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For the new version of Batman conjured up by Joel Schumacher and company, newly conceived vehicles, gadgets and arsenals had to follow. Nothing would be the same as in the previous films, and that included the most famous vehicle of all... The Batmobile.

During months of trial and error, experimentation and testing, production designer Barbara Ling worked closely on the Batmobile with art department illustrator Tim Flattery, an expert in vehicle design, and special-effects supervisor Tommy Fisher, who would build the chassis, as well as Allen Pike and Charley Zurian of TFX, a company that specializes in the construction of unique vehicles.

"The Batmobile was quite a challenge," says Ling, "and we actually went through many stages to get the final vehicle." Ling found the inspiration of the final version of the Batmobile in a videotape of a bat flying in a wind tunnel. "The bat is an amazing animal," she says. "The structure of its wings, its veins and ribs is remarkable. We went for a stylized, automotive version of a bat. I wanted the Batmobile to look like a living, breathing thing." Ling's design also recalled the look of the Batmobile from its first appearance in 1941's Batman #5 comic books when the vehicle was distinguished by a single fin rising from its top.

The Batmobile took four months to build from the first sketch to the finished product. Whereas the previous Batmobiles were constructed from fiberglass, Ling, Flattery, Pike and Zurian sought to make the new one from some of the most durable materials available. Carbon fiber the same material used for Formula One racing cars and F-16 jet fighters went into the body of the Batmobile, along with a high-temperature epoxy resin with all of the air extracted though vacuum bagging.

"It makes it super lightweight and super-strong," notes Allen Pike.

The film was flashier than the previous two, and the Batmobile itself reflected this change.