As our readers will be well aware, a car is so much more than a mechanical device, or a tool that enables travel. A car is an extension of its owner. Something about the car should embody and reflect their personality. Nowhere is this truer than in the world of superheroes – as characters, they are larger than life.
In many instances, they have an aura or an ego about them, and this personality should be reflected in the car they drive. What’s more, many of the heroes are people of considerable wealth, and so should not have an issue in acquiring a suitably brilliant vehicle. Nevertheless, some of their rides have disappointed us, for a variety of reasons. Here are some of the very best (and very worst) from the movies.
10 Iconic: Bruce Wayne’s Mercedes in The Justice League
It is fair to say that The Justice League movie didn’t necessarily hit the mark with all audiences and critics. That said, one area that absolutely hit the mark was the phenomenal car driven by Ben Affleck’s Bruce Wayne.
The Mercedes Benz Vision AMG Vision Gran Turismo is a truly exceptional car befitting the occasion (Mercedes referred to it as the ‘Civilian Batmobile’). Based on a 2013 concept car, the vehicle included everything that you’d expect a billionaire to drive, including a virtual cockpit and cameras-as-mirrors.
9 Iconic: Tony Stark’s Audi R8
Most would argue that the Marvel Cinematic Universe movies have completely redefined the superhero movie genre. Before then, hero movies received a thoroughly mixed bag of success, but now they have defined an entire decade in cinema. Despite the ‘First Avenger’ moniker given to Captain America, make no mistake – MCU seriously rolled the dice when they cast Robert Downey Junior as Iron Man in the actual first Avengers movie.
He’d had a checkered past, and many questioned whether or not he would even be suitable as a superhero. As it turns out, RDJ absolutely knocked it out of the park as billionaire playboy Tony Stark. When Tony Stark pulled up in the exceptionally cool Audi R8 that would become synonymous with Iron Man, the car cemented its place in cinematic history.
8 Iconic: Blade’s Dodge Charger
Blade is quite probably the coolest superhero to have ever had a feature movie. Absolutely everything he does just oozes cool. From his outfits to his hand-dismembering sword, to the protection of his sunglasses. It stands to reason then that a character this cool would drive an equally cool car. Blade’s 1968 Dodge Charger R/T fits the bill and then some.
The Dodge Charger was already a cinematic icon in its own right (Bullitt), but as Blade’s faithful vehicle, it extends its legacy. Even before considering the gadgets and weaponry in the car, it was suitably cool as stock – as Wesley Snipes’ eponymous character pulls to a stop in the dark black Charger, with its unmistakable throaty engine burble, it seems so fitting as the vehicle for the anti-hero.
7 Iconic: Black Beauty, The Green Hornet
In the original version of The Green Hornet, the car (named Black Beauty) was very famous and was the envy of most viewers. Thankfully the 2011 movie remained true to this. Setting aside the fact that the 1965 Chrysler Imperial is a very cool, good-looking, and great-sounding car in its own right, how about the upgrades it's received?
Grille-mounted flamethrowers, hood-mounted machine guns, revolving rear license plate, and famed green headlights. In a movie that missed the mark in a number of ways, it’s great that they stayed true to the iconic car from the original.
6 Iconic: Bruce Wayne’s Lamborghini in Batman Begins
The Lamborghini Murciélago is a truly excellent car to look at. The famed Italian car marque has produced probably more poster-worthy cars than any other brand, and the Murciélago is no exception - before one even considers its excellent performance characteristics.
In the context of the movie, it is when Bruce Wayne is teetering on the edge of coming off the rails, and is at his brash playboy worst. But best of all, besides being a supercar fitting a billionaire, is the fact that Murciélago means ‘bat’ in Spanish – a wonderful little hat-tip to the viewers from the filmmakers.
Now, those hero movie cars that missed the mark…
5 Miss: Logan’s truck in X-Men
The X-Men movie of 2000 seems like a lifetime ago, with all of the MCU movies we’ve had over the past ten years. That said, it was a great foray into the hero movie genre for many, and would launch a trajectory for Hugh Jackman that would culminate in the utterly brilliant Logan.
Sadly, the same can’t be said for Logan’s choice of vehicle in the movie. The old beaten up Ford F-250 would have been something of a letdown in and of itself, but add the camper attachment, and it’s all kinds of wrong for an otherwise very cool anti-hero.
4 Miss: Cyclops’ Mazda in X2
At the risk of making this list seem like some kind of hit piece against the early X-Men movies, next up on the list is Cyclops’ choice of car in X2. Given his character, Cyclops’ car choice really could’ve gone either way – a nice, traditional muscle car, or something flashy and sporty.
Unfortunately, his Mazda RX8 is neither of these things. It just feels completely different from what you would expect from a young, cool, mutant superhero.
3 Miss: Black Widow’s Chevrolet Corvette C7
The Corvette C7 is a brilliant car. It boasts incredible performance, and looks every bit the sports car that it is… and that’s precisely why it misses the mark as Black Widow’s car in Captain America: The Winter Soldier.
Since her introduction in the MCU, Black Widow has been brilliantly understated in everything she does, likely owing to her spy background. Always instrumental in the victories of the Avengers, but never in the limelight. It’s for that reason that it’s hard to believe such an understated character would choose such a showy car.
2 Miss: The Acuras driven by S.H.I.E.L.D.
There’s nothing actually wrong with the Acura MDX – it’s a perfectly respectable crossover SUV, and is likely an excellent, pragmatic vehicle… for taking the kids to school, and picking them up from soccer practice.
It’s understandable that a fictional government agency would all drive uniform cars. It’s understandable that these matching cars would be black. Beyond that, though, the Acura MDX is just so vanilla. Given the importance of S.H.I.E.L.D. in the MCU and the increasing prevalence of their vehicles, it’s a shame they don’t drive something more exciting.
1 Miss: Dr. Strange’s Lamborghini
The Lamborghini Huracan driven by Dr. Strange in his eponymous movie is a great car. It’s good looking, it’s fast, and it feels very fitting given the brash arrogance that the title character displays early in the movie. So, how does it miss the mark?
As a minor spoiler for anyone who hasn’t watched the movie, the car is crashed by Dr. Strange. What makes this iconic scene (and with it, a potentially iconic car) miss the mark was the fact that (allegedly) the film-makers had to ensure the car was featured in such a way as to ensure it highlighted the safety features, and thus shone a positive light on the brand, regardless of how implausible its survival may seem.