With the cinematic masterpiece Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice hitting theaters this month, many of us will be in theaters remembering the Caped Crusader’s 75 year history of fighting crime. While some may argue that the Dark Knight’s story does not hold up, the fact remains that it inspired one of the most iconic car designs of all time: The Batmobile!
It is only fitting that the most recent craze in pop culture should have inspired such a timeless design. The automotive industry has produced some incredible designs over the years, but none have become as emblematic of a company or designer as Batman’s car. When it comes to the all-time greatest automotive designs, it’s hard to make a list that does not feature the Dark Knight’s trusty ride. It’s like picking your favorite child — there are so many great ones!
In its first cinematic appearance, the Batmobile does not disappoint. When Batman decides to take a ride in his new car for the first time, audiences are given a rare moment of pure joy as he blasts off into the night. The only other scenes that compare are Peter Parker’s first ride in the Ironman suit or Marty McFly’s ride in Doc Brown’s Time Truck. Both of those vehicles are more representative of modern design trends as opposed to the timeless design of the Batmobile.
Though there have been countless imitations over the years, the fact remains that the Batmobile is one of the most iconic designs ever. If you ever saw the TV show, you know exactly what I am talking about. Just like Batman himself, the Batmobile represents justice and integrity – two admirable qualities that have been present throughout its entire run. If you want a vehicle that will suit your own personal style perfectly, then the Batmobile is the one for you.
Unlike the Dark Knight, many of the cars on this list have not been around for 75 years. Some of these designs are incredibly modern and stylistic, continuing a design trend that began in the late 1980s and early 1990s. One of the best examples of this is the 2015 James Bond film, Spectre. Set in the 1960s, the design team behind Spectre went on a mission to reimagine what a James Bond car would look like. In addition to creating a new face for the 007 brand, they gave the car a more contemporary and stylish look.
If you are looking for a way to inject some color into your life, then you could do worse than to look into a James Bond car. Spectre was a very well-received film and it’s safe to assume that many of its designs will continue to be popular in the coming years. As much as I would like to see the 75 year old Batman return, it is nice to know that we have a new generation of superheroes to look forward to.
On the flip side of the coin, we have the Under Pressure project from Jaguar. Though the design team took inspiration from the automotive stylings of the 20s and 30s, they did not go overboard with the styling details. This is most evident in the sleek yet simple design of the actual car. With only two small lamps in the front and no other lighting besides what is naturally provided by the day and night, the Under Pressure is certainly a more subtle design. As much as we love a good loud obnoxious car, this one is guaranteed to keep you quiet on the road.
The fact that it is a member of one of the most successful automotive house brands in history only adds to its charm. Though subtlety is not usually a trait usually associated with luxury car brands, it is present here in abundance. Many consider the Jaguar XKSS to be the ultimate expression of understated luxury. If you want a real classy ride without the blaring music and blinding lights, then look no further.
Of course, these are just my picks for the all-time greatest automotive designs…yours may differ. There are so many amazing cars and crossovers out there that continue the modern design trend set by the Batmobile. It’s only a matter of time before someone picks it as the next big thing. For now, we have the timeless design that inspired the future.