Monday, 20 April 2015

THE CARS OF JAMES BOND - PART FOUR


Yes, after Parts 1,2 and 3 it was the last thing you were expecting...
CASINO ROYALE: FORD MONDEO MK IV 2.5 ST/ASTON MARTIN DB5/ASTON MARTIN DBS
The Mondeo MK IV is Bond's hire car in the Bahamas. Bond aficionados may have groaned; first Brosnan with his BMWs, now Ford?. But as recent films have showcased Jaguars and Range Rovers – both companies owned by Ford (In fact Range Rover engines are made by Jaguar) the tie-in makes sense. It's not a bog-standard Mondy either; the standard model was some time away, so Ford of Europe's Design Studio in Cologne made a one-off with Tonic blue paint and special bodykit.  


                     The Mondeo had a removable roof section to allow a makeshift light diffuser.
Bond wins the DB5 in a casino from terrorist Alex Dimitrios. The car features mainly in a jokey sequence where Bond picks up Dimitrios' girlfriend. 



Although unseen, Q-Branch haven't forgotten JB either, delivering a stunning DBS to his hotel. This car saves two lives; first the atropine and auto-inject – poisoned and woozy Bond is in contact with MI6 HQ over the car's comms link and gets instructions on using them (Though a faulty lead nearly kills him). Then, the DBS' handling saves Vesper when, rounding a crest at high-speed Bond spots her bound and helpless on the road ahead. 
Swerving, the Aston goes off the road and into a hideous spin that destroys the car (A World-Record stunt performed by Adam Kirley at the Millbrook Proving Ground, Milton Keynes. He rolled seven times. If the scene seems familiar, it's because the track there has featured in many TV shows such as Top Gear). 

TOP SPEED: (MONDEO) 245 KMH/152 MPH (DB5) 240 KMH/149 MPH (DBS) 307 KMH/191 MPH
HORSEPOWER: (MONDEO) 217 BHP (DB5) 282 BHP (DBS) 510 BHP
GADGETS: (DBS) RADIO COMMUNICATIONS SYSTEM/POWER-OPERATED TRAY/ATROPINE AUTO-INJECT DEFIBRILATOR
RATING: (MONDEO) 
Actually an excellent all-round family car, the 2.5 Mondeo is a nippy and capable Bond car - it's actually closer to the sort of car real MI6 Officers might expect from the car pool. But... Bond in a Ford?...
RATING: (DB5)
What the? - they gave the Mondeo two bullets and now the Aston?. Well, yes - it's a clunky old thing that has great looks and little else. The Mondeo beats it hands down on virtually everything, but style and panache. If this was the DB5, it would obviously score higher with us.
RATING: (DBS)
Only the relative lack of gadgets keeps this blistering car from the top score. Topping out around 190 MPH this has more in common with a ballistic missile than the average family runabout. Beautiful looks, great handling and Bond is back with the marque he deserves.
QUANTUM OF SOLACE: ASTON MARTIN DBS/FORD KA MK II/RANGE ROVER HSE
The opening sequence has gone down into Bond legend; rightly so. The film begins with 007 racing to get Mr.White to M for interrogation in Italy, bad guys in fast Lancias hot on his tail. 


The action passes by the stunning scenery of Lake Como and through the Passo del Vestito tunnel. Bond's DBS is sprayed with gunfire and loses a door in the action. One of the stunt cars ended up in the lake during filming. (Top Gear's 'Stig', Ben Collins drove the DBS for the stunt sequence)




The Ford KA isn't exactly a Bond car proper – Camille drives it. As with Casino Royale appearances deceive; it's a custom model with unique trim and paintwork. A decal hints that the car runs on Hydrogen – in keeping with villain Dominic Greene's eco-credentials.


Greene also has Hydrogen-powered Ford Edge sports-utility vehicles (The models seen on-screen are conventionally-fuelled.) Bond drives one towards the end of Quantum. 
At the start of the film proper, Bond is driven to the renegade MI6 man's flat in a Range Rover HSE. In Bolivia, he drives his own, a grey left-hand drive model.
TOP SPEED: (DBS) 307 KMH/191 MPH (KA) 161 KMH/100 MPH (HSE) 214 KMH/133 MPH (EDGE) 211 KMH/131 MPH
HORSEPOWER: (DBS) 510 BHP (KA) 74 BHP (HSE) 305 BHP (EDGE) 265 BHP
GADGETS: NONE
 The production utilised the latest in cutting-edge camera rigs to get previously-impossible shots

RATING: (DBS)
This caused a row... for consistency's sake a DBS without gadgets shouldn't get top marks - and it hasn't. Look at this car; just look. It is wonderful. 
RATING: (KA) 
Erm... yes.
RATING: (HSE)
Luxury all-terrain status symbol, known as 'Chelsea Tractors' in London - these (from personal experience of owning one) are thirsty, fairly awful handling-wise and absolutely the most fun on four wheels. They are at home in a field or a city (opinions on the latter differ) and it's no surprise to see MI6 and Bond using them.

RATING: EDGE
Almost impossible to rate, but they seem a decent, if horrifically thirsty vehicle (The Hydrogen models may be better when and if produced)
SKYFALL: LAND-ROVER DEFENDER 110/JAGUAR XJ LWB 3.0 V6/ASTON MARTIN DB5
In the opening sequence, Eve drives Bond in a Stornaway Grey Land-Rover Defender 110 Crew Cab (110 being the wheel-base in inches) which is smashed about as they chase the terrorist Patrice. Being Bond, the Rovers are custom-jobs – fitted with tuned 2011 Puma engines with automatic boxes, reinforced bumpers and suspension with uprated intercoolers and exhausts. 
'M' is driven in the Jaguar – often cited as an XJL (An American model), the XJ has a long wheel-base for extra room and comfort. The car is later driven by 007 as he rushes M to safety. 
As 'company cars' have trackers, this makes the Jaguar vulnerable to detection by the cyber-terrorist Silva, so Bond switches wheels. To the Aston Martin DB5. This car is almost a replica of the Goldfinger Aston; in the script it's the exact same car. (This begs the question – as I've said before; how did Bond get it?, was Andrew Bond a Double-O?) The DB5 meets a fiery end, but not before it's front-firing machine guns give Silva's men a bashing.

TOP SPEED: (LAND-ROVER) N/A (XJ) 237 KMH/147 MPH (DB5) 230 KMH/145 MPH
HORSEPOWER: (LAND-ROVER) N/A (XJ) 235 BHP (DB5) 282 BHP
GADGETS: (XJ) BLUE POLICE STROBES BEHIND GRILLE/TRACKING DEVICE (DB5) EJECTOR SEAT/FORWARD FIRING MACHINE GUNS (IT IS TO BE ASSUMED THAT THE DB5 HAS ALL THE GADGETS FROM THE GOLDFINGER DB5)
RATING: (LAND-ROVER)
Great all-rounder, if anything better than the Range Rover off-road. 
RATING: (XJ)
Fantastic luxury offering from Jaguar, the car is perfect for 'M's transport. Since filming, several of these exclusive autos have been spotted on the streets of London - used by specialist units of the Metropolitan Police. Enough said!.

RATING: (DB5)
An old favourite, the DB5 comes back and, although she's showing her age she acquits herself magnificently. Reports reach us of the DB5 being filmed in London for SPECTRE - our money's on a flashback sequence. Hopefully the DB10 in the new Bond film will claim the title of greatest Bond car - with a flamethrower and (rumoured) ejector seat she just might...




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