumbler was used by Batman. Tumblers were a military prototype, off-road tank vehicles. Batman's black Tumbler came custom with an array of weapons and gadgets.
- "So what do you think?"
"Does it come in black?"
- ―Lucius Fox and Bruce Wayne[src]
When Bruce Wayne reestablished his connections to his father's company, Wayne Enterprises, Bruce met former board member Lucius Fox in the Applied Sciences Division. There, Bruce was able to acquire various gadgets for his soon-to-be alter ego known as Batman. One of them was the Tumbler, a prototype armored tank that was designed as a bridging vehicle for the military, which included weaponry and the ability to boost into a rampless jump. When Lucius asked Bruce his thoughts on the Tumbler, Bruce then simply asked if it came in black, which confirmed that he wanted it.
When Rachel Dawes needed saving at Arkham Asylum, Batman enlisted the help of GCPD Sgt. Jim Gordon, who carried her to where he met with Batman. Gordon then said he'd get his car, but Batman said that he brought his, to Gordon's brief bewilderment. Upon seeing Batman's car, Gordon then said: "I've got to get me one of those!" A car chase then ensued through the streets of Gotham City, where the Batmobile tried to elude police cars, until Batman was able to escape with Rachel to the Batcave where he then administered the antidote for Scarecrow's Fear Toxin to Rachel.
As the "Narrows" section of Gotham was covered in Fear Toxin, Batman arrived in the Batmobile in order to aid the police, who were engaged in battle with psychotic criminals who were set free from Arkham Asylum by the League of Shadows. Before he saved Rachel and confronted Ra's al Ghul, Batman left Gordon in control of the Batmobile in order to stop the elevated train that was used to transport the Microwave Emitter to Gotham's central water hub at Wayne Tower. Batman then battled Ra's, and then escaped just as Gordon toppled the elevated line by use of the Batmobile's missiles, which left Ra's to crash with the train to the ground.
- "That's more like it..."
Several months later, Batman parked the Tumbler, which was newly christened the "Batmobile", in a parking garage, where he remotely controlled it to fire at some cars in order to intimidate Scarecrow and a Russian mob before Batman himself appeared on the scene. Despite failing to stop the Russian mob from escaping, Batman successfully caught Scarecrow and a group of Batman Impersonators.
Wayne Enterprises Accountant Coleman Reese confronted Lucius about his designs of the Tumbler, remarked how it was of his design, and asked sardonically if Fox never noticed it tearing up the streets on the news.
Harvey Dent was being escorted across Gotham when the convoy was attacked by the Joker and his henchmen, who disabled all of the police vehicles except for the armored car that carried Dent. Batman then entered the fray with the Batmobile, and rammed a garbage truck that was driven by one of Joker's Henchmen via a head-on collision.
Batman then ran the Batmobile full-speed between Joker's truck and the armored car and received the brunt of an RPG that was fired by Joker from his RPG. After the Batmobile flipped violently on the side of the road, Batman then engaged its escape mechanism, which converted the Batmobile's left and right front tires into the Batpod before the rest of the vehicle self-destructed after Batman rode out.
When Bane and his henchmen detonated underneath Wayne Enterprises in order to gain access to the Applied Sciences Division, they made off with three Tumbler models that were left in storage. The Tumblers that Bane acquired were present in their original camouflaged color scheme and not in black, and also made use of armament that was not originally seen on the original prototype, which included a retractable dual-barreled cannon and a multiple-tube missile launcher that were both mounted on the vehicle's back.
Whether those weapons were absent on the first prototype or merely not used was unclear. The stolen Tumblers were later used to great effect in suppressing and intimidating the citizens and the GCPD of Gotham into inaction. One of the mounted cannons of a Tumbler was used by Bane to destroy the entrance to Blackgate Prison which then allowed the criminals to escape.
In the final battle, Talia was transported via Tumbler to a truck that transported a Nuclear Bomb in an attempt to secure its detonation. Batman himself then engaged Talia's convoy of Tumblers from the air in The Bat, as one of the Tumblers fired several anti-air missiles in order to attack him, but was able to evade them and even lead a missile into a Tumbler with a direct hit.
The Tumbler had a pair of machine guns that were mounted in the nose of the car between the front wheels. In "Attack" Mode, the driver's seat moved to the center of the car, and the driver was re-positioned to lie face-down with his head in the center section between the front wheels. That served two main purposes: first, it provided more substantial protection with the driver shielded by multiple layers of armor plating. Second, the low-down, centralized driving position made extreme precision maneuvers easier to perform, while lying prone reduced the risk of injury that a driver faced when they made those maneuvers. Other devices included:
- Six rear flaps to assist brakes
- Twin forward-firing machine guns
- Rocket launcher
- Landing hook to Sprung landing stabilization
- Integrated fire-extinguishing system
- Integrated safety connection to gasoline control
- Vector-controlled jet engine on back of car for quick boosts/"rampless" jumps
- Stealth Mode, which turned off the car's lights and cut the engine. The vehicle was then powered by an electric motor, which made it very hard to find in dark places (which made the mode the most useful at night), and, as demonstrated by the car chase in Batman Begins, could easily throw off pursuers.
- Explosive mines were deployed from the rear of the vehicle, which could take out any cars that made contact with them.
- The Front of the car was heavily armored, so that the car could ram as a practical offensive attack, and also protected the driver while in the prone driving position/"Attack" Mode.
- Both front wheels could eject when the vehicle was damaged and formed the Batpod.
- Length: 15 feet (4.57 m)
- Width: 9 feet 4 inches (2.84 m)
- Weight: 2.5 short tons (2.3 t)
- Acceleration: 0-60 in 5.6 seconds. Under full acceleration, the car could actually rise up on its front suspension while the rear wheels stayed planted on the ground creating an effect like a giant spider.
- Approx. full speed: 160 mph (257 kmh)
- Engine: 5.7 liter GM engine capable of 500 horsepower. The jet engine and vector controls could jump up to 6 feet vertically.
- Fuel: The "jet engine" on the back of the car was fed by gasoline.
- Tires: Super swampers tires standing 44 inches tall (via titanium axles).
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Behind the Scenes
Background Information and Notes
- While the original tumbler was destroyed in The Dark Knight, three replicas of the tumbler, including one in the original camouflage design from Batman Begins, were seen in the City of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania for filming of The Dark Knight Rises. Each of those three vehicles were later used for filming at Heinz Field on August 6, 2011 and were reported to be used by Bane and his men.
- The name "Batmobile" was never mentioned by Fox or Wayne.