When it comes to spy thrillers, James Bond films always top the list. Ever since 1962, this suave British secret agent has been entertaining audiences worldwide with his charming looks, incredible action sequences, and his impeccable cars. Whether he’s out fighting treacherous villains, or simply out for a drive, James Bond always rides in style. In the 60-year history of this movie franchise, secret agent 007 has driven some of the most remarkable and iconic cars to ever exist across the world.
Some 007 cars gain prominence simply for their unimpeachable design and aesthetics, while some become popular for the cutting-edge technology and artillery they come equipped with. Here is a list of the top 15 cars ever featured in James Bond films.
1. Aston Martin DB5
Film Featured In: Goldfinger
Year Released: 1964
First appearing in 1964’s Goldfinger, the Aston Martin DB5 was originally driven by Sean Connery in Goldfinger. Since then, this car went on to gain prominence and iconic status, appearing in multiple other Bond films, and becoming the most popular Bond car to ever exist across the franchise.
Apart from its impeccable design, the Aston Martin DB5 also comes equipped with a plethora of defense systems and weaponry such as ejector seats, revolving plates, and hidden guns. Last featured in 2012’s Skyfall, this automobile is considered to now be the quintessential Bond car. In 2019, one out of the four Aston Martin DB5 featured in Goldfinger sold for over a whopping $6 million at an auction.
2. Lotus Esprit S1
Film Featured In: The Spy Who Loved Me
Year Released: 1977
The Lotus Esprit S1 made its debut in the 1977’s Bond film, The Spy Who Loved Me. Driven by actor Roger Moore, this car is known for one of the most iconic chase scenes in all of James Bond history. After a long and perilous chase on road, the Lotus Esprit S1 plunged underwater, and quickly transformed into a submarine, continuing the thrilling chase.
This scene gained so much recognition worldwide that the Lotus Esprit S1 garnered orders for three years in advance. One of the Esprit’s used in the film was bought by Elon Musk in 2013 for close to $1 million.
3. BMW 750iL
Film Featured In: Tomorrow Never Dies
Year Released: 1997
The best of the 5 BMW’s featured in the history of the James Bond franchise, the BMW 750iL was Pierce Brosnan’s tech-savvy ride in 1997’s Tomorrow Never Dies. This car came stocked with a plethora of cutting-edge technology, gadgets, and weaponry such as a wire cutter and a missile system. However, what really set the BMW 750iL apart from the others was its remote-control functionality. Bond could control this automobile using his watch, which meant he could literally drive the car while sitting in the backseat.
4. Aston Martin V8 Vantage Series III
Film Featured In: The Living Daylights
Year Released: 1987
After a long hiatus from the 007 franchise, Aston Martin returned to the world of James Bond with the V8 Vantage Series III in 1987’s The Living Daylights. Most recently featured in the upcoming film, No Time To Die, this car was first driven by actor Timothy Dalton.
The Aston Martin V8 Vantage Series III features a number of gadgets such as a targeting system that can be displayed on the windscreen, a rocket booster, hidden missiles, wheel lasers, tire spikes, a police radio receiver, and a bulletproof exterior. A convertible, the V8 Vantage not only offered an impeccable design but is also known for being one of the most highly equipped cars in the film franchise.
5. Toyota 2000GT Roadster
Film Featured In: You Only Live Twice
Year Released: 1967
The Toyota 2000GT Roadster, driven by former James Bond, Sean Connery, in 1967’s You Only Live Twice was voted by current James Bond, Daniel Craig, as his favorite Bond car of all time. The car, created by Yamaha, originally came with a roof but had to be modified into a convertible last minute to accommodate for Connery’s towering 6’2’’ frame. Dubbed the first Japanese supercar, the Toyota 2000GT Roadster was solely driven by Bond girl, Aki (played by Akiko Wakabayashi), a Japanese secret agent in the film.
6. Citroen 2CV
Film Featured In: For Your Eyes Only
Year Released: 1981
Driven by James Bond Roger Moore in 1981’s For Your Eyes Only, The Citroen 2CV may not have been as fast or as strong as some of the other Bond cars, but definitely appealed to fans with its warm underdog persona. In fact, since it could only generate 9 to 29 hp, this car was showcased to run faster than it actually could with the use of movie magic.
Even though the Citroen 2CV did not come equipped with a number of gadgets and weaponry, it did manage to withstand a ton of bullet holes and escape the bad guys driving much stronger cars.
7. BMW Z8
Film Featured In: The World Is Not Enough
Year Released: 1999
A product placement in the James Bond franchise, it is estimated that BMW made $240 million in sales for the Z8 after it appeared in the 1999 film, The World Is Not Enough. The BMW Z8 was driven by former James Bond Pierce Brosnan and came equipped with a pair of side rockets, surface-to-air missiles, and a targeting display. Similar to the BMW 750iL, the Z8 also offered remote control functionality. The car’s appearance on screen was short-lived, however, as it gets destroyed by a helicopter wing in the film.
8. Aston Martin DB10
Film Featured In: Spectre
Year Released: 2015
The first custom-made Aston Martin designed specifically for James Bond, the DB10, driven by Daniel Craig, made its debut in 2015’s Spectre. Widely recognized as the best part of the film, the DB10 was originally assigned to 009, before 007 nabbed it and took it for a wild ride across the streets of Rome.
Like many other Bond cars, the Aston Martin DB10 came equipped with a number of exciting gadgets such as flamethrowers, ejector seats, and rear machine guns. Designed by Aston Martin’s chief creative officer Marek Reichman, only 10 units of the car were ever manufactured.
9. Aston Martin Vanquish
Film Featured In: Die Another Day
Year Released: 2002
The car’s official name may be Aston Martin Vanquish, but it is widely recognized as ‘the Vanish,’ by the Q, and by fans for its unique ability to render itself invisible using its camouflaging technology. Driven by Pierce Brosnan in 2002’s Die Another Day, this car came fully equipped with weaponry and gadgets such as machine guns, shotguns, ejector seats, and rockets. The car’s strong exterior and gear helped Bond in the film’s extravagant chase scene against a Jaguar XKR driven by the movie’s villain, Zao.
10. Aston Martin DBS
Film Featured In: On Her Majesty’s Secret Service
Year Released: 1969
Unlike the other Aston Martins featured in the James Bond franchise, the Aston Martin DBS did not come with any fancy gadgets, nor was it equipped with any explosive weapons. However, it did manage to make a mark on the screen, appearing in some quintessential scenes in 1969’s On Her Majesty’s Secret Service. The car is seen decorated with flowers towards the end of the movie for Bond’s (played by George Lazenby) wedding with Tracy. Unlike other cars assigned to 007, this automobile did not come fitted with bulletproof windows, leading to one of the final scenes when Bond’s wife Tracy is shot and murdered while sitting in the DBS.
11. Ford Mustang Mach 1
Film Featured In: Diamonds Are Forever
Year Released: 1971
Driven by former James Bond Sean Connery in 1971’s Diamonds Are Forever, the Ford Mustang Mach 1 was featured in a scene that showcased the biggest continuity error to ever take place in the 007 franchise. During a high-speed chase across Las Vegas, Bond is seen driving the Mach 1 with the support of just two wheels on the passenger side into a narrow alleyway, and emerging outside the alley with the 2 wheels having switched sides. Apart from being remembered for this hilarious mistake in the movie, the Ford Mustang also gained prominence for its impeccable design and its powerful performance.
12. Mercury Cougar XR7
Film Featured In: On Her Majesty’s Secret Service
Year Released: 1969
The Mercury Cougar might not have been fitted with fancy gadgets and weaponry and was not driven by James Bond himself, but is considered to be one of the best cars to ever feature in the 007 franchise. The blazing red Mercury Cougar XR7 was driven by Countess Tracy di Vicenzo (played by Diana Rigg) in the film On Her Majesty’s Secret Service and featured in a chase scene with Bond’s Aston Martin DBS.
13. Sunbeam Alpine
Film Featured In: Dr. No
Year Released: 1962
Featured in the very first film to ever release in the James Bond franchise, the Sunbeam Alpine paved the way for luxury car manufacturers to offer their automobiles to the 007 movies for subsequent films. The Sunbeam Alpine appeared in 1962’s Dr. No, and unlike the other cars in the franchise did not come equipped with any gadgets, and did not perform any stunts in the movie. However, being the very first Bond car on screen, the Alpine holds a special significance and is widely recognized for its splendid looks.
14. Aston Martin DBS V12
Film Featured In: Casino Royale
Year Released: 2006
Featured in both, 2006’s Casino Royale, and 2008’s Quantum of Solace, the Aston Martin DBS V12 was driven by current James Bond, Daniel Craig, and featured in a number of high-speed chase scenes in both films.
Considered to be one of the fastest and best liked cars in the entire franchise, the DBS V12 broke all records by rotating 7 times during a chase scene with Vesper Lynd in Casino Royale. Along with its powerful performance, the car also featured a hidden weapons compartment and a field medical kit.
15. Aston Martin Valhalla
Film Featured In: No Time To Die
Year Released: Upcoming
Even though the Aston Martin Valhalla isn’t ready for the market yet, the James Bond franchise requested for a drivable model for the upcoming 2021 Bond film, No Time To Die. Aston Martin did manage to provide a vehicle for the franchise, however, it won’t be featured in any stunt scenes in Daniel Craig’s upcoming film, and will simply appear in a static shot. Regardless of its limited time on screen, fans are eager to see this superbly designed sports car in theatres soon.