Think of the Batmobile and chances are you think of the Tumbler. Despite being about as far away as you can get from the original 1960s Batmobile, the Tumbler is just as iconic.
Pocket-lint was among the few lucky journalists who managed to set eyes on the Tumbler at a recent Windows 8 event and it was just so stunning, we figured an eyes-on was in order.
Before we even get started on the details of the car however, first a word on the engine. In real life the Tumbler sounds just as you imagine it would from the movies, that is, utterly insane. Firing it up for the first time, we were almost deafened by the noise it managed to make. Think F1 car and then some. It's funny really as it doesn't need to sound particularly special, as audio for the car will have been fixed in post production, but we got the impression its designers wouldn't be happy if it wasn't loud.
Now to a bit of Tumbler history. Christopher Nolan himself was originally the mastermind behind its look, designing a model from Play-Doh. Nolan however has since described his model as "more like a croissant than a car", so the real design likely came from production designer Nathan Crowley's models.
The Tumbler was meant to fall somewhere between a tank and a Lamborghini in terms of looks and for the most part, we think it does. The version we saw up close was painted in the camouflage you see in the Dark Knight Rises. It looked incredible. The detailing on the paintwork, down to all the small scratches and scuff marks, means that it's a car which looks like it really has been through everything Bane can throw at it.
Unfortunately we weren't able to take a peek inside the Tumbler, which is fair enough, as it would ruin some of the mystery behind the car. What we could spot however was a pair of gigantic gas bottles mounted at the back. Both are clearly used to ignite the Tumbler's rear-mounted afterburner flame.
We should also add, we only noticed the gas tanks when looking directly down the tube for the afterburner, exactly when the Tumbler was started up. The feeling you get when you expect your face to be melted via a large jet of afterburner flame is one we haven't experienced before. Thankfully no fire was involved.
Up close, the Tumbler is a fairly big and daunting thing. It sits about 4.5 metres long and 2.7 metres wide, which is big. Amazingly, despite weighing more than 2 tonnes, the huge 5.7-litre GM V8 will catapult the thing up to 60mph in just 5.6 seconds. We can't begin to imagine what that might feel like.
Our favourite touch was the fact the Tumbler fuelled up like any normal car. On the right hand side of the car is a pair of fuel caps, one fake, one real. You can literally fill the V8 straight from there. This means if you fancied it, you could pull up he Tumbler in your local Shell garage, which would be quite a sight.
Also unusual is the Tumbler's front suspension and wheel set-up. Based loosely around off-road trucks used for racing in the desert, it features no front axle, with a truck axle for the rear. We imagine it doesn't handle hugely well, although it has been used in some fairly impressive stunts throughout the Batman movies.
The whole front section of the car is possibly the most impressive part. The lower cockpit which Batman slides down into in order to protect himself from explosions and machinegun fire, looks very impressive. It's also strange to see the clever one-directional glass fitted to each window, as you can't see inside the vehicle at all, yet occupants can see everything outside.
Okay, so it's not technically the Batmobile, as Nolan's film never refers to it as thus, but without doubt, this has to be the most impressive ride Batman has ever sat behind the wheel of. In real life, it's just as amazing.