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The coolest Bond car tricks (and how close they are to being a reality)?

By February 5, 2021 No Comments

With the latest reports from Hollywood prophesying a third delay to the release of the latest action-packed, adrenaline-fuelled, tire-screeching Bond installment — No Time to Die — many lovers of the famed spy series are now practically shaking with withdrawal.

For the avid Bond fans amongst us, an almost six-year wait since the franchise’s last release (Spectre in 2015) is simply too long. There are too many unanswered questions rattling around; ‘what kind of twist will this film’s supervillain (in this case played by the fabulous Rami Malek) pull out his sleeve in the final sequence? What sort of outlandish gadgets will Q-branch be assigning 007 to assist with his mission? And (perhaps more importantly than most) which car will the secret agent be speeding through the streets of Puglia in?

Cars and Bond have been practically synonymous since the franchise’s first release in 1962. Sean Connery took the elusive agent to the screen for the first time in Dr. No, his hands tightly gripping the wheel of a steel grey Sunbeam Alpine Series II 1962 as he did so. Viewers were, understandably, instantly enthralled. 

Since then, classic and new car models have continued to compete for the limelight in the franchises’ releases and as the years have ticked by (and budgets and production quality have both increased) James’ Bond’s cars have only become faster and cooler. 

And it is not only in speed and style that they have captured audiences’ attention. In true 007 fashion, many of the cars sharing a screen with the agent have done more than just look cool and drive fast. Gloriously kitted out by Q — the fictional division responsible for researching and developing the latest tools used by the British Secret Intelligence Service — many Bond cars have also boasted a whole set of ‘special features’ and gadgets. 

So, for those of us who are looking to fill the Bond void in light of the news, we’ve compiled a list of the coolest Bond car tricks and — just for good measure — we’ve also done some research into how close they are to becoming a reality. Because (let’s face it) who doesn’t want to fly an Aston Martin? 

Underwater Driving

Car name: “Wet Nellie”

Modelled on: Lotus Esprit S1 Sports Car 

Film: The Spy Who Loved Me, 1977 

Bond actor: Roger Moore

In 1977, The Spy Who Loved Me had producers build the ‘Perry Oceanographic, Inc.’ Also known as ‘Wet Nellie’. This car was designed to double as a submarine for the 007 agent, in this instance played by Roger Moore. 

The car was modelled on the shape of a Lotus Esprit S1 Sports Car, which was seen as a particularly glamorous car for Bond to drive. 

Closeness to reality 

A ‘Submarine Sports Car’ has been developed and is available to purchase and drive. This can reach up to 75mph hour underwater, and can also drive on land too! 

An onboard sensor, guided with a laser, also allows it to cruise along autonomously, so drivers can focus on firing at any super villains who might be on their tail!

Invisibility 

Car name: “Vanish

Modelled on: Aston Martin V12 Vanquish

Film: Die Another Die, 2002

Bond actor: Pierce Brosnan

The Aston Martin Vanquish in the 2002 film, Die Another Die includes a sought-after trick courtsey of Q. An ‘adaptive camouflage cloak’, which makes the car invisible to the naked eye when it is implemented; handy for helping to get Bond, this time played by Pierce Brosnan out of some scrapes. 

Closeness to reality 

While no car brand is yet to master the art of full invisibility, manufacturers have gotten pretty close in the last few years. 

Auto maker’s Land Rover have developed a device using augmented reality technology, that allows car-owners to make the bonnet of their car ‘invisibile’ while driving it. This concept has been dubbed ‘Discovery Vision’ by developers. 

The system uses cameras that are installed in the car’s grille which allow someone to see past the engine and to what is happening at the wheels. It then sets up a live video display using VR tech, so the driver can ‘see through’ the bonnet and look at the kind of terrain your wheels are driving along. 

Remote-drive

Car name: N/A

Modelled on: BMW 750iL

Film: Tomorrow Never Dies, 1997

Bond actor: Pierce Brosnan

In Tomorrow Never Dies (1997) viewers watched in awe as Pierce Brosnan used his Sony Ericsson phone to remotely drive his BMW 750iL. 

The car also came equipped with the ability to spray tear gas and give electric shocks to intruders too for good measure.

Closeness to reality 

Self-drive has hit the headlines in recent years, with Jaguar developing a remote-controlled Range Rover Sport. This model can be controlled from outside the car using an app on a smartphone. This allows wonders to accelerate and brake, as well as steer the car. 

It also allows people to reverse their car out of a parking space if someone’s too close to it — very handy for those super-spies amongst us who aren’t the best at parallel parking! 

Flying

Car name: N/A

Modelled on: AMC Matador coupe 

Film: The Man with the Golden Gun, 1974

Bond actor: Roger Moore

Perhaps one of the most sought after and coolest James Bond car tricks, flying cars wasn’t strictly one associated with the 007 agent himself. In the 1974 film The Man with the Golden Gun, the film’s antagonist Francisco Scaramanga drives and takes to the air in a pimped-up AMC Matador coupe. A move which, for original and modern-day audiences never fails to get the heart racing. 

Closeness to reality

While flying cars may seem like utter fantasy (no matter how much we might wish we could drive one) many auto developers have worked on turning them into a reality over the last two decades. 

In 2014 a prototype of the AeroMobil 3.0, was unveiled at the Pioneers festival in Vienna. This was subsequently put through testing and certified by the Slovak Federation of Ultra-Light Flying later that year. 

The model contains various features (and yes, it can essentially fly!) including autopilot features and a parachute deployment system. 

These cars are now certified to fly at any airport or landing strip. So, in theory, if you’ve got enough money (and a long enough back garden) you can take one for a spin yourself. Much more exciting than a new Bond film, hey! 

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