5 Real Vehicles That Only Fictional Superheroes Should Drive
Although our particular brand of comedy rarely involves punching producers over catering issues, we here at Cracked are not exactly above fawning over magnificent automobiles. We have a loose series of vehicles that are street legal against all odds, and we've drunkenly dabbled in the art of buying a used car.
Me, I know jack shit about cars. However, I'm a world-renowned expert on shit I personally think should be used by superheroes, and also on drunkenly arguing that superheroes should be real. With that in mind, I have ventured deep into the alien nether-realm of automotive locomotion and emerged with a bunch of vehicles that I want to -- and will, damn you -- unleash on the unwary world in my ongoing attempt to turn your yard into my own, personal summer blockbuster. Give me my laser car fights in the sky, goddammit!
Batmobiles, Batmobiles Everywhere
Click on the links in the intro, and you'll find at least one expertly made Batmobile that is completely street legal and entirely functional, apart from all the ground-to-air defense systems and armor and other Hollywood gear (as far as we know). However, that baby is far from the only one out there. Turns out, Batman is kind of popular, as is car customization. As such, there are so many badass Bat-cars out there, it's a wonder you don't bump into three every time you attempt to pocket park your Honda Civic.
To make things even better, the fluctuating-design nature of the comic/TV/movie Batmobiles ensure pretty much all of them are different, too. Here's a Tim Burton one from Comic-Con 2012:
"Go on, tell jokes about pocket parking now." -your Civic
If Bat-Keaton is not your jam, consider a more classic variation on the theme:
Shark-repellent spray sold separately.
Perhaps a rat rod?
Sorry, bat rod.
And so on and so on. You get the idea. Punch "real-life Batmobiles" into Google and you'll find everything from Tumblers to Animated Series-inspired DIY projects to VW Beetles someone has painted black and slapped a bat-sticker on. Real Batmobiles, much like real beauty, come in all shapes, ages, and sizes.
The Hero We Need To Drive Them:
Both cinematic and comic book incarnations of Batman have toyed with the idea of an entire army of Batmen, all sworn to protect the peace with their own particular spin on the theme. We've already got the cars, so why not round up their owners and make them join forces, Batman Inc.-style. They'd be like a giant biker gang, only nicer, more popular with kids, and wearing a hell of a lot more leather.
Just keep in mind that when they inevitably make the ultra-gritty 1960s Batman reboot where Daniel Day-Lewis takes up Cesar Romero's mantle as Gloriously Mustachioed Joker, chances are he will mow his way through all of these guys in preparation for the role.
All Sorts Of Amphibious Vehicles
A key element in a superhero's automotive arsenal is unpredictability, and assuming you don't have Bruce Wayne's multibillion resources or the aforementioned DIY Batmen's skills and dedication to customize your own super-attack car, few things are more surprising than adding water to the mix. Luckily, we live in the future, and there are plenty of amphibious vehicles on the market, ranging from stupid-looking bus-boat things to the clunky-yet-cool sportiness of the Hydra Spyder (pictured above) and the Jeepy functionality of the WaterCar Panther. We've already mentioned how the Rinspeed sQuba, a particularly badass Swiss sports car that doubles as a submarine, is more or less custom-made for aquatic supervillainy. However, its frankly heroic look and non-offensive function (unless you insist on mounting those torpedo guns) would also lend themselves extremely well to the opposite side of the super spectrum.
"Well, the electric windows certainly seem to blblblblblb-"
The Hero We Need To Drive It:
If we're talking about real-life superheroes, we might as well address the elephant in the room. Phoenix Jones, the rubber-suited protector of Seattle, is a professional MMA fighter who has chosen to spend much of his available free time safeguarding his home turf vigilante-style, instead of indulging in some of the slightly ... less commendable activities of his colleagues. Despite this seemingly selfless dedication (and the fact that his gear is impressive as shit), Mr. Jones remains a sideshow figure in the eyes of the public instead of the Batman-like icon he'd be by now should we live in a comic book universe.
"Wait, we don't?"
Look, I don't know the guy personally, so I can't vouch that he's truly hot shit. I don't even really know his backstory, though I'm tempted to assume that it's at least somewhat tragic, in the way I tend to assume car wrecks involve at least one driving error. I'm definitely not saying he's infallible or even particularly heroic 100 percent of the time -- Cracked has already told you about the time he managed to fuck up both his hero cred and his civilian life big time by macing a bunch of drunk dancers by mistake.
Whatever his faults may be -- playing a vigilante, doing so against the wishes of city officials, what have you -- this dude genuinely seems to want to make his community better and is putting a lot of time and effort into doing so while wearing a badass suit and inspiring others to do so in his wake. Think of his methods what you will, but there are plenty of admirable qualities in that line of thinking.
Look, the dude already has the suit and a certain amount of begrudging street cred. Just hook him up with his own Batmobile in the shape of a sQuba with a black-and-yellow color scheme, and see what he can do to, I don't know, the invasive species of Green Lake or whatever.
The Vigilente might not look like the coolest piece of work on this list -- let's be honest, it's basically the Segway of motorcycles, especially with that paint job. Yet, for the superhero that values practicality over flash, it's an essential purchase (once it gets past the prototype/concept stage, that is). It's the spinach of the cool car food cycle: good for you, but ewww.
"Unless you're Popeye, in which case I do jack shit of what you expect."
The hook of the Vigilente is its maneuverability -- designed for the nigh-impossible-to-navigate streets of cities like Mumbai -- and its wireless mesh network that creates a closed, independent network with other Vigilente users, enabling them to communicate and record and share information around them. Designed to create a network of "real-life superheroes" patrolling India's cities to prevent violence on women, a Vigilente can reach areas a regular car can only dream of, its electric mode guarantees nigh-silent patrol, and its several cameras and a super-accurate GPS chip enable the user to record rock-solid proof of all crime and call for backup whenever something's amiss. If a physical altercation occurs, there is a fingerprint-protected pepper-spray canister system.
Not so shabby for a trike, huh?
The Hero We Need To Drive It:
The Vigilente is basically the Facebook of superhero vehicles -- it might not be the coolest thing out there, but its vast networking abilities make it a pretty essential tool for any up-and-coming superhero. That being said, you should probably invest in some spoilers and black paint if you want to impress the other heroes once you actually meet them -- rolling up to a crime scene on this thing and finding Justice League already there is like having a friend request accepted by your high school crush on the night you drunkenly changed your profile picture into Goatse.
Joining the ranks of the various flying cars that have so far completely failed to revolutionize the way we commute, the Slovakian AeroMobil actually seems to realize the true potential of cars that transform into planes: Instead of tall tales in the "this changes everything forever" vein, the manufacturer freely targets wealthy super-car enthusiasts and designs the product to satisfy that particular segment. This is good news for your superheroin' needs, as the vehicle is meant to remain relatively exclusive. Also, the manufacturer is apparently making pretty decent progress; they've already made a developmental version that works well both as a plane and a car, and the first units could ship as early as 2017.
It also doesn't look like a fucking GoBot, which is a bonus.
The Hero We Need To Drive It:
You. Yes, you. Did you really think I'd go through the trouble of putting together a list of superhero vehicles without setting aside a little something for you? Oh no. I remember that thing you did and will pay it back with the gift of flight. The AeroMobil might have its issues (let's be honest, all flying cars do), but it seems to be a little further down the line than most of its competition and will certainly look infinitely cooler once you strap your signature weapon (you're still working on that sling that hurls actual live spiders at evildoers, aren't you?) on it. Just figure out the paint scheme, imagine your superhero logo on the side, and revel in the glory of this video of the thing in action:
Soon, she'll be yours. Soon.
The Leopard 2A7 Tank
The Leopard 2A7 is the most recent mobile hell-gun from the always reliably efficient German war industry. People who know this shit better than I do rank this particular piece of mobile all-purpose stopper as single-handedly the best tank in the world, thanks to its, well, everything. Its firepower, protection, and mobility are all on a level few other land attack vehicles can even dream to compete against, with the added bonus that this thing's choppy design makes it look like an end boss in a mid-1990s polygon shooter. My favorite thing about it, however, has to be that bulldozer blade attached to it, presumably to enable the Leopard to easily push through barricades and rubble in the urban environment it's specifically designed to wreak havoc in. This, complete with all of its other offensive and defensive benefits, essentially makes the Leopard 2A7 the wet dream of Captain Killdozer, one of the world's few real-life super-criminals and a Cracked alumnus (of course).
Wait, shit, doesn't that make this more of a supervillain vehicle?
The Hero We Need To Drive It:
Sorry, did I say "hero"? Did you really think this would be anything but a setup? HahahahaHAHAHA! You fool! You've walked right into my trap.
Rampant mustache twirlery! Rampant, I say!
Actually, I'm kind of disappointed. You really should have seen this coming -- the whole "ah, but it was me all along" twist is a stock plot you'd think the world would have been sick of by the time M. Night Shyamalan used it in Unbreakable. Shit, I even straight-up told you my endgame was a big-ass fight in front of your home, specifically. Alas, you chose to ignore the signs, and that, friend, is how you came to stare down the barrel of a 120 mm smoothbore cannon in your puny, flying car that offers you no escape because it's still a fucking prototype with tons of kinks. Your demise is imminent. Your only, laughably tiny chance of survival is pushing the narratively convenient red button by your gearstick that will launch the self-destruct mechanism of my unbeatable war machine for some reason. Still, I've got you in my sights. You'll never make it. It's a million-to-one chance.
But it just might work.
For more from Pauli, check out 5 Ways To Abuse Your Body To Greatness (That We Tested) and 5 Pet Products For People Who Probably Shouldn't Own Pets.
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