It might not shoot fire or missiles, but Bruce Wayne’s new ride in The Dark Knight Rises is almost as enviable as the caped crusader’s Batmobile.
Gotham’s famous playboy – and Catwoman, who pinches the car from him – drive a Lamborghini Aventador LP 700-4, which was unveiled in 2011 as the Italian maker’s flagship model. Michael Lock, COO of Automobili Lamborghini America, told THR that the car’s aggressive design meant it could hold its own alongside the film’s fantasy vehicles – a constant challenge for production cars in sci-fi or comic book blockbusters.
“They had a very specific requirement: this Bruce Wayne vehicle has to sit in the Batcave and not look like a plain Jane. There are very few cars in production that can pull that off,” Lock said. “[The Aventador] almost looks like the Batmobile itself.”
The Aventador underwent no design modifications for the film, and it is currently commercially available, for Batman devotees and car buffs, exactly as it appears in Dark Knight Rises. And the 691-horsepower Aventador needed no mechanical tune-ups – it hits a top speed of 217 mph and accelerates from 0-60 mph in 2.9 seconds.
The car’s production had to be rushed after Warner Bros. requested it – Lamborghini was still testing the Aventador model at the time, and the production assembly line hadn’t been completed.
Consequently, Bruce Wayne’s Aventador was largely hand-built, Lock says. And the car seen in the film is actually more than one: Lamborghini provided the filmmakers with two Aventadors, a spare chassis and lots of extra parts – “It was kind of two and a half cars,” Lock said – to use in case of damage to one vehicle. Now, both Aventadors have returned to the Lamborghini fleet based in Italy, and at least one car will likely be displayed in the Lamborghini factory’s on-site museum.
The Bruce Wayne character in large part attracted Lamborghini to working with Dark Knight Rises, Lock says.
“Very often it’s an undesirable character who’s driving an exotic sports car. It’s very often not the good guy,” Lock said. The virtuous but multifaceted socialite Wayne appealed to Lamborghini, Lock says, which aims to increase its visibility in entertainment.
And Wayne, played by Christian Bale in Christopher Nolan’s Batman trilogy, sure seems to have an affinity for Lamborghinis. He drives a convertible Murciélago Roadster in Batman Begins, and in The Dark Knight he rams his Murciélago LP640 into a police motorcade. (The new Aventador, fittingly, was released to replace the Murciélago as Lamborghini’s flagship vehicle.)
Lock said that what they love about the car's appearance in the film is that it's not blunt product placement. “We much prefer where the car is a character in a movie, where it has its own role,” Lock said. “We’re not trying to sell cars; what we’re trying to do is position the brand.”
The Dark Knight Rises proved a good chance to do so -- the film has held the top of the box office for three consecutive weeks since its July 20 opening, grossing $737 million worldwide to date despite the Aurora, Colo., shooting that claimed 12 lives at a midnight show.