Cars are as essential to the James Bond mythos as are tuxedos, beautiful women, exotic locations and shaken (not stirred) vodka martinis. From Aston Martins to BMWs to Mustangs, Bond knows how to get somewhere in style. But it’s not just the aesthetic that counts when it comes to cars for 007, what’s on the inside counts as well. Over the course of the next few articles we’ll be ranking some of the best cars of the Bond movies, but judging them solely on how well equipped they came courtesy of Q.
So with that in mind, let’s kick this off with a bang. Or rather, a laser.
Aston Martin V8 Vantage Volante
The Timothy Dalton years are considered by many to be the relative low point of the whole franchise. But even though few would place films like License To Kill or The Living Daylights among their favorite Bond films, there’s certainly room to appreciate the wheels Dalton sported. The Living Daylights in particular boasts one of the most potently equipped vehicles in Bond’s entire livery.
Now, the Aston Martin V8 Vantage Volante is a slick and impressive car in its own right. The 1985 Series 4 version that Bond drives sported a V8 engine, outputting 380 horsepower at 6,000 RPM, weighing 1,990 kilograms and had a top speed of about 160 mph. But let Q Branch get ahold of one and it becomes something all the more impressive. This one in particular came outfitted with a hidden rocket booster in its tail section, along with retractable skis hidden in the undercarriage and retractable tire spikes for stability and grip. A pair of rocket launchers were tucked away inside the front bumper. But the best addition (or at least the most fun) is the wheel-mounted laser, capable of cutting down those pursuant Russian’s car down to size.
As for the chase scene itself, as stated earlier no one would likely put this in their Top 5 Bond Films list but this is every bit the kind of cheeky fun we’ve all come to love and expect from the series. Timothy Dalton’s take on Bond was a stark contrast to Roger Moore’s more lighthearted and cheeky version, but Dalton certainly knew when to let a smirk loose and enjoy himself particularly when dispatching waves of faceless henchmen and soldiers.
The Aston Martin V8 Vantage Volante might not be the most exotic or most refined car Bond’s ever driven but it’s one that most definitely is able to hold its own, leaving the super spy’s enemies shaken…not stirred.