With the long-delayed – and even longer anticipated – release of No Time to Die hitting theaters in October, our high-octane dreams stray to vehicles and automakers with a 007 connection…and they are not all Aston Martins.
It goes without saying that the carmaker most associated with James Bond in the public imagination is Aston Martin. The connection began with the iconic, gadget-laden Silver Birch DB5 Sean Connery drove in 1964’s Goldfinger (above). Today, the Gaydon, UK-based manufacturer has come home to roost at MI-6 as the official maker of Bond cars since 2002’s Die Another Day. Aston Martin has confirmed that several of its vehicles will make an appearance in No Time to Die: The self-same vintage DB5, a vintage AMV8 (opposite – perhaps a nod to the “muscle-car” Aston Martin George Lazenby drove in his single turn as the character in 1969’s On Her Majesty’s Secret Service), the track-ready Valhalla hyper car, and a more modern production model, the DBS Superleggera (which was launched in 2018 – pictured top). No word from Aston Martin on whether this new DBS Superleggera is the “special” Bond car for this film, but it certainly fits the bill. Superleggera is a very sexy Italian word meaning “super light,” and this vehicle’s muscular, cutting-edge carbon fiber design cuts significant weight to squeeze every last thrilling drop of torque out of its 5.2-liter twin-turbo V12 power plant. The car can blast from 0 to 62mph in just 3.4 seconds, and, more importantly for Bond, from 0 to 100mph in a mere 6.4 seconds.
In the original Sir Ian Fleming novels, Bond’s car is often identified as a Bentley (the 4.5-liter convertible, the fictional Mark VI, and the R-Type Continental, to be specific). While that maker’s stately approach has delivered vehicles perhaps more apt for a Bond villain’s zeitgeist, the artisans in Crewe, UK, who produce modern Bentleys have mastered the art of delivering blistering super-spy performance tempered with exquisite luxury finish and comfort. The new Bentley Continental GT Speed (above), especially in its drop-top version, is no exception. On the performance side, expect an updated version of the signature Bentley 6-liter W12 engine that delivers a 0 to 60mph giddy-up of 3.6 seconds, as well as new – and welcome – carbon ceramic brakes. And on the sartorial side, the Z-fold roof is available in seven colors and styles, including tweed.
In 1997’s Tomorrow Never Dies, Pierce Brosnan’s Bond picks up the keys to a “rental” BMW 750iL sedan that ends up being chock-full of Q Branch gadgets, including missile launchers and remote control maneuvering via cell phone. Brosnan also briefly drives a similarly equipped BMW Z8 roadster in 1999’s The World is Not Enough. While the new BMW Alpina XB7 (below) might look like a sophisticated version of an SUV more fit for a soccer mom, it is a potently stealthy double agent. Created in collaboration with Alpina – a BMW’s frequent engine tuning and styling studio partner – a base model X7 is bespoke-tailored into a supremely powerful, comfortable, and masterful touring machine. A 4.4-liter bi-turbo V8 doles out 612hp with a top speed of 180mph. Inside, expect luxurious comfort and handling that makes you think, “I would love to just drive this car across the country,” which is exactly what it was designed for.
In 1983’s Octopussy, Sir Roger Moore’s Bond hauls his super-spy collapsible Acrostar micro-jet in a horse trailer (complete with a faux horse hindquarters to disguise it) drawn by a classic open-air Range Rover. The brand’s reborn Defender captured the hearts of adventure-loving drivers when it was re-introduced for 2020. But a very special version for this year is particularly Bond-worthy. The new Defender 110 V8 Carpathian Edition flagship vehicle adds a level of simply sinister, extremely bad-ass visual impact to the estimable off-road capabilities of the reborn SUV. A burly 5-liter supercharged V8 powers the package, but its dark, matte, military-spec all-grey/black menacing presentation is sure to strike fear into the hearts of the even most evil SPECTRE agents.
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