The Spectrecular Bond cars

The Spectrecular Bond cars
Highlights

Mr Bond never shied away from girls or cars, and always made sure all the gasm boxes were ticked right. Also considering the cargasms it has given the petrolhead franchise loyalists for decades.

Spectre, the latest 007 movie starring Daniel Craig as James Bond has hit the screens. As always, it features a bevy of exotic machinery to feast your eyes on

Jaguar C-X75

Mr Bond never shied away from girls or cars, and always made sure all the gasm boxes were ticked right. Also considering the cargasms it has given the petrolhead franchise loyalists for decades.

Let’s talk about it. A Bond film is no less than a festival, and ‘Spectre’, the 24th official silver-screen outing for Fleming’s Martini-swilling superspy, is no exception. Well, it has reached cinemas and is packed with layers of intriguing plot, stunning visuals and more importantly, a thumping good car chase.

So, what does Mr 007 drive? Well, obviously an Aston Martin.

Aston Martins have become synonymous with Bond ever since Sean Connery first got behind the wheel of a silver DB5 in ‘Goldfinger’, but this is the first time an Aston has been designed specifically for a 007 flick.

Introducing the DB10 as the film’s ‘first cast member’ at the car’s reveal at Pinewood Studios, ‘Spectre’ director Sam Mendes described how the car was brought into being by a collaborative brief between himself, EON Productions (owners of the Bond film rights since 1961) and Aston Martin’s design team at Gaydon.

It’s not the replacement for the DB9 – that’s the DB11, due to be revealed soon– but it does give us a few clues as to what it will look like. This is unlikely to be the last modern-era Aston with minimal surfacing and a predacious, shark-like nose.

Aston Martin DB10

Aston Martin had released few of the technical details of the car, but they have revealed that it featured the company's 6-speed manual transmission unit that is used on their 4.7 litre V8-engined cars. The DB10’s chassis is based on a modified version of the VH Platform that underpins the Aston Martin’s V8 Vantage. However the DB10 has a longer wheelbase and is nearly as wide as the One-77.

Ten Vantage-based DB10s were built, all for filming purposes. Rally pro Mark Higgins had doubled for Daniel Craig in the driver’s seat, jumping and powersliding his way around priceless historical Rome furniture in the film’s centerpiece chase through Vatican City.

But, a James Bond film is only as good as the villain. Here, I found Mr Hinx, rather more intriguing. For the chivalrous Mountain of Game of Throne like villain drives a car, the automotive world had once looked up to, but also which sadly never made its way to being a production model.

Secondly, who better can justify the art of villainy than the masters (especially for a British spy thriller), but what Jaguar did here was nothing less than a marvelous wonder, as it got back the C-X75.

The decision to use cars from the shelved C-X75 supercar project in ‘Spectre’ was “a eureka moment”, John Edwards, JLR Special Operations managing director, told CAR magazine. “We had to think quite carefully about that, because we have no plans to put that car into production.

(From left) Range Rover Sport SVR, Jaguar C-X75, Range Rover Defender

We knowingly went into this – everyone loves that car, it’s a fantastic design. When we were given the opportunity to put it into the film, the left brain said, “Why would you do that with a car we won’t put into production” and the right brain said, “Yeah, why not, because it’s fantastic.” We’re working an asset that was otherwise doing nothing.”

Jag’s original C-X75 concept featured futuristic a micro-turbine power, and the shelved production car a clever F1-style hybrid powertrain with a twin-charged 1.6-litre four-pot and oodles of electric power. The cars in Spectre, however, tote good ol’ fashioned V8s. Edwards takes up the story, “We produced five stunt cars using the V8 powertrain, a completely unique car. More like building a world rally car, they were completely abused. It’s relatively easy to do that; we worked with Williams (who worked on the original concept). It was an eight-week build process, round the clock to meet those deadlines.”

Pity the life of a stunt vehicle. Each car which appeared in ‘Spectre’ got a real pasting, Edwards explains, “It’s hard work, the lot from EON are very demanding. Not just in producing the vehicles in a spec that works for them, but also in supporting the vehicles. Our guys were out on set 24x7, looking after cars that get trashed all the time. The cars come in overnight, they are either trashed completely, or we have to make it right for the next day.”

It’s up to EON which cars go in each Bond film, and continuing a partnership begun on ‘Skyfall’, it got on the blower to Jaguar Land Rover. No less than 22 JLR (Jaguar Land Rover) cars were used for filming, including seven Jags, four Range Rover SVRs and a whole load of Land Rover Defenders. Creating the vehicles and managing the logistics fell to JLR’s Special Vehicle Operations (SVO) arm.

“Working on Bond is aligned with the skunkworks capabilities we have, rather than our core business like Range Rover Sport SVR, which is a serious product with serious volume down the production line,” Edwards, said. “But we like the Bond relationship. They throw us a challenge and we grasp it.”

By:Augustin Kurian
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