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"N. Gin opened a custom auto parts store in Toledo, Ohio. The store closed after a massive recall when his patented "Clear-the-Road" missile system sparked havoc on the nation's freeways."

A lot of the time, it is not enough for your Cool Car to simply be cool. Having extra measures in place in order to facilitate the capture of the enemy you're chasing, or your escape from the enemies chasing you, might not only be helpful, but necessary. Enter the Weaponized Car. Equipped with both offensive and defensive measures, this item is a must-have for the discerning Badass Driver. Many options are available, but the standard loadout includes:

  • Sports Car: Nine times out of ten, the Weaponized Car is gonna be a pretty slick ride. Weaponized Cars that take the form of trucks and more heavy-duty vehicles usually go to enemies and/or supporting characters. If not, the car is usually a
  • Technical: A small pickup, utility vehicle or a truck converted into a fighting vehicle, usually with a heavy weapon bolted on the cargo bed. Usually this weapon is a machine gun, but can just as well be a anti-aircraft cannon or heavy anti-tank rocket launcher.
  • Machine Guns: Usually mounted somewhere on the hood, these serve as the primary offensive weapons. They have Bottomless Magazines, of course.
  • Missiles: Normally mounted on the roof (or occasionally behind the headlights), these tend to be used fairly sparingly, since their supply is limited. They seem to see more use clearing obstacles than taking out enemies.
  • Oil Slick: Sprays a thick layer of oil on the road behind the car, causing pursuers to lose control and crash.
  • Caltrops: Ejects several dozen of these sharp, jack-like objects which will puncture the tires of pursuers.
    • Land Mines: If you really want to get nasty, just blow them up instead.
  • Smoke Screen: Produces a cloud of dense smoke behind the car. If the pursuers aren't right on the driver's tail, this can be used to obscure dangerous obstacles, like a sharp bend in a mountain road.
  • Spiked Wheels: These you'll almost never see the good guys use for some reason, but if the bad guys have a Weaponized Car, they will always have these. Sharp blades extend from the center of the hubcap, used to shred the tires of a car directly alongside.
  • Hillibilly Armor: Makeshift armour like steel plates, sand bags, railroad track or caterpillar track idlers strapped, bolted or welded to protect the engine and crew.

Reinforced armor, bulletproof glass, and a turbocharged engine are also pretty standard, for obvious reasons. Weapons like machine guns and missiles can almost always retract into the car in order to keep a low profile in settings where this is necessary. Vehicles with pintle-mounted weapons, such as military HMMWV's, do not count; a Weaponized Car only needs one driver for complete functionality (This does not stop some cars from having them, however).

Subtrope of Cool Car. Not to be confused with Car Fu. See Vehicular Combat for the game genre based around a bunch of these blasting the crap out of each other.

Examples of Weaponized Car include:


Anime and Manga

  • The Mach 5 from Speed Racer is armed to the teeth. The saws were always used to cut down obstacles, though.
    • Except in the "car wrestling" two-parter, where Speed used the saws to rip through other cars. (And the automatic jacks to smash other cars from above.)
  • Roger Smith's Griffin in The Big O has machine guns and even a missile launcher (among other features), though these are rarely seen used.
  • Bean Bandit's car, named "The Buff", is a custom built muscle car with spikes in the wheels, bullet-proof glass, and wheels that can turn 90 degrees on a whim.
  • Done in Supercar Gattiger, both with the five individual vehicles and the combined supercar.

Comic Books

  • The eponymous supertruck from US-1, as reviewed by Linkara. Oddly enough they spend lots of time describing the new toys the truck has, only for the hero to simply run the villain off the road. (John Henry in disguise?)
  • The Batmobile
  • The unfortunately named Whiz Wagon
  • The Fantasticar
  • The Punisher's battle van.

Film - Animated

  • Most of the espionage characters in Cars 2 feature missiles, rockets, machine guns, and targeting systems hidden all along their bodies, most notably Finn McMissile, Holly Shiftwell, Torque Redline, and Tow Mater.
  • The Team America Hummer has various hidden weaponry like missiles and machine guns appear when it's "Valmorphanized".

Film - Live Action

  • Many James Bond cars since Goldfinger are outfitted this way to some extent; most have at least the missiles and machine guns. In the Brosnan movies, Q will barely mention the weapons, focusing more on the car's less obvious functions, because at this point neither Bond nor the viewers are going to be particularly impressed by the car's ability to shoot missiles.
    • Culminating in the shootout between two weaponized cars in Die Another Day.
  • The recent movie Death Race and the 1978 film it was adapted from both run on this trope.
  • The Batmobile from the Tim Burton Batman movies definitely qualifies as this. The first Batman movie had a heavy-duty armored shield that could be activated when it was parked, machine guns that were mainly used to invoke the Bullethole Door effect, and a special bomb that Batman used to wipe out the Axis Chemical factory in one scene. The Batmobile in the other major movie used side-blades that could cut through stilts, high-speed discs that he used to unseat Skull Riders from their motorcycles, and even a switch that turned the rocket-powered exhaust into a weapon, putting the torch on anyone unfortunate enough to be directly behind it.
    • Both the Tumbler and the Batpod from The Dark Knight are also good examples, though the Batmobile seems to see more use as a battering ram than anything else. It probably helps that the Tumbler was an aborted military prototype.
      • The Tumbler isn't really a good example since it's a military vehicle with no unarmed, civilian counterpart. A Weaponized Car is a car with weapons added; the Tumbler is more like a small tank with built-in weaponry.
  • Lampshaded and parodied in XXX, while the R&D guy is able (as per the titular character's request) to fix up a car with an entire armory of weapons, the thing needs an instruction manual the size of a giant phone book. There's a chase sequence which involves The Hero and Love Interest trying to look up the right equipment in the manual.
  • The 1973 Oldsmobile in Army of Darkness is, with the power of modern science, transformed into a steam-powered tank with a helicopter rotor.
  • The Baroness's Hummer in G.I. Joe the Rise of Cobra.
  • The Australian cult classic The Cars That Ate Paris.
  • The film version of Tango and Cash has the pair borrow one of these from a friend to assault the Big Bad's stronghold.
  • EM-50 "Urban Assault Vehicle" (disguised as a late 70s GMC motorhome) in Stripes.
  • In the movie version of Speed Racer, all racing cars were equipped with jump-jacks. The Mach 5 only got extra gadgets added when it was racing in a dirty desert rally.
  • The Angels' battle van after Terry has finished modifying it in Angels Revenge.
  • The Cannonball Run includes a Jewish momma's boy who thinks he is Roger Moore (played, of course, by Roger Moore) driving the tricked Aston-Martin DBV from the early James Bond films. No machine guns, but the smokescreen, oil slick and Ejection Seat are all used. Ironically, Moore never actually drove this car during his tenure as Bond.
  • Although none of its vehicles are actually weaponized, this trope is played with a bit in National Treasure 2, in that some Real Life perks now incorporated into high-end cars are used to add novelty to the chase scenes. Most notably, one chase starts out with the heroes' car going backwards, with driver Ben ducked down out of the line of gunfire, and steering via the rear-view camera's video screen.
  • Again not technically weaponized, but the car in the Australian heist comedy Malcolm, designed by the savant of the same name, had very cool features built into it such as the ability to split in half. See about 1:30 into this trailer.
  • The Mad Max franchise (and Mad Max II aka The Road Warrior especially) has a lot of vehicles that may or may not qualify for this trope depending on your point of view. The post apocolyptic setting means that there isn't anything high tech, but that doesn't stop them wreaking havoc using vehicles.
    • Max's car is very fast and pretty awesome (and has a bomb on the gas tank) but is not directly weaponised as such.
    • The armored tanker from the final chase is heavily reinforced and protected, but doesn't include weapons systems directly, preferring guys with weapons.
    • There is a wide array of custom builds and dune buggys that have mounted weapons systems, battering rams and similar, but as they aren't really 'cars' in the traditional sense its arguable if they qualify. They are pretty sweet rides and have weapons attached.
  • A deleted scene in Johnny English Reborn has English testing the gadgets on his Rolls Royce, accidentally blowing up a carload of mooks who (unknown to English due to the cars' bullet/soundproofed exterior) are shooting at him.
  • In the new film version of The Green Hornet, Kato turns Bret's dad's old '65 (judging by the grille) Chrysler Imperial Crown limousine into the stylish but tough Black Beauty, replete with such features as bumper missiles, grill-mounted flamethrower, suicide doors with guns in them, miniguns on the front fenders, and even an anti-aircraft gun somehow stuffed into the spacious trunk. Not so much overkill.
  • The Wreckers from "Transformers: Dark of the Moon"

Literature

  • Mack Bolan uses a decidedly uncool GMC motorhome as his "War Wagon," which does however have the advantage of being the last thing anyone would expect a One-Man Army to be driving. It has advanced electronic surveillance capabilities and a retractable 4-shot guided missile launcher, but no armour (except for some steel plates around the driver's seat) as Bolan only uses it for long-range combat.
  • Why Johnny Can't Speed, a tongue-in-cheek revenge tale by Alan Dean Foster. In this short story, road rage is legal, so all vehicles are armed to the teeth. A father sets out to avenge his son who was killed disputing a lane change.
  • Averted in Market Forces by Richard Morgan, where road duels are legal but firing weapons from vehicles is banned. However the combatants do find a couple of ways around the "no-weapons" rule. In one case a missile is fired into a hillside as a distraction, and in the climatic battle the protagonist actually stops and exits his car to fire a shotgun at his opponent.
  • The David Robbins Endworld series has the SEAL, an armoured van that carries twin .50 caliber machine guns, a rocket launcher, a FLAMETHROWER, and stinger missiles.
  • In Snow Crash, Ng uses a heavily-armed airport firetruck as his wheelchair.

Live Action TV

  • KITT from both Knight Rider series.
    • Don't forget KARR and GOLIATH!
  • The car from the (awesome) Viper TV show fits in here as well.
  • One episode of CHiPs featured the 'stunt car bandits' who drove a movie stunt car equipped with an Oil Slick, smoke screen and other gadgets.
  • Street Hawk brought us a rare example of a weaponised motorcycle
  • On Chuck, Casey's beloved Crown Vic launches a missile in the Season 3 finale.
  • The vehicles from Top Gear's Police Car Challenge; each presenter fitted a spectacularly low-budget device for stopping baddies onto their vehicle. Richard Hammond had a stinger (a doormat with some nails in it), James May built a spray paint screen for his car (that failed when confronted with windscreen wipers), and Jeremy Clarkson fitted his rear tires with spiked wheels (which caused him to lose an entire wheel when he attempted to use them).
  • The Suicide Squad van in Smallville. It features state of the art electronics, a radar based tracker, reinforced steel siding, and a missile launcher.
  • The Myth Busters have tested nearly everything in the above "standard loadout" list, except for the missiles, and had some success with all of them.
  • Angel had Gunn's tricked out Ford F250 known as "The War Wagon". It had a mounted stake cannon among other weapons.

Tabletop Games

  • Steve Jackson Games: Car Wars and GURPS Autoduel.
  • Games Workshop: Battlecars and Dark Future.
    • Ork Vehicles in Warhammer 40000. Every one of them mounts at least a Big Shoota and most can mount more. They've even got a giant metal roller that's somehow their most potent anti-vehicle weapon. They're also notorious for stealing other army's stuff and mounting large artillery on it. They usually remember how the controls work.
  • In Monsterpocalypse, one of the Terrasaur units introduced in the All Your Base expansion is the Green Fury Van, a heavily-armed van full of heavily-armed eco-terrorists.
  • Rifts, being Post-Post apocalypse and all, all but encourages Adventurers to do this. Not just guns, but magic as well.
  • Highway2000 by Threshold Games (and later Gamescience).
  • Most vehicles in BattleTech are tanks, hovercrafts and the like, but this troper's personal standout is the Star League-era Rotunda scoutcar, that looks like a normal sportscar, but carries a heavy laser and a short-ranged missile system, as well as a decent skin of Ferro-Fibrous armor. One operative, stranded during the Aramis Coup, used his to wage a one-man guerrilla campaign for seven years before SLDF forces arrived to take the planet back.

Video Games

Western Animation

  • Most of the cars in Wacky Races.
  • C.A.R. from The Replacements (who is visually based on the Mach 5 from Speed Racer). The buzzsaw is mostly used for threatening Dick.
  • Lady Penelope's Rolls Royce in Thunderbirds. In numerous episodes it fires a retractable machine gun from its front. Another episode has it being able to produce an Oil Slick, and it is mentioned that it has retractable studs to prevent the wheels from slipping.
    • Though the weapon is clearly an autoloader it is not necessarily a machine gun, nor always used as such - multiple individual, clearly-spaced shots suffice to bring down the strafing helicopter in Thunderbirds are Go.
    • The surface rover component of the Zero-X Mars exploration vehicle also fits this trope, albeit loosely because it is not intended as a combat vehicle. Its gun is used to blast off chunks of rock from high and inaccessible places for geological analysis, but fortuitously comes in handy when the chunks of rock start uncoiling themselves and firing back.
  • Does it count if your car is mounted on top of a Giant Robot?
  • M.A.S.K. is pretty much loaded with this trope: cars, trucks, and other vehicles, even the logo for the series itself, contain a Trope Codifier.
  • Kevin's car in Ben 10 Alien Force, which Kevin constantly repairs and upgrades with various alien tech and weapons.
  • Both Major Bludd's car and the stolen Cobra truck in G.I. Joe: Renegades.
    • "We have shields?"
  • Numerous Transformers with car modes have vehicular attack modes, which involve deploying hidden weaponry or mounting a gun piece on it. For example: one of Hot Rod's handguns can be plugged into his engine block. Some just plain have cannons out all the time. Example: Cybertron Optimus Prime's BFGs.
  • Both the 1987 and 2003 Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 'toons featured these. The original toon featured the Party Wagon, while the second series featured two different Battle Shells, the Turtle Hauler, and several less-frequently-used vehicles.
  • In one of the "Road to Taz-Mania..." episodes of Taz-Mania, enemy agents turn the family mini-van into a weaponized spy car after Hugh, Drew and Taz are mistaken for fellow spies.

Real Life

  • Do weaponized bulldozers count? If so, I submit the Real Life example of The Killdozer.
  • Truth in Television: During and immediately after World War One, several concepts for one man tanks were proposed. One example was the Morris-Martel One Man Tankette.
    • You could say the very concept of the armored car and the later invention of the tank is made of this trope : The first armored cars from the The Gay Nineties and The Edwardian Era were mostly modified civilian variants (with an armored plated chassis and a machine gun turret at the back) and the first tractors were heavily based on the chassis and motors of contemporary heavy duty treaded tractors (both civilian and military ones).
  • The 2001 Scrapheap Challenge title match was full-size radio-controlled jousting cars.
  • Technicals and the most famous examples of the Katyusha resemble this trope, being a four-wheel drive with some form of heavy weapon mounted on the back.
  • Another Truth in Television: Limousines for government officials and the excessively rich. These carry up to a couple tons of armor, ranging from simple Kevlar panels to hardened steel plates, the windows have several layers of armored glass, tires are filled with foam (they'll never go flat, even despite bullet holes). One Discovery Channel program showed how one vehicle was further fitted out with a caltrop dispenser (VERY easy to do) and no less than eight places to conceal guns so they would escape even a thorough search.
    • Actually most people would be surprised to find out that at least four James Bond gadgets are very easy to DIY: caltrop dispensers (all that is needed is a tub-shaped box which rotates pushed by a stepper motor), oil slick dispensers (a metal can for the oil, an electric pump and 2-4 nozzles), smoke screen (it needs some used motor oil and an injector pump to spray it in the red-hot exhaust) and rotating license plate, which is easier to do in nowadays plastic-bumper cars than in the chromed steel bumper of an Aston Martin. However, they have disadvantages for someone whose life does not depend on them: stored caltrops are bulky, rattly and noisy, a properly running oil slick dispenser would need a barrel with at least 20 liters of oil, and rotating license plates with a fake number may have you imprisoned for forgery in some countries if caught. Cool? Yes. Useful? Hardly ever.
    • A more "normal" example is the minigun-armed SUV in Barack Obama's inauguration. A "Dillan Tactical Vehicle", for those who care. The minigun folds in for easy, low-profile travel.
      • Dillan likes to pretend their miniguns are used by heads of state. They aren't, generally, as that sort of collateral damage is hard for any elected official to stomach.
  • Actually dates as far back as 1890 in the form of "Tachanka", a machine-gun-enabled horse carriage, which saw most prominent use during post-Revolution Civil War in Russia - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tachanka
  • "Technical" vehicles, which are essentially pickup trucks with machine guns mounted on the back.
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