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Citroen XM/Peugoet 605 - Ronin

Published: 20 October 2008

Ranking: 24      

Year of release: 1998.

The car: Citroen XM.

Why it’s special: Simply because it features several brilliant car chases, including the most incredible chase sequence ever committed to celluloid – a rip-snorting thrill ride through Paris in which Robert de Niro drives a Peugeot 406 in pursuit of a BMW M5.

Best bit: The whole of the Paris chase scene. It’s not just the actual action, it’s the way it’s shot. Director John Frankenheimer was known for great car action, having directed James Garner in Grand Prix, and he decided to shoot the chase in real-time, live action, with no CGI or post-prod trickery. Plus, he ditched the second unit director and did the whole thing himself, even riding on board during some scenes.

Pub fact: De Niro looks terrified because he really is – he’s sitting in the left-hand seat of a right-hooker, sawing at a dummy wheel while the stunt driver sitting in the right-hand seat does the real driving.

Plot overview: A group of rogue outcasts are hired to steal a case from some ex-KGB spies. But one of them has his own agenda.

For: De Niro’s face as he drives flat-out against three lanes of traffic.

Against: The labyrinthine plot.

CAR verdict: Forget what it's all about - just enjoy the chases.

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By Ben Pulman

CAR's editor-at-large, co-ordinator, tallboy