The Best James Bond Movie Cars—Ranked
Since 1962, there have been 24 Bond movies. Here we've highlighted 17 cars, starting with five fails and moving on to 12 of the most successful and memorable. Our ranking of the cars featured in these movies begins with the least memorable, and ends with the cream of the crop.
FAIL: In last place is the BMW Z3. It was featured in GoldenEye (1995) and was on screen just long enough to make viewers’ eyes roll at the obvious product placement. It was apparent the 1.9-liter, four-cylinder engine convertible was implemented merely because of generous funds from the brand, instead of offering any real value to the film. From a James Bond car to the Batmobile, these classic movies had some of the coolest, funniest, and weirdest cars in entertainment history.
FAIL: Coming in at second to last place is the Mini Moke. Based on the Mini, designed by Sir Alec Issigonis and John Sheppard, the prototype was designed to be a light military off-road vehicle. The small wheel, low ground clearance, and low-powered engine didn’t help it achieve it’s intended purpose, however. Briefly in You Only Live Twice (1967), Live and Let Die (1973), The Spy Who Loved Me (1977) and Moonraker (1979), the car is an unassuming addition that offered a hint of charm as a leisurely ride in an otherwise action-packed storyline. Still, it’s not the most memorable of Bond cars. This is why you should buy your next car through Costco.
FAIL: Third to last is the Jaguar CX-75. Not planned for production, The C-X75 in Spectre (2015) had some notable features, like the butterfly doors, mid-engine layout, and undeniably sleek body. But unfortunately, its time on screen was a bit of a dud thanks to a less than impressive car chase scene through Rome with the Aston Martin DB10.
FAIL: The 1957 Ford Fairlane is an exquisite vehicle to look at. But that’s all it really ended up being for 007 in Die Another Day (2002). Raoul provides the car to Bond after he asks for “a fast car.” However, the only thing he did with it was drive it to the beach bar!
Ford Mondeo ST
FAIL: The Casino Royale (2006) car was required for filming more than a year ahead of its commercial release. To include the model, it had to be constructed and shipped to the Bahamas in a top secret mission. It was hand built at Ford of Europe’s Design Studio in Cologne, Germany. More of a basic economy car instead of the typical supercharged sports car in Bond films, it proved underwhelming in the film. Here are 15 secrets only car detailers know.
SUCCESS: Now that we’ve covered the top fails, let’s move on to the most successful Bond cars. The 1996 4.0 liter Jaguar with AJ-V8 engine had a notable amount of screen time in Die Another Day (2002), as the lead henchman, Zao’s vehicle. It was equipped with gadgets including a Gatling gun, thermal imaging capabilities, mortar bombs, rockets under the front grille, miniature missiles hidden in the door and front ramming spikes. Check out these insanely expensive movie props that people have actually bought.
Lotus Esprit Turbo
SUCCESS: Next up for cars we love from Bond flicks is the copper-colored Lotus Esprit Turbo. It was originally white but then was painted to stand out against the snowy backgrounds in the movie For Your Eyes Only (1981). Featuring a ski rack on the rear louvers, the car wasn’t one of the fanciest cars ever featured, but it sure offered some grit. The Lotus was equipped with a unique security system. When someone tried to break into it in the movie, it blew up!
SUCCESS: It may not have been adorned with gadgets galore, and it didn’t even really look all that threatening to villains, but the Citroen 2CV in For Your Eyes Only (1981) sure surprised viewers by stopping bullets and driving down the side of mountains without breaking. It’s one of the few Bond cars that inspired a special edition that was made available to consumers. Here are the nine most reliable cars that rarely need a mechanic.
Sunbeam Alpine Series II
SUCCESS: The next most memorable is the first James Bond car. Featured in Dr. No. (1962). The sleek, lake-blue paint provided an accessible form of glamour. Bond takes the Sunbeam Alpine Series II up a mountainside for an intimate talk with Miss Taro. He is ambushed during the drive, resulting in a car crash that ultimately sets him free and lands his pursuers in a fiery crash.
Aston Martin DBS
SUCCESS: In Casino Royale (2006), the Aston Martin DBS suffers an incredible crash when Bond, played by Daniel Craig, is driving it to chase down Vesper Lynd’s abductors. Upon noticing her lying bound in the middle of the road, Bond swerves to avoid her and ends up flipping the DBS seven times before crashing.
SUCCESS: The classic BMW Z8 featured a 400-hp V8 with missiles that flew out of the side gills. The retro-inspired body saw plenty of screen time in The World Is Not Enough (1999), but its most notable scene is when helicopter saw blades slice the car in two. Sad but sensational. Stroll back in time and check out these vintage cars.
Ford Mustang Mach 1
SUCCESS: The performance-version of Mustang’s traditional muscle car was the first generation of the Ford Mustang Mach 1. James Bond and Tiffany Case used a 1971 model, which was brand new during filming. The car is featured in an epic seen in Diamonds Are Forever (1971) where Sean Connery evades a team of cop cars by sliding the car onto its side and squeezing through a tiny walkway. Connery makes it out on the other side, the car now on the opposite pair of wheels. Check out these 13 weird car features you didn’t know you might have.
Toyota 2000GT Roadster
SUCCESS: Toyota never actually sold a 2000GT roadster, but rather announced their first-ever sports car as a coupe. Because 6-foot-2 Sean Connery couldn’t fit in it, Toyota’s Toyopet Service Centre converted two coupes into roadsters in just two weeks! The car was featured in You Only Live Twice (1967). Take a look at the 15 craziest cars ever built.
Mercury Cougar XR-7
SUCCESS: What the Cougar lacked in gadgets it surely made up for in screen time and action. This James Bond car is featured in a rattling scene in On Her Majesty’s Secret Service (1969), where it traverses 6-foot snowbanks to narrowly escape Ernst Stavro Blofeld’s Benz-driving henchmen through the Swiss Alps. The best part is that Tracy is doing all the driving!
Aston Martin V8 Vantage
SUCCESS: Known as the Series 5, the car featured a 5.3-liter, 370-horsepower V8. This Aston Martin was also equipped with a dizzying display of gadgets, like outrigger skis, spikes that deploy from the tires, lasers mounted in the wheel hubs and missiles hidden behind the driving light. It was featured in The Living Daylights (1987). Check out these seriously cool tech add-ons for your car.
Lotus Esprit S1
SUCCESS: Futuristic for its time, the Lotus Esprit S1 sparked a creative idea for The Spy Who Loved Me (1977) production designer Ken Adam. The shape of the car inspired him to add a custom-built submarine to the film. Called Wet Nellie, it could travel at a speed of seven knots under water. The car was operated by stunt divers with oxygen tanks.
Aston Martin DB5
SUCCESS: Coming in at number one, the Aston Martin DB5 appeared in six Bond movies over 50 years, making it one of the most beloved of them all. While it’s surely the most famous of the Bond cars, Eon Productions had to practically beg Aston to provide the film a development prototype. At the time, no such product placement deal existed. Today, that’s a much different story. Cars, in general, are pretty different, too, as these print advertisements for vintage cars you’ll wish you could drive today show.