The Batsmart by Barris

Batsmart from SEMA

George Barris has officially gone batty. While he is one of the men generally acknowledged for creating the original Batmobile, he hasn't shown anything with those trademark wings since Joel Schumacher almost ruined the franchise. And then we passed this in the North Hall at SEMA today. Maybe it was Catwoman standing next to it, but the Batsmart instantly takes us back with those trademark high-mounted rear wings, a rear jet exhaust, roof-mounted flutes and vertical doors. We don't have many details, but we really don't need them. Just look at it - it's a smart fortwo wearing a Batmobile costume for Halloween!

Maybe gas has risen to $11 a gallon in Gotham and this is the best Bruce Wayne can do. Who knows? We've actually heard that 40 lucky Bat fans will be able to get their hands on one of these in the near future. The standard package won't include the roof flutes or rear chutes and exhaust, but they will be available options. Keep your eye on website for updates. Meanwhile, we don't think our modern day Caped Crusader has any plans to replace his Tumbler with this toddler.

Gallery: SEMA 2008: Barris BatSMART


Volkswagen developing car even smaller than up! with 117.6 mpg!

VW up! Concept

In Fall of 2007, Volkswagen unveiled a series of three mini car concepts called the up!, Space up! and Space up! Blue. Apparently the German automaker has determined that the tiny "four seat" up! just isn't small enough and is planning an even smaller machine to take on the Smart ForTwo directly. The goal is to create a two-seater that can achieve a fuel consumption rating of 2 L/100 km or 117.6 mpg! According to
Auto Motor und Sport, the smaller car will be based on the up! architecture with power coming from a 1.0L three-cylinder diesel making 50 hp. VW has been testing a two-cylinder engine, but is unlikely to go that route. A twin would have to work too hard to provide any mileage benefit, so the slightly larger engine is likely to find a home in the new car. The first of the up! models are expected to debut in 2010 with larger models, and now smaller ones, to follow. Thanks to Christian for the tip!

Gallery: VW up!