KITT

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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 Trans Am, and the second KITT as a 2008-2009 Ford Shelby GT500KR.

History[edit]

In the television show's history, the first KITT (Knight Industries Two Thousand) was said to have been 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 United States government in Washington, D.C.[1] 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 (the new identity of Michael Arthur Long). 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 could appear to the casual viewer to be simply a revamp of the original series, it actually offers a form of genuine (albeit at times indeterminate) continuity from the original TV series Knight Rider. The 'new' or 'second' KITT (Knight Industries Three Thousand) is a completely different vehicle and microprocessor unit, and its driver is not the first Michael Knight, but his son, Mike Traceur, who eventually assumes the same title. The original Michael Knight makes an appearance in the 2008 pilot movie, verifying that he is the father of Mike Traceur, and is described as having driven 'the first KITT'. The original physical incarnation of the 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 (sans-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 2000 without any of the parts missing.

Further history[edit]

There have been other spin-offs prior to the 2008 new series, such as the 1991 movie Knight Rider 2000 which is placed chronologically in between the original series Knight Rider and the new series. It saw what was left of 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 first 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 that of the Pontiac Banshee prototype. However, no reference to this storyline nor any appearance of the "Knight 4000" body is made in the new series or its 2008 pilot movie. In Knight Rider 2000, it is stated that most of KITT's (Knight Industries Two Thousand) parts had been sold off. However, Graiman's garage in the 2008 pilot movie 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 (2008).

In a seemingly peripheral spin-off series called Team Knight Rider (running 1997-1998), KITT is seen as the shadow, an advisor. Later on it is revealed that "The Shadow" is actually a hologram run by KITT. Chronology of this series is unclear, but it can be placed roughly in between the original TV series Knight Rider and the new series. However, no acknowledgement or direct reference to this series is made in the 2008 pilot movie or new series. Team Knight Rider is often disregarded from the Knight Rider saga as having little relevance to the core story of Michael Knight and KITT. In "Knight of the Living Dead", Graiman states a third KITT, a back-up, exists. 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.

KITT (Knight Industries Two Thousand)[edit]

Knight Industries Two Thousand
Knight Rider character
KITT Universal Studios.jpg
Replica of KITT on display at Universal Studios.
First appearance Knight of the Phoenix (Pt. 1)
Created by Glen A. Larson
Portrayed by 1982 Pontiac Trans Am
Voiced by William Daniels
Nickname(s) KITT

The character of KITT (Knight Industries Two Thousand) in the original Knight Rider series was physically embodied as a modified 1982 Pontiac Trans Am with numerous special features such as Turbo Boost (which allowed quick bursts of speed or jumping over obstacles), the ability to drive 'himself', a front mounted scanner bar that (among other things) allowed KITT to 'see' (and a nod to series creator, Glen A. Larson and his Battlestar Galactica's Cylons), and 'molecular bonded shell' body armor that was portrayed to be invulnerable to diamond headed drills, small arms fire, the impact of thrown objects, and even high speed impact with cinder block wall. The armor could also resist most artillery and explosive blasts although a strong direct hit could cause severe damage. A refit in the 1985 season included the addition of "Super Pursuit Mode" and a convertible top. The car's voice was supplied by actor William Daniels.

Features[edit]

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's reaction time is one nanosecond, and his "memory" capacity is 1,000 megabits. 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 mentioned quite a bit throughout the series. It is part of KITT's main control system which allows the CPU to drive the car. The time 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).
KITT instrumentation (1st/2nd season)
KITT instrumentation (3rd season)
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 
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 three 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, can be used by KITT to 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.
Microlock 
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.
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 24, "Goliath (Pt. 2)".
Bomb Sniffer 
KITT is equipped with a bomb sniffer module that can detect explosives within a few yards of the vehicle. 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".
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).[citation needed] The cost of subsequent equipment improvements and the installation of additional features since his activation have not been factored.

Other equipment[edit]

Comlink 
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 with Aerodynamic Sleeping Cab
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.

Knight 4000[edit]

Knight 4000
Knight4000a.jpg
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 appear look like a 1988 Pontiac Banshee concept car.[2]
Voiced by 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 and bring them down. However, no acknowledgement is made to this spin-off in the 2008 new series of Knight Rider in which the only suggested continuity is from the original 1982 series.

Features[edit]

The Knight 4000 has most of KITT's original features, including a few new and improved systems[3]

Virtual Reality Heads-up Display 
Rather than dash-mounted CRT displays, the Knight 4000 uses a virtual reality heads-up display (VR-HUD) that makes use of 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.
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 to the Knight 4000 watch and record what is happening in a particular place. For example, inside a vehicle.

KITT (Knight Industries Three Thousand)[edit]

Knight Industries Three Thousand
Knight Rider character
Knight 3000 KITT.PNG
KITT in its Pilot Attack Mode
First appearance K.R. Pilot Movie
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".[4] The KITT platform is patterned on a Shelby GT500KR[4] 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 car forms temporarily.[4] 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 in a submerged configuration, maintaining life support and system integrity while underwater. While the original series stated that the original KITT (Knight Industries Two Thousand) was designed by Wilton Knight, the 2008 TV movie implies that Charles Graiman may have co-designed the car and the AI for Wilton Knight, and 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.

Although it can be noted that the car model name (GT-500 KR) bears the initials of the series, this is merely a coincidence as the initials actually stand for "King of the Road". The 2008-2009 Ford Shelby GT500KR is a 40th Anniversary tribute to the 1967-1968 GT500, produced in 1968.[5]

Features[edit]

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.
Laser
As the name suggests, a device that creates a light beam capable of destroying locks and other items. Projected from scanner bar.
EMP
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 up 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.
Printer
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.
Self-Destruct
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.
Earwig
Small ear piece used to communicate with KITT at a limited distance.

Transformation abilities[edit]

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. "Knight of the living dead.". 
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 Boss 302
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. ("Care to go old school KITT?")

KARR redesign[edit]

See KARR (Knight Rider)

KARR was the original prototype of the first KITT (Knight Industries Two Thousand) but to mirror the pattern of the original series, the nemesis and (failed) 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 Industries Three Thousand, 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 Shelby GT500KR with the license plate initials K.R. KARR is voiced by Peter Cullen of "Transformers" fame, who also voiced the first appearance of KARR. 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. This prompts dangerous behavior as KARR tries to locate and re-join with Michael, as he was his original driver. KARR repeats "KITT must die!" twice in the episode before a very explosive destruction. 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.

In other media[edit]

  • In The Simpsons episode "Milhouse Doesn't Live Here Anymore", KITT is featured in an exhibit at the Museum of Television and TV titled "Things that shouldn't talk... but do". It was then later animated in the episode "The Wizard of Evergreen Terrace" as a film segment intended to cheer Homer up while experiencing a mid-life crisis.
  • KITT was referenced in the Futurama episode "The Honking", where his windscreen wipers were used as components in Project Satan, an experiment to create an evil car.
  • Both KITT and Michael were featured in Robot Chicken.
  • In the 2006 film The Benchwarmers, Jon Lovitz's character owned and drove KITT, attempting a peel out in a Pizza Hut parking lot.
  • 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.[6][7]
  • 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 game Burnout Paradise, the "Carson GT Nighthawk", is a drivable vehicle and can be purchased in the Legendary Cars pack.
  • In Supernatural episode "Changing Channels", the show's protagonists are constantly being transported to alternate dimensions - parodies of popular TV series. One includes them riding a hybrid of KITT and their own car, with Knight Rider's theme playing in the background.

Various toy versions of KITT were released and produced solid profits. Among the more notable of the 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.[8] 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.[9] 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.[10][11] 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.[12]

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.[13]

About the automobile[edit]

  • When asked about KITT's whereabouts, David Hasselhoff indicates that, like Roy Rogers did to Trigger, KITT is now stuffed and mounted in Hasselhoff's living room. Although rumors persist, Hasselhoff has never owned an original Knight Rider vehicle. He did have two Trans-Ams - given to him and his then-wife - converted into KITT cars for use in singing tours. One of these was auctioned by a radio station in South Africa (current whereabouts unknown), the other was bought by Gerry Cottle's circus (touring Austria and Germany) before being sold to the former Cars of the Stars Motor Museum in Keswick, Cumbria, England.[14] The museum closed in May 2011; the new home of "Knight Rider's KITT" (as the car was described) is unknown.
  • 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, that he simply reused the scanning light for KITT because he liked the effect. In an episode of the original incarnation of Battlestar Galactica, the character Starbuck pilots a new type of Viper that has an A.I. installed into it named CORA, which was able to pilot the craft and verbally interact with a human pilot (similar to KITT).
  • KITT was designed by customizer Michael Scheffe. The convertible and super-pursuit KITTs were designed and built by George Barris.
  • A total of 23 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 (not to be confused with the 'Hasselhoff car' mentioned earlier), disappeared for a while before being sold to the former Cars of the Stars Motor Museum in Keswick, Cumbria, England[14] This convertible was sold to the Dezer Collection, Miami, Florida; the fifth car is believed to be in private hands in the UK. The official right hand drive KITT as used in the video "Jump In My Car" is believed to be located in Australia and owned by a company called Wilderness Studios Australia.
  • Press releases regularly appear claiming that 'original screen used' cars are being sold. In April 4, 2007, "one of the four KITT cars used in production of the television series" was being put up for sale for $149,995 by Johnny Verhoek of Kassabian Motors, Dublin, California.[15][16] A story in USA Today from December 2007 states that a slain real estate developer and car aficionado Andrew Kissel was in possession of one of the surviving cars.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Mentioned in "Goliath Returns" when KITT talks to Dr. Bergstrom.
  2. ^ "Knight Rider 2000". Jay Ohrberg's Hollywood Cars. Retrieved 2011-02-17. 
  3. ^ "Frequently Asked Questions". Knight Rider 2000 Online. Retrieved 2011-02-17. 
  4. ^ a b c Tannert, Chuck (2007-12-20). "Under the Hood With Knight Rider 2.0: Trans Am vs. Ford Mustang (Featuring Exclusive New KITT Specs—and Classic Hasselhoff!)". Popular Mechanics. Retrieved 2007-12-28. 
  5. ^ "2008 Shelby GT500KR — King of the Road". www.stangnet.com. Archived from the original on 2008-02-06. Retrieved 2008-03-01. 
  6. ^ "Fun Facts". Michelle L'amour Official Website. Retrieved 2011-02-18. 
  7. ^ "Knight Rider Stripper". YouTube. Retrieved 2011-02-17. 
  8. ^ "Knight 2000 Voice Car From Kenner". teamknightrider.com. Retrieved 2011-02-22. 
  9. ^ "1983 Knight Rider KITT diecast model car 1:18 scale die cast by Ertl". Amazon.com. Retrieved 2011-02-22. 
  10. ^ "KNIGHT RIDER - K.I.T.T.". HITARI. Retrieved 2011-02-22. 
  11. ^ "KNIGHT RIDER - K.I.T.T. - Specification Sheet". HITARI. Retrieved 2011-02-22. 
  12. ^ "Knight Rider 1:15 Scale KITT". Diamond Select Toys. Retrieved 2012-12-26. 
  13. ^ http://knightrideronline.com/news/2008/06/mio_knight_rider_gps_has_voice.php
  14. ^ a b "Television Cars - Page 6 - KITT from Knightrider". Cars of the Stars. Retrieved 2011-02-17. 
  15. ^ Buncombe, Andrew (2007-04-04). "For sale: Talking car, one less-than-careful owner". The Independent. Retrieved 2011-02-17. 
  16. ^ "1982 PONTIAC KNIGHT RIDER K.I.T.T. CAR 2-DOOR COUPE". Kassabian Motors. 

http://usatoday30.usatoday.com/life/2007-12-21-knight-rider-car_N.htm

External links[edit]

This is a blog whose primary focus is the restoration of the Knight 2000 from the original Knight Rider series.