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In the 2005 movie, Bruce Wayne modifies a prototype military vehicle called "the Tumbler" that was designed by Lucius Fox as a bridging vehicle for the military. It includes features like weaponry, and the ability to boost into a rampless jump. In the Nolan films the vehicle is never referred to as the "Batmobile". Six vehicles were built for the production of the film. Two full-sized driving versions were used in exterior shots. One full-sized model with hydraulic enhancements was used in jump sequences. One full-sized, functional version carried propane tanks to fuel the rocket blast out of the rear nozzle. A radio-controlled, 1/3-scale electric model also performed stunts in the film (e.g., the roof-top chase sequence). These scenes were filmed over nine weeks, on a massive set built on a stage at Shepperton Studios.

The Batmobile returns in The Dark Knight, and appears twice in the movie: when Batman captures the Scarecrow and the fake Batmen in the parking garage, and in the chase where it is damaged beyond repair by a chain 'tumbling' reaction, initiated by a rocket-propelled grenade fired by The Joker; Batman ejects from the Tumbler in the Batpod (a motorcycle formed by the front wheels and struts of the Batmobile). Once ejected, Batman programs the Batmobile to self-destruct, the AI stating, "Goodbye" before the explosion. The Batmobile is also seen in the trailers in a deleted scene, exiting the improvised Batcave.

Production photos from filming of The Dark Knight Rises in Pittsburgh showed a second Tumbler chassis after the first was destroyed in The Dark Knight. On the WPXI morning news on July 21, 2011, video was shown of three tumbler variants being removed from a cargo plane. Each of these vehicles had the original color of the Tumbler as depicted during the test drive scenes in Batman Begins. Each of these three vehicles are reported to be used by the character Bane and his gang. Trailers have shown a new prototype operated by Batman, which has the capability of flight.

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