Bond, James Bond – suave, sophisticated, and almost always driving something extremely glamorous. Synonymous with Aston Martins, everyone’s favourite secretive sex pest has also dabbled with BMWs, Lotuses, and even a Citroen.
This article though is dedicated to the villains. Often overlooked, the baddies have had their share of gadget-laden motors and here are my favourites:
6. Rolls-Royce Phantom III – Goldfinger (1964)
Bond – “You expect me to talk?”
Goldfinger – “No, Mr Bond. I expect you to die!”
Kicking things off in style we have Auric Goldfinger’s devilish 1937 Rolls-Royce Phantom III, reg no. AU 1 (see what they did there?). Surely the definitive Bond villain, Goldfinger used the big Roller to sneak gold into Switzerland by melting it into the car’s bodywork. The imposing two-tone Roller is surely the perfect choice for a ne’er-do-well millionaire gold smuggler and golf enthusiast.
This is the film where we’re first introduced to 007’s iconic DB5 fitted with a handy sat nav device used to track Goldfinger’s Phantom across Europe.
5. AMC Matador Coupe – The Man With The Golden Gun (1974)
Best quote: Scaramanga – “I like a girl in a bikini – no concealed weapons.”
At first glance, it may appear to be a typical big American barge, but beneath that brown, drab exterior lies, well, nothing particularly exciting actually. What makes this Matador one of the best Bond villain cars is the ultimate aftermarket accessory…
Following an eventful car chase through rural Thailand between two AMCs (love a bit of product placement) featuring a legit barrel roll, and some very roly-poly cornering, our esteemed protagonist and his wonderfully American companion lose Scaramanga as he darts his car into a barn.
In but a moment, Scaramanga’s very much land-based car is transformed into a light aircraft with the addition of a rather hefty set of wings. Whatsmore, in true Bond-film fashion, it actually worked! Briefly… The Matador could actually get slightly airborne for short distances but for his great escape a remote-controlled scale model was used.
4. Jaguar C-X75 – Spectre (2015)
Swann – “What’s that?”
Bond – “That is a 1948 Rolls-Royce Silver Wraith.”
Moving forward 40 years to quite a car-heavy film, we come to undoubtedly the fastest car on this list, the awesome Jaguar C-X75. Using a whopping great V8 rather than the concept car’s diesel turbine set up, Mr Hinx’s beautiful mid-engined supercar chases James’ even better looking Aston Martin DB10 through the ancient narrow streets of Rome. This is peak Bond right here.
The C-X75 stunt car bodies were placed on rally-spec chassis for the many jumps, drifts, and minor collisions throughout the chase before it gets set on fire by the Aston which, sadly, ends up rather inelegantly sinking to the bottom of the Tiber.
3. Ferrari F355 GTS – Goldeneye (1995)
Caroline – “James, is it really necessary to drive quite so fast?”
Bond – “More often than you’d think.”
There was no way I could write this piece without including the Bond franchise’s only Ferrari, a glorious F355 GTS. Whilst out for a nice drive in the mountains with a lady friend, James is rudely interrupted by an upstart in a bright red Ferrari – poor form. Keen to show this yobbo (or yobbette in this case) a clean set of heels, Bond coaxes his trusty DB5 up to pace with some almighty helmsmanship.
After numerous near misses involving some cyclists and a tractor, James and his companion eventually abandon the race to indulge in some romantic layby relations.
The Ferrari is later found parked outside a casino in Monte Carlo and turns out to be owned by a billionaire Admiral in town to buy a helicopter. Because Bond.
2. Land Rover Defender 110 Double Cab – Spectre (2015)
2nd best quote:
Swann – “Why, given every other possible option, does a man choose the life of a paid assassin?”
Bond – “Well, it was that or the priesthood.”
Getting into the real nitty gritty now with Spectre’s second appearance on this list. It’s no secret that I’m a massive Land Rover fanboy so of course, I had to include these biblically cool Defenders. Equipped with monstrous snow tyres, winches, exoskeleton roll cages, LED spotlights, and ropes (no idea why), just writing about them now is giving me palpitations.
Convoying with a significantly less cool Range Rover Sport, the trio of Landies are chased through the snowy Swiss Alps by Her Majesty’s finest in a bloody plane. Wonderful stuff.
The first Defender explodes following a game of chicken with the said plane before the second one eventually gets absolutely munched by 007 in the now wingless aircraft that just ploughed through a barn. All in all pretty standard stuff.
1. Jaguar XKR – Die Another Day (2002)
Verity – “I see you handle your weapon well.”
Bond – “I have been known to keep my tip up.”
My number one Bond villain car needs no introduction. Easily the highlight from an otherwise bizarre movie, Zao’s bright green Jaguar XKR absolutely stormed it. Just check out this kit list: studded tyres, mortar bombs, front ramming spikes, missiles in the grille, missiles in the doors, and an actual Gatling gun. Add all of that to the already impressive 4.0-litre supercharged V8 Jag and you surely have the ultimate baddie’s car.
Upon noticing James’ invisible Aston Martin Vanquish (don’t ask), bad guy Zao (aka the S2000 guy from The Fast and the Furious) initiates the chase, tracking Bond with the Jag’s onboard thermal imaging camera. What follows is one of the most dramatic, weapon-heavy car chases of the whole Bond franchise.
The rasping V12 Aston and the roaring V8 Jag fire numerous bullets and missiles at each other across a frozen lake as 007 races towards a rapidly melting ice palace to rescue a lady person. The less-than-subtle XKR meets its end in a watery grave after aiming at Bond’s Aston with the massive ramming spikes and missing.
So there are my favourites but I’m sure yours are different. Let me know your picks in the comments!