► The cars of latest 007 film
► From Aston to Toyota
► No spoilers (except on the cars)
James Bond is back – and given his automotive antics in No Time To Die, bumping up Britain’s national debt with the monstrous cost of his insurance premium. Here’s Car’s guide to the Top 10 cars in the latest flick (and we’ll be careful not to reveal anything that isn’t in the trailers, which is where any low quality images come from).
Aston Martin DB5
The most famous car in movie history is back, in its most extended action sequence since debuting in 1964’s Goldfinger. And the DB5 returns with the doughnut to end them all, attempting to neutralise baddies while billowing out a smokescreen and firing headlamp-mounted machine guns.
The chase takes place in the ancient Italian city of Matera, with Aston Martin’s Q Advanced Operations unit providing eight replica DB5s for the shoot. Some were fitted with gadgets, others had pods on the roof housing stunt drivers to steer actors Daniel Craig and Léa Seydoux beneath.
A couple of pristine hero cars were also used, one owned by Bond producers EON Productions, the other from a private collection. Neither were part of Aston’s £2.75m DB5 Continuation series: it’s made 25 recreations of the Goldfinger car, even down to the weaponry!
Range Rover Classic
In terms of appearances, it’s Aston 4 – Land Rover 4 in No Time To Die. The first Solihull-built vehicle to make its mark is a classic Range Rover, which gets up close and very personal with Bond and his DB5. Let’s just say the Aston’s go-faster stripes are not the result of some careless parking.
There are lots of obscure cars in the Matera scenes, part of the longest pre-credits sequence in the Bond series’ 59 years. A Citroën C3 supermini pops up twice, a Jaguar XF Mk2 and this Maserati Quattroporte, the boxy, Marcello Gandini-designed one from the mid-1990s. It tries to put Bond in his box by launching itself at the stunned spy.
Aston Martin V8
No Time To Die is peppered with ‘easter egg’ references to past moments in the Bond canon, including the reappearance of the V8 Vantage driven by Timothy Dalton’s Bond in The Living Daylights. Again Aston Martin had its hands full, sourcing three V8s from the era and refurbishing them with the exterior paint, trim and upholstery of the 1987 film car.
Toyota Land Cruiser Prado
One of the most beautiful Bond cars ever was the Toyota 2000GT, uniquely converted into a cabriolet to accommodate Sean Connery in 1967’s You Only Live Twice. The same can’t be said of the mid-90s Toyota Land Cruiser Prado, which mustered about 190bhp in its most powerful guise. Surely a sitting duck when the bad guys roll into view…
Range Rover Sport SVR
The first Land Rovers to have a crack at the Prado are these SVRs, with almost three times more power and a 4.5sec acceleration time. But as in F1, who’s behind the wheel is a big differentiator, because the quickest Range Sports are brutally despatched at equally quick pace. JLR will take consolation if Bond fans fall for the SVRs’ spec of Eiger Grey metallic, 22in gloss black alloys and carbon pack, which take the list price to £113,340.
Land Rover Defender
No Time To Die’s original March 2020 launch date should have coincided with the dynamic launch of Land Rover’s reborn Defender. In the end Covid-19 delayed both, and the Defender has become a smash hit without any Bond association.
While the film showcases the Defender’s durability and off-road prowess in a high-speed chase across Norwegian terrain, the outcome might stick in the craw of long-time Bond partners Land Rover. Old Defenders getting dusted by a plane in Spectre is one thing, the new one getting dusted by an ancient Toyota is quite another…
Aston Martin DBS
Former Aston CEO Andy Palmer was always quite vocal about the DBX SUV being aimed at women, but the MI6 secret agent played by Lashana Lynch has other ideas: her company car is a 715bhp DBS Superleggera, which gratuitously drifts into RAF Brize Norton doubling as a Norwegian airfield.
Aston Martin Valhalla
The concept version of Aston’s forthcoming mid-engined supercar, the Valhalla, also makes a cameo. Confirmed for production with a 937bhp hybrid V8, the Valhalla lurks behind M (Ralph Fiennes) in Q Branch’s wind tunnel.
Land Rover Series III
Land Rovers do not fare well in No Time To Die – almost universally because of who’s behind the wheel. That said, Bond does drive a Series III in Jamaica, but it breaks down. Nothing to do with Land Rover reliability – it’s been sabotaged.
But with everything up for grabs as EON reboots the franchise after Daniel Craig’s retirement, maybe JLR or Lotus can lobby for Aston Martin’s star treatment when James Bond returns next…