• Jul 1st 2008 at 11:29AM
  • 26

Remember the 2006 Monaco Grand Prix? How about a refresher – Fernando Alonso took the checkered flag, but all eyes on the podium weren't focused on the Spanish champion...they were on David Coulthard, who stood on the third step of the podium in a red cape. (Yeah, seriously.) The scarlet accessory was part of a commercial agreement that saw Red Bull Racing promoting Superman Returns. Few expected DC to score that podium finish (it was the first for the new team) but there he stood.

This year, it appears that the Justice League has switched allegiance, as Toyota has announced a similar arrangement to promote the upcoming Batman movie The Dark Knight. No word yet on whether Jarno Trulli (who took third in last week's French Grand Prix) and Timo Glock (last year's GP2 champion) will have to wear black capes if they make it onto the podium, but their racing suits are tipped to feature a Batman theme, as will the cars themselves. But that's not all: during this coming weekend's British Grand Prix, the new Batmobile and Bat-Pod will be on display at Silverstone, and the Batmobile is reportedly scheduled to hit the track this Thursday evening for a run around the circuit alongside the Toyota TF108. We smell a gallery coming up – stay tuned, and villains beware. Press release after the jump.

[Source: Toyota F1]


Panasonic Toyota Racing joins forces with The Dark Knight at Silverstone

Thanks to a partnership between Panasonic Toyota Racing and Warner Bros. Pictures, Hollywood is coming to Silverstone for the British Grand Prix weekend to celebrate the release of the event movie of the summer: The Dark Knight.

The much-anticipated film, which releases in cinemas across the UK on 25 July, is the follow up to the 2005 action hit Batman Begins. The Dark Knight reunites director Christopher Nolan and star Christian Bale, who again portrays the dual role of Bruce Wayne/Batman.

To mark the release of The Dark Knight, Panasonic Toyota Racing will adopt a new look at Silverstone this weekend. The Dark Knight artwork will feature on the TF108s and the overalls of Jarno Trulli and Timo Glock, as well as the team's motor home.

But The Dark Knight theme does not stop there. On show at Silverstone will be the iconic Batmobile and Bat-Pod vehicles, while some very special media events will bring the excitement of The Dark Knight to life.

The Batmobile will even take to the Silverstone track on Thursday evening for a demonstration run alongside the TF108, followed by some unique photo opportunities with the Bat-Pod and Jarno Trulli and Timo Glock.

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 7 Years Ago
      The Burton version of the Batmobile was just fine for Tim Burton's stylized take on the frachise.

      In comparision to Nolan's Tumbler, it looks both lame and horribly unrealistic. It would not fit the new films' personality at all.

      I know if I was fighting crime in Detroit, the tumbler would be on the short list of vehicles I'd want.
      • 7 Years Ago
      As much as I like this thing, and the Burton version before it, you just can't beat the '66 Barris Batmobile.

      "Atomic batteries to power... turbines to speed!"
        • 7 Years Ago
        ""As much as I like this thing, and the Burton version before it, you just can't beat the '66 Barris Batmobile.""


        None of the movies or Batmobiles have risen to the standard set by the original series with Adam West.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Great Information, thanks for pasting it. From Wikipedia.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Who slapped all the asphalt shingles on that Fiero?
      • 7 Years Ago
      it looks like a transformer.... its cool, but not the batmobile i'd use to fight for justice on a friday night.
      • 7 Years Ago
      That thing actually runs?! I wasn't sure if it was all special effects in the movies using a life size prop. But seeing that it can actually move, I WANT ONE NOW!!!
        • 7 Years Ago
        actually it uses a v8 engine and is capable to go around 80 mph.
        • 7 Years Ago
        It might not be as heavy as you think. The panels might just be plastic not reinforce bullet proof steel.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Does it have a Toyota engine running it? I am curious to the construction of that beast. I can not imagine it can go very fast but I bet most of it is hollow under the skin and only looks like an 60 ton tank. For all we know could weigh 1500lbs and have a 4 banger in there. It is probably mostly fiberglass and tubes.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Yeah, I've always thought that is the best version on the Batmobile.
      • 7 Years Ago
      I'm Batman
        • 7 Years Ago
        No Jarno Trulli is Batman
      • 7 Years Ago
      Batman's SUV
      • 7 Years Ago
      Crowley started the process of designing the Tumbler for the film by model bashing. One of the parts that Crowley used to create the vehicle was the nose cone of a P-38 Lightning model to serve as the chassis for the Tumbler's jet engine. Six models of the Tumbler were built to 1:12 scale in the course of four months. Following the scale model creation, a crew of over 30 people, including Crowley and engineers Chris Culvert and Annie Smith, carved a full-size replica of the Tumbler out of a large block of Styrofoam, which was a process that lasted two months.[31]

      The Styrofoam model was used to create a steel "test frame", which had to stand up to several standards: have a speed of over 100 mph, go from 0 to 60 mph (97 km/h) in 5 seconds, possess a steering system to make sharp turns at city corners, and to withstand a self-propelled launch of up to 30 feet (9.1 m). On the very first jump test, the Tumbler's front end collapsed and had to be completely rebuilt. The basic configuration of the newly designed Tumbler included a 5.7-liter Chevy V8 engine, a truck axle for the rear axle, front tires by Hoosier (which are actually dirt racing tires used on the right rear of open wheel sprint cars) , rear 4x4 mud tires by Interco., and the suspension system of Baja racing trucks. The design and development process took nine months and cost several million dollars.[31]
      The rear of the Tumbler, showing the flaps and engine
      The rear of the Tumbler, showing the flaps and engine

      With the design process completed, four street-ready race cars were constructed, with each vehicle possessing 65 carbon fiber panels and costing $250,000 each to build. Two of the four cars were specialized versions. One version was the flap version, which had hydraulics and flaps to detail the close-up shots where the vehicle propelled itself through the air. The other version was the jet version, in which an actual jet engine was mounted onto the vehicle, fueled by six propane tanks. Due to the poor visibility inside the vehicle by the driver, monitors were connected to cameras on the vehicle body. The professional drivers for the Tumblers practiced driving the vehicles for six months before they drove on the streets of Chicago for the film's scenes.[31]

      The interior of the Tumbler was an immobile studio set and not actually the interior of a street-capable Tumbler. The cockpit was over-sized to fit cameras for scenes filmed in the Tumbler interior. In addition, another version of the Tumbler was a miniature model that was 1:5 scale of the actual Tumbler. This miniature model had an electric motor and was used to show the Tumbler flying across ravines and between buildings. However, the actual race car was used for the waterfall sequence.[31]
      • 7 Years Ago
      I'm off to the London Motorshow later this month, hoping the Tumbler will show up there as well. Wouild love to see it up close, magnificent brutish thing it is.
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