The name is Bond, James Bond. And this one line has launched many a hit movie with many stars living the best phase of their lives – David Niven, Roger Moore, George Lazenby, Timothy Dalton, Sean Connery, Pierce Brosnan, and the more recent action-oriented Bond, Daniel Craig.
Of course, popular as the actors became in the indelible 007 franchise, the cars shown in the movies became legends in their own right. The not-so-common man (or woman) who could afford these beauties must have had quite the role-playing fun in them as they sipped on martinis, shaken, not stirred. Here go the ten best wheels that starred in James Bonds flicks, ranked.
10 The Lotus Esprit S1 In The Spy Who Loved Me
Somehow, this title always makes me think of the Mike Myers spoof, The Spy Who Shagged Me. Nevertheless, it was the original movie which starred Sir Roger Moore that featured the Lotus Esprit S1 – a car with the magical ability to turn into a sub underwater. There was an actual Esprit S1 that is driven on the road and when the car is shown underwater, it was in truth a fully functional submarine with an Esprit S1 shell. Even so, when it reappeared after being considered lost, it was whipped up by Elon Musk of the Tesla fame, or should we say infamy?
9 Mercury Cougar XR7 In On Her Majesty’s Secret Service
With only one Bond movie to his name, George Lazenby is perhaps the most undervalued 007s of them all, more so because he publicly announced his refusal of doing more Bond movies.
It does not bode well if you bite the hand that feeds you. The Mercury Cougar XR7 was technically not even driven by Bond but by the very classy Diana Riggs who played Bond’s romance as Tracy di Vicenzo in On Her Majesty’s Secret Service (OHMSS). The 428 Cobra Jet Ram Air fitted Cougar XR7 was a re-bodied Mustang, and supposedly jetted out a whopping 400bhp. No help from Q here though, as in the movie, it is shown to be a stock car.
8 Renault 11 TXE In A View To A Kill
The Renault 11 managed to stay in the market only for seven years, and technically, it seems like such a step down from Bond’s usual Aston Martins. In A View To Kill, it was Roger Moore trying to make a getaway from a very scary Grace Jones and hijacks a Renault 11 taxi to do it. While the car has all the appeal of a dying tree stump, it is its indestructibility shown in the movie that puts it on this list. The roof is lopped off, then the back end of the car is chopped off but this French wonder keeps on revving. And it is good entertainment for sure.
7 BMW 750iL In Tomorrow Never Dies
Brosnan as Bond had to be the most smooth-talking off the lot, considering he didn’t have that physical prowess as a towering Sean Connery or a brawny Daniel Craig did. So in Tomorrow Never Dies, Brosnan’s Bond drives a Q-equipped BMW 750iL. This is one car that is as regal as can be.
And yet not flashy enough to belie a spy’s work. A V12-powered sedan, this was perhaps the last time a BMW 7-Series looked this good. 10 of these beauties were used in production, two of which had roof rockets, tire-shredding thingummies, and re-inflating tires. These two were worth it all.
6 Aston Martin V8 Vantage In The Living Daylights
Two of the Bond movies featured Timothy Dalton as a cleft-chinned 007, and while they may not have been the best of Bond movies, one did feature an Aston Martin V8 Vantage. This was the car so known as the first supercar by the Brits, considering it managed a 170mph top speed with its 5.3-liter V8 engine. Though the stock car did so with carburetors, the one in the movie had fuel-injection fitted into it. 0-60mph happened in 5.3 seconds which was pretty impressive, considering it topped the Ferrari Daytona by a tenth of a second. Of course, had everything that Q described been fitted into the car, it would have weighed as much as a blue whale.
5 Aston Martin DB5 In Goldfinger To Skyfall
The original DB5, so driven by Connery’s Bond in Goldfinger has been sadly lost to time – though if it is ever recovered, it would sure make millions. But this was one cool car that went on to be used in Thunderball (another Connery), Pierce Brosnan’s Tomorrow Never Dies and GoldenEye, as well as Daniel Craig’s Casino Royale and Skyfall.
In GoldenEye Brosnan even manages to drive the DB5 fast enough to catch up to a Ferrari F355, which makes the DB5 look pretty good even if it isn’t that good. Of course, with Q getting his hands on the car, it had to be as cool as cool can be.
4 BMW Z8 In The World Is Not Enough
Another Brosnan flick, this 1999 movie starred the BMW Z8, a sleek rear-wheel-drive roadster that outclassed many of its rivals in looks and power. The motor was the E39 M5’s V8 and managed to jet out 400hp as well as 370 lb-ft torque, taking only 5 seconds to go 0-60mph. Of course, like with any Bond ride, the Q specs took the car to a whole new level. Cleese played Q’s assistant in this one and he manages to put a titanium armor on this car, and for some reason, six beverage holders for when Bond wants to have more than one shaken Martini.
3 Aston Martin Vanquish in Die Another Day
More muscular and bullish than most other Bond cars, the Aston Martin Vanquish replaced the Virage range in real life. The strangest thing about the Q-spec car in the Brosnan flick Die Another Day was its invisibility cloaking, like what Harry Potter does, only more tech, and less magic.
A V12 engine managed more than 450 horsepower but even so, the Vanquish was eventually vanquished by, or succeeded by the DB5; having lasted only four years in the market. The automatic transmission was held to blame so if you still wanted a Vanquish, Aston Martin would retrofit a manual gearbox for the car to do what it was supposed to do, move.
2 Jaguar CX-75 In Spectre
Finally, we move on from Brosnan and onto Daniel Craig as Bond. Technically, the Jaguar CX-75 is not a Bond car, but one has to appreciate beauty even if it belongs to the bad guy. If Bond can take baddie’s woman, why be averse to a good car? Anyhow, the CX-75 is Mr. Hinx’s car is this movie and this is the car Bond chases around in Rome, driving an Aston Martin DB10 himself. The CX-75 in the movie was not of stock specs, and a total of 7 such cars were provided for the shoot. With a very limited production of the CX-75 between 2015 and 2017, more like a teaser, everyone seems to be waiting for the full production.
1 Aston Martin DB10 In Spectre
Finally, the crème de la crème of them all – Daniel Craig’s very able-bodied 007 drives a fantastic DB10 in the Spectre and manages to successfully chase the Jaguar CX-75. The DB10 is what the future of Aston Martin may look like, and a total of 10 such cars were made, bespoke for Spectre. There’s more than just a nod to the 2017 Aston Martin V8 Vantage when it comes to the exterior styling because the DB10 is also muscular and bullish, perfectly suited for the brutishly beautiful Craig’s 007. While many are clamoring for this car to turn to production, its more of a wait and watch for now with what Aston Martin brings up next.