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.
For our next entry, it’s a car that is quite a bit more plausible than most of 007’s cars, at least in some respects.
Some considered it sacrilege when, after a hiatus from the silver screen, Bond was brought back to theaters and subsequently put behind the wheel of a BMW. Being Britain’s greatest spy meant driving some of Britain’s greatest cars, hence why Aston Martin and Lotus had become such prominent fixtures for Bond. Now he was driving a German car?! Outrage!
But hey, at least in GoldenEye it was the sporty little Z3 convertible. In the follow up film, Tomorrow Never Dies, he traded that in for…a four-door sedan with the BMW 750iL. Ooooooookay. So now Bond is driving around in a vehicle similar to what some mid-tier lawyer drives. Great.
Well, it’s pretty much guaranteed that no lawyer drives one EXACTLY like this.
Roof-mounted rockets. Advanced security system with shatter-proof glass and electrified door handles. Deployable caltrops. Reinflatable tires. Deployable smoke screen. Hood ornament-mounted hidden buzzsaw. There’s a gadget and weapon suited to take on nearly any scenario hidden within this otherwise rather blandly-designed sedan.
Oh, and did I mention that it can be driven via remote control? Because it can be driven via the remote control doubling as Bond’s cellphone. I remember watching the film in the theater when it came out and having a hearty chortle at the fact that Bond was driving the car via cellphone and thinking “THAT might be the most implausible thing on screen right now!” Ironic, then, that it’s (inflatable tires aside) possibly the most plausible thing about the car’s accoutrements nowadays. Just ask the designers at Tesla.
Either way, all of these refinements and additions make for a pretty potent set of wheels and the result is one of the best chase scenes in the entire franchise. Sure, the whole of its use is limited to a parking garage, but the filmmakers make great use of that space and each gadget ends up being used in clever and fun ways. Even having Bond slumped in the back seat driving via remote ends up feeling fun and inventive.
So there you go. Bond in a BMW might be borderline sacrilege but at least Q knows how to properly outfit one for the field.