The latest Bond car for the film “Quantum of Solace" is the Aston Martin DBS. Low-profile 20inch car tyres, smooth lines and curves, flared wheel arches and an overstated front grill; it is the epitomy of British cool with which to save the world.
The Aston Martin's 6.0-litre V12 engine has a distinctive throaty roar that is capable of 0-62mph in 4.3 seconds and has a top speed of 191mph.
This has to rate as one of Bond's best looking cars but to compare I have compiled a list of 5 other classic Bond cars:
1) Recently voted the most iconic car of all time, the Aston Martin DB5 appeared in ‘Thunderball', ‘Goldfinger’ and more recently ‘Casino Royal’.
It was originally introduced in 1963. Its film debut was in the 1964 Goldfinger, starring alongside Sean Connery. Its distinctive silver livery, streamlined bodywork and large front grill was new for its time.
However the aesthetically pleasing body hid a vast array of lethal surprises to confound even the most troublesome of Bond's enemies. You may remember a scene in Goldfinger where one rear brake light spurted oil onto the road. And the other released triple-spiked nails to burst the car tyres of the pursuing villains.
Other clever features devised by Q included a revolving licence plate, an exhaust that expelled smoke-screen canisters and wheel hubs that revealed knives to slash car tyres.
2) The white Lotus Elite used by Roger Moore in 1977 ‘The Spy Who Loved Me’ surprised everyone with its ability to be driven underwater.
In an attempt to escape a pursuing helicopter the Lotus was driven off a pier into the sea. At the time you would have thought this was the end for the car. But with typical Bond creativity the car tyres retract and it was transformed into an operational submarine, complete with fins and a periscope. The persistent helicopter soon meets its demise with a missile fired from the car beneath the water.
3) The 1987 film ‘The Living Daylights’ saw a return to the Aston Martin. This Aston Martin V8 had a powerful engine to compliment its macho looks. It used a fuel injection system that replaced carburetion. Due to the compact nature of this new technology the car could be designed with a flat bonnet, unlike the curved bonnets of its predecessors.
As with any Bond car there were a number of clever additions including self retractable spikes in the car tyres for extra grip on icy surfaces, lasers behind the front hubcaps and missile launchers behind the headlights.
4) It was bold move not to use a British manufactured car in the 1999 ‘The World Is Not Enough’ but BMW Z8 soon won over the Bond fan. Its retro styling and red leather interior was backed up by a 400-horsepower V8 engine that had a top speed of 158mph.
Hidden accessories included missile launchers in the side vents and a windscreen that displayed important data. The car could be operated remotely using the key chain.
5) The Aston Martin was back in the 2002 ‘Die Another Day’ starring Pierce Brosnan. This time it was the V12 Vanquish, sometimes referred to as ‘a DB9 on steroids’.
The classic styled V12 nearly met its match when confronted with the villain's Jaguar XKR. But the front mounted Gatling gun, rocket launchers in the doors and bombs in the boot soon put paid to that.
Two other clever features, which eventually won the battle for Bond, were the car's ability to become invisible and the spikes hidden in the car tyres. The latter helped the car drive up an ice wall to avoid the fast approaching enemy, causing the Jaguar to have a unceremonious demise at the bottom of a lake.
As wonderful as the Bond cars are, thankfully features like spikes in car tyres have not become common place on our modern vehicles. If they ever do be sure to consult a specialist before changing a punctured car tyre.
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