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KITT is the short name of two fictional characters from the adventure TV series Knight Rider. While having the same acronym, the KITTs are two different entities: one known as the Knight Industries Two Thousand, which appeared in the original TV series Knight Rider, and the other as the Knight Industries Three Thousand, which appeared first in the two-hour 2008 pilot film for a new Knight Rider TV series and then the new series itself. In both instances, KITT is an artificially intelligent electronic computer module in the body of a highly advanced, very mobile, robotic automobile: the original KITT as a 1982 Pontiac Firebird, and the second KITT as a 2008/2009 Ford Shelby GT500KR. KITT was voiced by William Daniels in the original series, and by Val Kilmer in the 2008 series. KITT's evil twin is KARR which is an acronym of Knight Automated Roving Robot. KARR was voiced by both Peter Cullen and Paul Frees in season one and season three of the NBC original TV series respectively in Knight Rider.
A 1991 sequel movie Knight Rider 2000 saw KITT's original microprocessor unit transferred into the body of the vehicle intended to be his successor, the Knight Industries Four Thousand (Knight 4000), voiced by Carmen Argenziano and William Daniels.
- 1 Knight Industries Two Thousand (KITT)
- 2 Knight Industries Three Thousand (KITT)
- 3 Knight Industries Four Thousand (Knight 4000)
- 4 See also
- 5 References
- 6 External links
Knight Industries Two Thousand (KITT)
|Knight Industries Two Thousand|
|Knight Rider character|
KITT on display at Universal Studios in 1993. This car was built as a stunt car for the original series and the interior was later modified for the Universal Studios attraction.
|First appearance||Knight of the Phoenix (Pt. 1)|
|Created by||Glen A. Larson|
|Portrayed by||1982 Pontiac Trans Am|
|Voiced by||William Daniels|
In the television show's history, the first KITT (Knight Industries Two Thousand) (William Daniels) was designed by the late Wilton Knight, a brilliant but eccentric billionaire and founder of the Foundation for Law And Government (FLAG) and its parent Knight Industries. The 2008 pilot movie later implied that Charles Graiman, creator of the Knight Industries Three Thousand, also had a hand in designing the first KITT.
According to the series, the original KITT's main cybernetic processor was first installed in a mainframe computer used by the US government in Washington, D.C. However, Wilton saw better use for "him" in the Foundation's crime-fighting crusade and eventually the system was installed in the vehicle. KITT was in fact the second vehicle built by Knight Industries with artificial intelligence. His predecessor was KARR, the Knight Automated Roving Robot. KARR was programmed for self-preservation, but this proved to be dangerous to the Foundation's humanitarian interests. KARR was later deactivated and placed in storage while KITT was given to his new operator, Michael Knight. KARR was later unwittingly reactivated by thieves in the original episode "Trust Doesn't Rust", was thought destroyed, then reappeared in the episode "K.I.T.T. vs. K.A.R.R" and was seen to be finally destroyed by Michael and KITT.
While the 2008 pilot movie and then the new series appears to be a revamp of the original series, it offers some continuity from the original TV series "Knight Rider". The 'new' or 'second' KITT (Knight Industries Three Thousand) is a different vehicle and microprocessor unit. The original Knight Industries Two Thousand is also shown in the pilot movie (although in pieces) in the scene where the garage of Charles Graiman (creator of the Knight Industries Three Thousand and implied co-designer of the original KITT) is searched by antagonists. A Trans-Am body (without hood) is partially covered by a tarp, on which rests the rear spoiler. The famous KITT steering wheel (labelled "Knight Two Thousand") and "KNIGHT" license plate are also shown, along with numerous black car body parts. When the camera shows a full scene of the garage, there are three cars in the garage: the 3000, a 2000 under a tarp, and a complete 2000.
The 1991 movie Knight Rider 2000 saw the first KITT (Knight Industries Two Thousand) in pieces, and Michael Knight himself reviving the microprocessor unit, which is eventually transferred into the body of the vehicle intended to be the original KITT's direct successor, the Knight 4000. The new vehicle was a modified 1991 Dodge Stealth, appearing similar to the Pontiac Banshee prototype. However, no reference to this storyline nor any appearance of the Knight 4000 is made in the new series or its 2008 pilot movie. In Knight Rider 2000, it is stated that most of the Knight 2000 parts had been sold off. However, Graiman's garage in the 2008 pilot shows a more complete collection of parts than in the boxes recovered by Michael Knight in the 1991 film Knight Rider 2000. This adds to the mystique of the current whereabouts of the original KITT in the time-frame of the new series.
In the 1997–1998 spin-off series Team Knight Rider, KITT is employed as a shadow advisor. It is later revealed that "The Shadow" is actually a hologram run by KITT. In "Knight of the Living Dead", Graiman states a third KITT exists as a backup. When KITT is about to die, his memories are downloaded so the third KITT can use them. However in the end the third AI is not used.
The front-mounted scanner bar that, among other things, allowed KITT to see was a nod to the Cylons, villains from the TV series Battlestar Galactica, which had been created by Glen A. Larson, who also created Knight Rider.
A refit in the 1985-86 season included the addition of "Super Pursuit Mode" and a convertible top.
- Computer AI
- KITT is essentially an advanced supercomputer on wheels. The "brain" of KITT is the Knight 2000 microprocessor which is the centre of a "self-aware" cybernetic logic module that allowed KITT to think, learn, communicate and interact with humans. He always had an ego that was easy to bruise and displayed a very sensitive, but kind and dryly humorous personality. He also has an in-dash entertainment system that can play music and video, and run various computer programs including arcade games which Michael sometimes indulged in while KITT was driving. According to Episode 55, "Dead of Knight", KITT has 1,000 megabits of memory with one nanosecond access time. According to Episode 65, "Ten Wheel Trouble", KITT's future capacity is unlimited. KITT's serial number is AD227529, as mentioned in Episode 31, "Soul Survivor".
- Alpha Circuit
- KITT's "Alpha Circuit" is part of KITT's main control system which allows the CPU to drive the car. The time KITT's "evil twin" KARR spent submerged in water damaged his Alpha Circuit, which required KARR to have an operator to control his Turbo Boost function.
- Molecular Bonded Shell
- KITT is armored with "Tri-Helical Plasteel 1000 MBS" (Molecular Bonded Shell) plating which protects him from almost all forms of conventional firearms and explosive devices. He could only be harmed by heavy artillery and rockets, and even then, the blast usually left most of his body intact and only damaged internal components. The shell protected every part of the car including the tires. As a result, KITT's body is durable enough to act as a shield for explosives by driving over bombs to cover them and suppress the blast, ram through rigid barriers of strong material like cinder block walls or steel gates without suffering damage himself while damage to the car's structural integrity with its frequent long jumps on turbo boost is never an issue. The shell also protected him from fire and electricity; however, it was vulnerable to some potent acids and at least one formula was made (with knowledge of the shell's chemical base) to completely neutralize it. The shell is actually a combination of three secret substances referred together as the "Knight Compound", developed by Wilton Knight who entrusted parts of the formula to three separate people. These individuals each only know two pieces of the formula, ensuring that any two of them could make more of the Knight Compound in an emergency situation and that no one person would be able to make it alone. The shell provided a frame tolerance of 223,000 lb (111.5 tons) and a front and rear axle suspension load of 57,000 lb (28.5 tons). In the pilot "Knight of the Phoenix", the shell is described as the panels of the car itself; in the later episodes, especially from season two onward, the idea of the shell being applied to a base vehicle chemically is used.
- Pyroclastic Lamination
- KITT is protected by a thermal-resistant coating that can withstand sustained temperatures of up to 800 degrees Fahrenheit (426 °C). First used in Episode 32, "Ring of Fire".
- Power System
- KITT is powered by the Knight Industries turbojet with modified afterburners and a computer controlled 8-speed turbodrive transmission. Specifications 0–60 mph in 2 seconds, standing to quarter mile 4.286 seconds. Electromagnetic hyper-vacuum disc brakes: 14 foot (4.25 m) braking distance (70–0 mph - 112–0 km/h).
- Turbo Boost
- Used in most episodes, a pair of rocket boosters mounted just behind the front tires that lifted the car, allowing KITT to jump into the air and pass over obstacles in the road. Also, occasionally, Turbo Boost was used to allow KITT to accelerate to incredible speeds in excess of 200 mph (322 km/h). The boosters could fire forward or backward.
- Voice (Anharmonic) Synthesizer
- KITT's Voice Synthesizer allowed his logic module to speak and communicate. With it, KITT could also simulate other sounds. KITT's primary spoken language was English; however by accessing his language module, he could speak fluently in Spanish, French and much more. The module can be adjusted giving KITT different accents such as in Episode 82, "Out of the Woods", where KITT uses a "New York City" accent and called Michael, "Micky". During the first season, KITT's "mouth" ("Voice Modulator") in the interior of the vehicle was a flashing red square. In episode 14 "Heart of Stone", this was changed to three sectioned vertical bars, as this design proved popular with fans as part of KARR. (KARR used a bright yellow display with an inner bar that expanded outward and two outer bars that expanded from both ends inward, whereas KITT's was red and all three bars expanded outward from the center, but with greater magnitude in the center bar.)
- Voice Projection
- KITT can project his voice at any position. First used in Episode 48, "Knight of the Drones, Pt. 2".
- Anamorphic Equalizer
- KITT's most apparent feature was his front scan bar called the Anamorphic Equalizer. The device is a fibre-optic array of electronic eyes. The scanner could see in all visual wavelengths as well as X-ray and infrared. Occasionally, the bar could pulse in different patterns and sweep rapidly or very slowly. The scanner is also KITT's most vulnerable area.
- Etymotic Equalizer
- This system allowed KITT to hear sound. An array of audio sensors was threaded throughout his interior and exterior.
- Olfactory Sensor
- KITT could "smell" via an atmospheric sampling device mounted in his front bumper.
- Microscanners are tiny audio and visual sensors embedded into the grooves of KITT's body. They allow for visual tracking and display of anything around the car.
- Cruise Modes
- These are KITT's four drive modes:
Normal Cruise - On "Normal", Michael has control of the car. In an emergency, KITT could still take over and activate Auto Cruise mode.
Auto Cruise - In "Auto", KITT could drive himself utilizing an advanced Auto Collision Avoidance system.
Pursuit - "Pursuit" is used during high-speed driving and is a combination of manual and computer assisted operation. KITT could respond to road conditions faster than Michael's reflexes could; however, Michael was technically in control of the vehicle and KITT helped guide certain maneuvers.
Super pursuit - KITT's Super-Pursuit mode was added at the start of the fourth season. It was the result of a redesign of the car to integrate new concepts consisting of improved rocket boosters for enhanced acceleration, retractable spoilers for aerodynamic stability, and movable air inlets for increased cooling. Super-Pursuit Mode provided a 40% boost in speed beyond the car's original top speed of 300 MPH. First used in Episode 70, "Knight of the Juggernaut, Part II".
- Silent Mode
- KITT could run silently. The feature dampened his engine noise and allows him to sneak around. First used in Episode 37, "White-Line Warriors".
- Grappling Hook and Winch
- KITT has a hidden winch and grappling hook system, one mounted under his front bumper, and another in a compartment behind his tail light plate. Most often the hook is connected by a strong cable, but a metal arm has also been seen. The grappling hook is first used in Episode 6, "Not a Drop to Drink"; the winch is first used in Episode 13, "Forget Me Not".
- Oil Jets/Smoke Screen
- KITT could spray an oil slick and a plume of smoke from under the rear bumper. First used in Episode 1, "Knight of the Phoenix".
- Induction coil
- KITT has an induction coil he can produce from under his front bumper and that, being placed on a metal object, KITT can remotely induce electrical voltage or current in that object. This was used by Michael in "Knight of the Drones (Part I)" to electrify a fence in order to incapacitate and interrogate two thugs without seriously harming them.
- Flame Thrower
- KITT has flame throwers mounted under his bumpers. First used in Episode 2, "Deadly Maneuvers".
- Tear Gas Launcher
- KITT can dispense a cloud of tear gas along with his smoke screen. First used in Episode 13, "Hearts of Stone".
- Ultramagnesium Charges
- KITT can launch magnesium flares, which can also be used to divert heat-seeking missiles fired at him. First used in Episode 26, "Merchants of Death".
- High Traction Drop Downs
- When activated, the HTDD system hydraulically raises KITT's chassis for better traction when driving off-road. First used in Episode 39, "Speed Demons".
- Telephone Comlink
- Michael could contact home base and communicate with Devon and others using KITT's video display.
- Microwave Jammer
- KITT has an electronic jamming system that played havoc on electrical systems. The three main components are the Electromagnetic Field Generator, Electronic Field Disrupter and Microwave Ignition Sensor. The system could take control of electronic machines, allowing things like cheating at slot machines, breaking electronic locks, fouling security cameras, and withdrawing money from ATMs. In Episode 26, "Merchants of Death" the Microwave Jammer's power has been increased 3 times than its normal strength, strong enough to bring down a helicopter, at a limited distance.
- KITT could lock the brakes of other vehicles. This system is believed to work by utilizing focused microwaves to heat the brake fluid, causing it to expand and apply the brakes of the car.
- Surveillance Mode
- Surveillance Mode did several things:
KITT could detect people and vehicles and track their movements and discern proximity.
KITT could gather structural schematics of buildings, vehicles, or other devices and help Michael avoid potential danger when he was snooping.
KITT could also monitor radio transmissions and telephone communications within a location and trace those calls.
KITT could tap into computer systems to monitor, or upload and download information as long as he could break the access codes.
- Traction Spikes
- Added in Episode 86 "Hills of Fire". KITT's tires produce spikes that allow KITT to overcome steep terrain.
- Infrared Tracking Scope
- KITT could monitor the position of specific vehicles in the area within 10 miles.
- Laser Powerpack
- KITT can fire a high powered ultra-frequency modulated laser capable of burning through steel plating. Like most of KITT's components, the schematics for the laser device are classified. First used in Episode 9, "Trust Doesn't Rust" and was used to try and destroy KARR by hitting KARR's only weak spot, however it never hit the mark due to miss calibration.
- Bomb Sniffer
- KITT is equipped with a bomb sniffer module that can detect explosives within a few yards of the vehicle. However the only downside is that if a building has steel beams in concrete it'll interfere the bomb sniffer. First used in Episode 25, "Brother's Keeper".
- Medical scanner
- KITT has a medical scanner that includes an electrocardiograph (ECG). The medical scanner can monitor the vital signs of individuals and display them on his monitors. It could indicate such conditions as if they were injured, poisoned, undergoing stress or other emotional behavior. KITT could even monitor Michael's physical activity through sensors inside the driver seat. First used in Episode 1, "Knight of the Phoenix (Pt. 2)".
- Tintable Windows
- KITT can tint the windshield and windows to become opaque. First seen in Episode 14, "Give Me Liberty… or Give Me Death".
- Deflatable Tires
- KITT could deflate and re-inflate his tires. First used in Episode 5 (first episode was actually 2 episodes), "Slammin' Sammy's Stunt Show Spectacular".
- Fuel Processor
- KITT was powered by a turbine engine primarily fueled by hydrogen gas. However, his complex fuel processor allows him to run on any combustible liquid, even regular gasoline. KITT's actual fuel requirements and efficiency ratings were classified, however in one episode, KITT mentioned his fuel economy was at least 65 miles per gallon. However, when operating on fuels other than liquid hydrogen, KITT's fuel efficiency and power output may be lowered.
- Voice Stress Analyzer
- KITT can process spoken voices and determine if someone may be lying. First used in Episode 26, "Merchants of Death".
- Seat Ejection System
- KITT had two front ejection seats, mostly used when Michael needed a boost to fire escapes or building roof tops. First used in Episode 1, "Knight of the Phoenix (Pt. 1)".
- Passive Laser Restraint System
- Added to KITT in later seasons, the restraint system helped protect Michael and any passengers from the shock of sudden impacts and hard stopping, especially after Super-Pursuit Mode. It is speculated that this is a primitive form of an inertial damping device. First used in Episode 47, "Knight of the Drones".
- Video Display Monitors
- KITT had two CRT video display monitors on his dash for various readouts. They are controlled by two systems, the Graphic Translator (which sketches likenesses from verbal input) and the Anamorphic Equalizer (which gathered visual information from KITT's front scan bar) and microscanners. KITT only had one when his dash was redesigned for the show's third season.
- Computer Print Out
- KITT could print hard copies of data on a dashboard-mounted printer. First used in Episode 15, "The Topaz Connection".
- Money Dispenser
- KITT could give Michael money when he needed it.
- Ultraphonic Chemical Analyzer
- KITT has a retractable tray with an electron scanner that could analyze the chemical properties of various materials. It could even scan fingerprints and read ballistic information off bullets and compare these with a police database. Aside from the scanning tray, the system could also analyze chemical information gathered from KITT's exterior sensors. First used in Episode 17, "Chariot of Gold".
- Interior Oxygenator
- KITT could release oxygen into his driver compartment and provide air to passengers if he was ever submerged in water or buried in earth. This is also used to overcome the effects of certain drugs. First used in Episode 5 (First episode was actually 2 episodes in one), "Slammin' Sammy's Stunt Show Spectacular".
- Two-Wheel Ski Drive
- The Ski Mode setting allowed KITT to "ski" (driving up on two wheels). First used in Episode 1, "Knight of the Phoenix".
- Third Stage Aquatic Synthesizer
- With this system, KITT can hydroplane, effectively "driving" on water, using his wheels and turbo system for propulsion. First used in Episode 28, "Return to Cadiz" but, later removed because it was now faulty at the end of the episode.
- Emergency Braking System
- The EBS slowed KITT down from Super-Pursuit speeds. It consisted of a forward braking booster and air panels that popped out to create air friction (air brakes). First used in Episode 70, "Knight of the Juggernaut, Part II".
- Convertible Roof
- Added fourth season, by pressing the "C" button on KITT's dash, Michael could bring the top down and KITT became a convertible. First used in Episode #70, "Knight of the Juggernaut, Part II".
An unknown number of these systems were designed at Stanford University (Episode 5, "Just My Bill"). KITT's total production cost was estimated at $11,400,000 in 1982 ($27,123,021.76 in 2013). The cost of subsequent equipment improvements and the installation of additional features since his activation have not been factored.
- KITT is in constant contact with Michael via a two-way communication wristwatch (a modified '80s LCD AM radio watch) Michael wore. The watch also had a micro camera and scanner that KITT could access to gather information.
- Homing Device
- In dire emergency, Michael can activate a secret homing beacon hidden inside a gold pendant he wears around his neck. The beacon sends a priority signal that can remotely activate KITT and override his programming so that he rushes to Michael's aid. Used in Episode 42, "A Good Knight's Work" and in "Knights of the Fast Lane".
- F.L.A.G. Mobile Unit (The Semi)
- KITT has access to a mobile "garage", sometimes referred to as "The Rook", which was a semi-trailer truck owned by the Foundation. In most episodes, it is a GMC General. The trailer has an extendable ramp that dropped down and allows KITT to drive inside even when the truck is in motion. The trailer was loaded with spare parts and equipment for KITT. It also had a computer lab where technicians Bonnie or April would work and conduct repairs and maintenance. In "Wrong Crowd" thieves hijack the truck thinking it to be hauling liquor. In the episode "Ten Wheel Trouble", following an assassination attempt on Michael which damages an independent truck, it is used to transport a shipment of onions. In the episode "Knight Moves", it is used as bait to catch a gang of truck hijackers. In "KITTnap", KITT is kidnapped and Michael and RC3 use the tractor (which has been disconnected from the trailer) to go and find him.
- KITT's scanner is similar to that of Cylons from the science fiction series Battlestar Galactica. Glen A. Larson, the creator of both Knight Rider and Battlestar Galactica has stated that the two shows have nothing else in common and to remove any fan speculation, he stated in the Season One Knight Rider DVD audio-comments, he simply reused the scanning light for KITT because he liked the effect.
- KITT was designed by customizer Michael Scheffe. The convertible and super-pursuit KITTs were designed and built by George Barris.
- A total of 23 KITT cars were made for use in filming the series. All except one of these cars survived until the show was axed; all except 5 of the remaining 22 cars were destroyed at the end of filming. Of the 5 that escaped that fate: 1 'hero' car was shipped to a theme park in Australia, but is now believed to be back in the US (whereabouts unknown); Universal kept one 'hero' car and one stunt car (and had a further replica made later) for use in the Entertainment Center display - the two originals have since been sold to a private collector in the US; another, a convertible, disappeared for a while before being sold to the former Cars of the Stars Motor Museum in Keswick, Cumbria, England This convertible was sold to the Dezer Collection, Miami, Florida when Cars of the Stars closed. The fifth car is believed to be in private hands in the UK - this may be the only KITT that remains 'original' and is believed not to have been restored with replica parts.
- The right-hand drive KITT, known as the "Official Right Hand Drive KITT" as used in the video "Jump In My Car" by David Hasselhoff, is owned by a company called Wilderness Studios Australia.
- Press releases regularly appear claiming 'original screen-used' cars are being sold. For example: in April 4, 2007, "one of the four KITT cars used in production of the television series" was reputedly being put up for sale for $149,995 by Johnny Verhoek of Kassabian Motors, Dublin, California. And a story in USA Today from December 2007 states that Slain real estate developer and car aficionado, Andrew Kissel, was in possession of one of the surviving cars. Some reports say that Michael Jackson bought an original KITT and former N'Sync band member Joey Fatone also claims to have purchased one of these authentic original KITTs at auction. There have been more 'original' cars auctioned than were built in total for the show!
- The September 25, 2014 fifth episode of the Dutch TV programme Syndroom, featuring people with Down syndrome who wish to fulfill a dream, features Twan Vermeulen, a Knight Rider fan who wishes to meet David Hasselhoff and KITT. Together with the show's presenter they fly to L.A. and go searching for Hasselhoff's house. They "find" Hasselhoff on the driveway in front of his house, dusting off KITT. After KITT speaks a personal message to Twan, Hasselhoff offers to go with him to take KITT for a spin, "Freak out some people on the freeway", which they did with great pleasure for everyone involved.
In other media
- KITT accompanied Hasselhoff when he performed onstage, singing one of his songs at Disneyland in 1985, with various Disney characters behind him as his band.
- KITT was reunited with Hasselhoff in a season 1 episode of the variety show/talent show America's Got Talent, on which Hasselhoff was a judge.
- On MythBusters, Adam and Jamie tested whether KITT could in fact drive up the ramp into the mobile garage or whether upon hitting the ramp he would instantly accelerate into the truck and through the wall.
- In the Supernatural episode "Changing Channels", the show's protagonists are constantly being transported to alternate dimensions based on parodies of popular TV series. One includes protagonist Dean Winchester riding a variation of his usual 1967 Chevy Impala that resembles KITT, with his brother Sam having been literally turned into the car, the episode featuring a scene with Dean driving the 'Sampala' with "Knight Rider"'s theme playing in the background.
- KITT (voiced by Seth MacFarlane) appeared with Hasselhoff in a Comic-Con segment from the unrated version of the 2015 comedy Ted 2.
- KITT appears in the video game Lego Dimensions as part of the Knight Rider Fun Pack, with William Daniels reprising his role.
- In Herbie: Fully Loaded, KITT appears as part of a flashback which includes a newspaper headline reading "Herbie Meets Knight Rider"
- KITT is referenced in the Futurama episode "The Honking", where it is revealed that his windscreen wipers were used as part of Project Satan, to create a car from components of the most evil cars in history (when characters observe that KITT wasn't evil, it is clarified that his windscreen wipers were evil but it never came up in the show).
- In the SpongeBob SquarePants episode "Drive Happy", the self-driving boatmobile named Coupe is based on KITT, but behaves more like KARR.
- In the Totally Spies! episode "Game Girls", a car named KIRTT (Klunky Incognito Radical Thought Transporter) has a sports mode form (a modified 1967 Ford Mustang).
- In the Mickey and the Roadster Racers episode "Mouse vs. Machine", S.R.R. (Self-Racing Roadster), an A.I. roadster built by Professor Von Drake, is closely related to KITT.
- In Ready Player One, the KITT AI and scanner is fitted in Parzival's Back to the Future DeLorean time machine.
- In Captain America: The Winter Soldier, Nick Fury's SUV has a few functions that are similar to KITT's.
- In Grand Theft Auto Online, a vehicle named Ruiner 2000 from Import/Export update is heavily inspired by KITT
- A computerized talking vehicle named CARR that appears in the television series Stroker and Hoop is a parody of KITT while the name is a parody of KARR, although he is not evil and depicted in a more comical role.
- In the Teen Titans Go! (TV series) episode "TV Knight 3", Cyborg appears as KITT, with his body in the shape of the car itself, while Beast Boy plays as Micheal Knight.
- In Teen Titans (TV series), the T-Car, which appears in some episodes throughout the series, has abilities that are the similar to KITT's, but does not include an A.I. (although it was once taken over by the villain Overload, which parodies to that of KARR).
- In Lab Rats (U.S. TV series), the self-driving car that appears in the episode "Speed Trapped" has abilities that are almost the same as KITT's.
Various toy versions of KITT have been released. Among the best known Knight Rider memorabilia includes the remote controlled KITT, the Knight Rider lunch box, and the deluxe version of KITT. The deluxe model of KITT, sold by Kenner Toys and dubbed the "Knight 2000 Voice Car", spoke electronically (actual voice of William Daniels), featured a detailed interior and a Michael Knight action figure. ERTL released die-cast toys of KITT in three different sizes—the common miniature sized model, a 'medium' sized model, and a large sized model. These toys featured red reflective holograms on the nose to represent the scanner. Also in late 2004, 1/18 scale die-cast models of KITT and KARR were produced from ERTL complete with detailed interior and light up moving scanner just like in the series. In September 2006, Hitari, a UK based company that produces remote control toy cars, released the Knight Rider KITT remote control car in 1/15 scale complete with the working red scanner lights, KITT's voice from the TV show and the car's turbine engine sound with the "cylon" scanner sound effect. In December 2012, Diamond Select Toys released a talking electronic 1/15 scale KITT which features a light up dashboard, scanner, foglights and tail lights along with the original voice of KITT, William Daniels, all at a push of a button.
A more serious-minded joint venture was the Knight Rider GPS. Once again featuring the iconic voice of William Daniels, the item was indeed a fully working GPS using Mio navigational technology. The GPS featured custom recorded voices so that the unit could "speak to" its owner using their own name if it was one of the ones in the recorded set of names.
Knight Industries Three Thousand (KITT)
|Knight Industries Three Thousand|
|Knight Rider character|
KITT in its Pilot Attack Mode
|First appearance||"Knight Rider" (2008 pilot)|
|Created by||Glen A. Larson|
|Portrayed by||2008-2009 Ford Shelby GT500KR|
|Voiced by||Val Kilmer|
The 2008 update to Knight Rider includes a new KITT – the acronym now standing for Knight Industries Three Thousand. The KITT platform is patterned on a Shelby GT500KR and differs from the original Two Thousand unit in several ways. For example, the 2008 KITT utilizes nano-technology, allowing the car's outer shell to change colors and morph itself into similar forms temporarily. The nanotech platform is written as needing the AI active in order to produce any of these effects, unlike the original car's gadgets and "molecular bonded shell" which allowed it to endure extreme impacts. These down-sides to the use of nanotech have been demonstrated when villains are able to cause significant damage, such as shooting out windows, when the AI is deactivated. It can also turn into two different types of a Ford F-150 4x4 truck (one completely stock and the other with some modifications), a Ford E-150 van, a Ford Crown Victoria Police Interceptor, a special edition Warriors In Pink Mustang (in support of breast cancer awareness month), and a Ford Flex for disguise or to use the alternate modes' capabilities (such as off-road handling). The car can engage an "Attack Mode", featuring scissor/conventional hybrid doors, which allows it to increase speed and use most of its gadgets (including turbo boost). It had a different looking attack mode in the pilot which was used whenever the car needed to increase speed. Its downside however is that it only seats two. KITT is also capable of functioning submerged, maintaining life support and system integrity while underwater.
While the original series stated the original KITT was designed by Wilton Knight, the 2008 TV movie implies Charles Graiman may have co-designed the car and the AI for Wilton Knight, was subsequently relocated to protect him and his family, and later designed the Knight Industries Three Thousand. KITT's weapons include a grappling hook located in the front bumper, usable in normal and attack modes, and missile launchers usable only in attack mode, which were first used in "Knight of the Hunter". In the Halloween episode "Knight of the Living Dead", KITT demonstrates the ability to cosmetically alter his appearance, becoming a black Mustang convertible with a pink trim as a Halloween costume. This configuration had the scanner bar relocated to behind the grille. Dr. Graiman also reveals in this episode that a backup neural network exists when he suggests downloading KITT's files and reuploading them to the backup, to which replies "The Backup is not me." In the pilot, KITT had shown himself capable of similarly altering his external appearance—changing his color and licence plate. In "Knight of the Zodiac", KITT uses a dispenser located in his undercarriage to spread black ice, and a fingerprint generator in the glovebox to overlay the fingerprints of a captured thief over Mike's.
- Backup Mainframe Processor
- If the Knight Industries Three Thousand detects a fault or damage with his microprocessor, he carries a backup which can be mounted in the field automatically.
- Windshield Projection
- Used in place of the centre console screen in the Pilot. The entire front windshield is able to display information as well as the video communication link with the SSC.
- Bio Matrix Scanner
- Used to detect the health status of people nearby.
- Nanotech Skin
- This replaces the Molecular Bonded Shell from the original series. Unlike KITT's former incarnation of an impregnable outer shell of the vehicle with a nearly indestructible polymer, Knight Industries Three Thousand are a series of nano-machines that create the car's outer shell (a 2008 Ford Mustang GT500KR) and a second "skin" in whereupon detection of any damage will instantly repair the affected area. When Knight Industries Three Thousand is deactivated, the nano repair system is also disabled, making his basic nano-tech shell susceptible to physical damage. The second "skin" can affect KITT's outer shell as well, allowing KITT to disguise himself by transforming into various similar sized machinery.
- Turbo Boost
- A power injector system that provides large bursts of power to allow KITT to jump over obstacles. This ability along with directional exhaust outlets allows KITT to jump from a standstill or at high speed.
- Hood Surface Screen
- Similar to the projection windshield, this allows KITT to display data on exterior hood for outside briefings or with other parties.
- Offensive missiles
- (Used in conjunction with attack mode): two tube-launched missiles that retract from each door.
- Gatling guns
- (Again, used in conjunction with attack mode): two gatling-style guns that are retracted from the hood. Seen in season 1 episode 15, "Fly By Knight". In episode 16, "Knight and the City", KITT deploys a single machine gun while in regular mode. In this episode, KITT also indicates that he would run out of ammunition in 7 seconds and that he would expend 8,000 rounds in that timespan, which means that KITT's gatling guns have an approximate rate of fire of 1,143 rounds per second, over ten times higher than that of a regular minigun.
- A directed energy device capable of destroying locks and other items, projected from scanner bar.
- An electromagnetic pulse projector, which allows disabling of any electronic circuit or device within the given area. First seen in Episode 8, "Knight of the Zodiac".
- Anti-Missile Flares
- Deployed from rear bumper. Disk-like objects that when dispensed produce an intense heat source to deter heat-seeking projectiles.
- Anti-Traction Compound Dispenser
- (Known as Black Ice): An exterior dispenser that can eject a liquid, making the targeted surface tractionless.
- Interior tear gas dispenser
- Used for anti-theft and defensive purposes. KITT can fill the car's cabin with tear gas to incapacitate a would-be thief as seen in Episode 7, "I Wanna Rock & Roll All Knight".
- Ski Mode
- With help of the Turbo boost left power injector system to gain impulse for make KITT drivable on two wheels. First seen in episode 12 "Knight to King's Pawn".
- 3D Object Printer
- A device that allows for the creation of small 3-D objects (such as keys) based on available electronic data.
- Standard printer used for documents and incoming faxes. Located in the passenger side dash.
- Fingerprint Overlay Printer
- A device accessible via the glove box that allows KITT to scan fingerprints from an inserted object and overlay then onto another person's hand.
- Weapons Cache
- Small arms cache accessible via the glove box area that usually contains two 9mm handguns with extra magazines for occupant's protection outside KITT.
- First Aid
- Accessible via glove box. Allows for field mending of physical wounds such as lost appendages.
- A software program secretly built into KITT that, when activated by the SSC, turns KITT into a bomb using his fuel as the charge and his computer as the detonator.
- Small ear piece used to communicate with KITT at a limited distance.
- Attack Mode
- KITT's original Attack mode was purely used to increase speeds. It was changed after the pilot.
- Attack Mode II
- Similar to the original KITT's alternate configuration to allow faster traveling speeds. First seen in Episode 1, "A Knight in Shining Armor".
- Ford F-150 FX4
- Alternate mode for off-road travel. Also has ability to allow quick ingress at speed. Scanner bar is located in the grill at the very top of the inlet. First seen in Episode 1, "A Knight in Shining Armor".
- Ford F-150 II
- After "Knight of the Hunter", an alternate F-150 mode, which has extra off-road modifications.
- Ford E-150 Cargo Van
- For disguise purposes. All doors are fully functional. Scanner bar is not shown. As seen in Episode 4, "A Hard Day's Knight".
- Ford Crown Victoria Police Interceptor
- For disguise purposes, used to elude police. KITT's presence indicator (Orb) is displayed on the MDT screen rather than a separate entity on the dash. In this configuration, KITT's scanner bar is hidden behind the top of the frame around the front grille. As seen in Episode 4, "A Hard Day's Knight".
- Ford Mustang GT
- As seen on the pilot film. KITT converted into a silver Mustang en route to Las Vegas. He also transformed into a purple Mustang to help Michael and Sarah in their escape in Vegas.
- Ford Mustang Convertible
- (Warriors in Pink Edition): A disguise that was used for the Halloween episode "Knight of the Living Dead", Episode 6. Basically a standard Mustang convertible with pink trim and aftermarket wheels, and the breast cancer logo under the mustang symbols. The scanner bar is located behind the front grille.
- Ford Flex
- For disguise purposes. A customized version with metallic gray paint and taillight blackouts; the scanner bar is located in the lower bumper intake grille. In this configuration, access to some systems, such as his laser and EMP, are available. As seen in Episode 8, "Knight of the Zodiac".
- 1969 Ford Mustang Mach 1
- For disguise purposes. A dark blue classic with the scanner located in the grille. As seen in the episode "Fly By Knight" when a DEA agent had an all-points bulletin on Mike and KITT. ("Shall we go old school?")
KARR (Peter Cullen, later Paul Frees) was the original prototype of the first KITT (Knight Industries Two Thousand) but to mirror the pattern of the original series, the nemesis and prototype of the second KITT (Knight Industries Three Thousand) is also designated as KARR in the new series. KARR is apparently a new character just like the Knight 3000, and the acronym now stands for Knight Auto-Cybernetic Roving Robotic-Exoskeleton.
KARR's visual identity has also had similar changes for the new series. KARR was originally designed for military combat. KARR has the ability to transform from vehicle mode into a large wheeled robotic exoskeleton instead of KITTs "Attack Mode". The vehicle mode of KARR is a 2008-2009 Shelby GT500KR with the license plate initials K.R. KARR is once again voiced by Peter Cullen, who also voiced the first appearance of KARR in "Trust Doesn't Rust". The transformation sequence is very similar to that in the 2007 "Transformers" film. Armed with twin machine guns on each shoulder and missiles, the exoskeleton combines with a human being for easier control. After a brief brawl, KITT uses the grappling hook to tear off KARR's chest plate, freeing one of Michael's co-workers, Alex Torres. Michael rams KITT through KARR's torso using Turbo Boost, apparently destroying KARR. It is unclear if KARR had the same nano repair function as KITT, nor if his A.I. unit survived. KARR is once again similar to KITT also a 2008-2009 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500KR and is once again 100% all Black like KITT the only difference is the Yellow Scan Light Bar in the original series it was more Amber/Yellow and KARR's Voice Module originally Yellow/Green it is now 100% Yellow Color.
Knight Industries Four Thousand (Knight 4000)
Screenshot of the Knight 4000 in the FLAG laboratory
|First appearance||Knight Rider 2000|
|Created by||Glen A. Larson|
|Portrayed by||1991 Dodge Stealth customized to look like a 1988 Pontiac Banshee concept car.|
Carmen Argenziano (Knight 4000's original A.I.) (uncredited)|
later William Daniels (KITT A.I.) (uncredited)
|Nickname(s)||The 4000, later KIFT|
A 1991 sequel movie Knight Rider 2000 saw KITT's original microprocessor unit transferred into the body of the vehicle intended to be his successor, the Knight 4000. The vehicle had numerous 21st Century technological improvements over the previous 1980s version of KITT, such as an advanced amphibious mode (which allows the car to ride on water like a speedboat), a virtual reality heads-up display (or VR-HUD, which utilized the entire windshield as a video display), and a microwave stun device that could remotely incapacitate a human target. However, no acknowledgement is made to this spin-off in the 2008 series.
The Knight 4000 has most of KITT's original features, including a few new and improved systems
- Virtual Reality Heads-up Display
- Rather than dash-mounted CRT displays, the Knight 4000 uses a virtual reality heads-up display employing the entire windshield as video monitor.
- Thermal Expander
- The Knight 4000 was equipped with an offensive weapon which consisted of a microwave projector that caused the temperatures of targeted objects to quickly rise and either ignite or explode.
- Remote Target Assist
- This allows the pilot aim and fire with a complete and perfect accuracy via the Knight 4000's help.
- Amphibious Mode
- The Knight 4000 can float and maneuver on water much like a boat. The system was actually a major improvement over KITT's original hydroplane ability which during the original series was prone to malfunctions during its experimental phase.
- Microwave Stunner
- Similar to the “non-lethal” sidearms used by the police, the Knight 4000 was equipped with a microwave stunner that could incapacitate criminals.
- Voice Activated Controls
- The Knight 4000's dashboard is less "cluttered looking" than KITT's original dash with most of the controls now being completely voice activated rather than having to push a button.
- Fax Machine
- The Knight 4000 could print out faxed messages from a dash mounted printer.
- Infrared Scanner
- The Infrared Scanner was a device with which the Knight 4000 could scan on an Infrared level, which would identify laser scope rifles as well as hidden objects giving off heat.
- Aroma Monitor
- This system is similar to the Knight 2000's Olfactory Scan, but is much more complex.
- Voice Sampler
- Similar to the Knight 2000's Anharmonic Synthesizer, this device could simulate any voice which has been recorded into the Knight 4000's memory.
- Thermal Sensor
- This system allows the Knight 4000 to watch and record what is happening in a particular place, such as inside a vehicle.
- Mentioned in "Goliath Returns" when KITT talks to Dr. Bergstrom.
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