How the New Knight Rider Car Works

The New K.I.T.T. (Knight Industries Three Thousand)

Concept drawings of the new K.I.T.T. by Harold Belker.
Image courtesy
Concept drawings of the new K.I.T.T. by Harold Belker.
Image courtesy

Like the original "Knight Rider" series from more than 20 years ago, the technology featured on K.I.T.T. is a science-fiction take on several plausible concepts in the fields of electronics and engineering. One of these concepts is the increasingly popular subject of nanotechnology, the science of manipulating material at the subatomic level. According to press releases, K.I.T.T. will have the ability to change shape and color with the help of nanotechnology.

This explains the three different modes available to K.I.T.T. -- Hero, Attack and Remote. The filmmakers haven't released many specifics about this system, but we can assume the body of the car will change shape with the help of nanoscopic machines called assemblers. K.I.T.T. Hero is the standard mode of Michael Long's supercar, the stock Ford Mustang Shelby GT500KR. K.I.T.T. Attack, on the other hand, will be a faster, more aggressive version of the Hero mode, used for extreme action sequences and sophisticated weapons systems. In order to get that extra speed, K.I.T.T. must take on a more aerodynamic shape -- and that's exactly what the car does. Nanotechnology allows K.I.T.T. to morph and significantly lower the car's ride height.


Of course, all the transformations will actually be done using computer-generated imagery (CGI), the same techniques used to animate the shape-shifting daemons in "The Golden Compass." The new K.I.T.T. and its variations were created by Harold Belker, who also designed the Batmobile for the 1997 movie "Batman and Robin" and the space shuttle in the 1998 blockbuster "Armageddon." The cool thing about his job? Ford gave Belker and his team the chance to finish the designs of the car, since the Shelby GT500KR wasn't fully completed during pre-production of "Knight Rider."

Here's a list of some of the new features available on K.I.T.T.:

  • Laser Weapons System
  • DNA analysis equipment
  • In-seat medical diagnosis
  • Military grade GPS
  • 3-D head-up display
  • 360-degree video surveillance

For a comparison of the old K.I.T.T. and the new, read the next page.