The Tumbler was a military vehicle designed by Lucius Fox and Wayne Enterprises, originally conceived as a bridging tool. It was an all-terrain vehicle that could launch into a rampless jump to get across rivers or other impassable territory, then it would implement a bridging system that would allow others to cross. The bridging system was never made functional, and so the Tumbler prototype lay unused in the R&D department of Wayne Enterprises.
When Bruce Wayne returned and began investigating the R&D equipment, Lucius showed him the Tumbler. Wayne had him change the colour from desert camouflage to all black, and used it as his alter-ego Batman's vehicle. When rescuing Rachel Dawes from Arkham Asylum, he evaded police using the Tumbler's stealth system and rampless jump technology. Later, when Ra's al Ghul tried to vapourise the city's water supply, James Gordon drove the Tumbler in front of the monorail and blew up the tracks using missiles.
Later, The Tumbler was used to foil a drug deal between the Chechen and Scarecrow. Bruce Wayne had it altered to self-destruct and release the Batpod if too much damage was sustained. He then used the vehicle to protect Harvey Dent from the Joker, and was hit by several rockets. Wayne ejected the batpod to continue his pursuit, and the Tumbler blew itself up.