Daniel Craig, Sean Connery, Pierce Brosnan, George Lazenby, Roger Moore and Timothy Dalton all have one thing in common,
They all played roles as James Bond who is known for driving exotic, expensive and stylish cars. From Dr. No to Spectre, cars have been an iconic part of the James Bond movies. Here is a selection of some of Bond’s best cars, with no decade left untouched.
BMW Z8 ROADSTER
1999 – 2003
The car was featured in the 1999 film The World Is Not Enough, It was driven by Bond until being sliced in half by a helicopter equipped with tree-cutting saws in Azerbaijan. So far in the film series, this marks the only occasion when Bond has expressed concern about being upset with James wreaking havoc on cars and equipment. Ironically, this takes place after Desmond Llewelyn makes his final appearance on the screen as Q.
The $128,000 car had an all aluminum chassis and body and used a 4.9 L (4941 cc) 32-valve V8, that developed 400 hp (300 kW) and 500 N·m (370 ft·lbf) torque. This engine, known internally as the S62, was built by the BMW Motorsport subsidiary and was shared with the E39 M5. The engine was located behind the front axle in order to provide the car with 50/50 weight distribution. The factory claimed a 0–100 km/h (0–62 mph) time of 4.7 seconds; Motor Trend magazine achieved 0–96 km/h (0–60 mph) in 4.2 seconds. Road and Track measured the car’s lateral grip at .92. Car and Driver magazine also tested the car and found that it outperformed the contemporary benchmark Ferrari 360 Modena in three important performance categories: acceleration, handling, and braking. As with most BMW products, its top speed was electronically limited to 155.4 mph (250 km/h); the car’s maximum top speed with an unlocked chip was 170 mph (270 km/h).
ASTON MARTIN DBS V12
2007 – 2012
The Aston Martin DBS V12 was first seen in Casino Royale. In the film, the car only features a spare gun and a defibrillator. The car was later destroyed during Bond’s pursuit of Le Chiffre.
Another welcomed change was the latest Aston Martin, the DBS V12, that would also return for Quantum Of Solace. The car didn’t have the usual array of gadgets, having only a modest few secret compartments for Bond’s gun and a defibrillator. A big change over previous Aston Martins is that it’s not only beautiful on the outside, it also has a great interior.
The DBS is equipped with 5935 cc V12 engine with four valves per cylinder. The same engine is also used in the DBR9 and DBRS9 racing cars albeit with extensive modifications. The engine of the DBS produces 510 horsepower (380 kW) at 6500 rpm and 570 N·m (420 lb·ft) of torque @ 5750 rpm with a compression ratio of 10.9:1. The engine also includes an active bypass valve which above 5500 rpm opens and lets more air into the engine resulting in increased performance and propels the car from 0-62 mph in 4.3 seconds and has a maximum speed of 191 mph (307 km/h) and 183 mph (295 km/h) with TOUCHTRONIC 2’ transmission. In 2007, the British motoring show Top Gear sent the DBS around their famous test track and recorded a lap time of 1:23.9; 3.2 seconds faster than its predecessor the Vanquish S, and a second faster than the comparable Bentley Continental Supersports.
FORD MUSTANG MACH 1
1969 – 1978
The Ford Mustang is an iconic car outside of the Bond series. But it was actually James Bond that first introduced the car to film. Tilly Masterson drove one in Goldfinger in 1964, in the swiss alps. The car is probably most widely known from its appearance in Bullitt, the 1968 film staring Steve McQueen, featuring an almost 10 minute car chase around San Francisco’s hilly streets.
The Mustang shot to the forefront in Diamonds Are Forever, as Bond evaded the police in a chase through the streets of Las Vegas. After some modest, but impressive manoeuvres, Bond takes a wrong turn down a dead-end street, with a police car right behind him. With only a thin alleyway ahead, Bond drives up a ramp and puts the car on two wheels, driving right through.
The 1971 boasted the widest selection of engine options yet, ranging from a 302 Windsor V8 to a massive 429 Super Cobra Jet engine outputting 375 bhp and 450 ft-lbs of torque.
LOTUS ESPIRIT TURBO
1980 – 1987
Lotus isn’t the first car manufacturer most people would associate with James Bond, as only three of their models have appeared in the series. But, whenever Bond has gotten behind one of their wheels, the Lotus has been the highlight of the film’s selection of vehicles.
Appearing in For Your Eyes Only, Bond drives the burgundy Espirit Turbo to a ski resort in the North of Italy. A similar model with a white paint job had appeared earlier in the film, but had exploded when its anti-theft system had been set off. The joke being that Q had had to rebuild the Lotus entirely from scratch.
Initially, the turbocharged Esprit was a special edition model commemorating F1 ties and reflecting current sponsorship, in the blue, red and chrome livery of Essex Petroleum, and is therefore known as the Essex Esprit. The new turbocharged dry-sump type 910 engine produced 210 hp (157 kW) and 200 lb·ft (270 N·m) of torque. 0-60 mph could be achieved in 6.1 seconds, with a top speed of 150 mph (240 km/h).
ASTON MARTIN DBS
1967 – 1972
Introduced in 1967, the Aston Martin DBS series only lasted five years. However, the same design lived on with the Vantage, the V8, and the V8 Vantage until 1989. At 22 years, the iconic design was used for longer than the DB1-DB6 series designs.
George Lazenby, Sean Connery’s temporary replacement, was introduced in On Her Majesty’s Secret Service driving the DBS, in a scene very reminiscent of the opening minutes of The Italian Job, released earlier in the same year. Lazenby is driving along a winding Portugal road, his face hidden by shadows and cigarette smoke, in quite an artistic sequence. The Aston features prominently throughout the film, including in a chase through a car rally, a winter storm and the final moments where Bond’s wife is shot through its windshield.
The original plan was to use a V8 engine, but this wasn’t ready in time for the cars launch so it continued with the straight-6, once again providing 282bhp. Later on though, Tadek Marek’s V8 was inserted into the car. The DBS V8 continued in production until 1972 with alloy wheels rather than the wire ones seen before, and after 1972 it was facelifted and simply renamed the Aston Martin V8.
MERCURY COUGAR XR-7
1967 – 1972
Also frequently considered a revamp of the original series, On Her Majesty’s Secret Service was the first film to offer audiences a non-Connery Bond, and was one of the only films to follow the book with near exact precision.
In the movie, a red Cougar XR7 is driven by Bond’s future wife, played by Diana Rigg. It actually gets far more screen time than her beau’s Aston Martin. The scene to follow is one of the best Bond car chases in the series’ history. The terrain is snowy Switzerland, and the Cougar has no special tire studs, oil slicks, or other clever devices to thwart the pursuers.
The XR-7 was a high-performance version of the Mercury, likely housing a Ford 390 V8, and the idea of this muscle car navigating the tiny streets and alleys of Switzerland is a harrowing notion; yet, they do so with the class and style typical of the Bond archetype and this one is way more affordable then the Aston Martin with a current price tag ranging between $13,000-17,000
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