Skyfall Sequel: Five James Bond Cars For A New Green Age
By John Voelcker | HighGearMedia.com,
James Bond, Agent 007, has now been driving his Aston Martin DB5 sports cars since 1964.
With the new film, Skyfall, opening tomorrow, we thought we'd propose some new motor cars for Commander Bond.
He's ventured into many other vehicles, including airplanes, submarines, and newer Aston Martins, but his roadgoing cars have all burned gasoline.
Now, with growing concern over global carbon emissions and a wave of newer, greener cars hitting the market, we thought 007 might want to branch out a bit.
We'd be comfortable seeing Bond climb out of any of these five green cars.
Whether it's in front of a casino in Monte Carlo, behind an anonymous apartment block in a grim formerly Soviet city, or inside the Thames-side London building where M works, the post-Skyfall Bond can consider any of these sexy yet efficient cars.
Whether Bond wears an immaculate tuxedo or a skin-tight rubber diving suit--or carries a drink in one hand and a gorgeous double-agent female spy (or is she actually a triple agent?) on the other arm--these five green cars would suit the 007 image in a new day.
Though it's now out of production, the all-electric 2008-2011 Tesla Roadster will go down in history--just as James Bond has done.
Its jaw-dropping, battery-powered performance rockets the driver and one passenger toward the horizon in eerie silence, broken only by an electric whine, tire noise, and the rushing wind.
(Much easier to listen for the telltale sound of that black helicopter chasing you, eh, 007?)
And while the Roadster was crude, cramped, and not overly blessed with storage space, it was really all about performance.
It's just the kind of car to slingshot Bond away from the grim, relentless, black-suited henchmen of whichever evil archvillain he battles in the next movie or two.
We suspect Q's eyes might light up as he contemplated the 53 kilowatt-hours of lithium-ion cells stuffed into a battery box just behind the driver and passenger.
Small, detachable rail gun, anyone?
And while its provenance is American, the Tesla Roadster--or at least its rolling shell--was even built in Britain, at the Hethel plant of Lotus Cars.
What more could a tough and deadly English secret agent ask for?
Germans stopped being the enemy for Commander Bond decades ago.
So the upcoming Porsche 918 Spyder plug-in hybrid supercar might make the perfect pan-European transport for Agent 007.
With just two seats, the expensive, limited-production Porsche offers all-electric propulsion for zero-emission travel, courtesy of a pair of electric motors, one up front and one driving the rear wheels.
Among other advantages, the electric running guarantees Agent 007 free passage through that pesky London Congestion Charge zone--at up to 93 mph, Porsche says--when he's running late for a summons from M.
Then, at the rear, there's a turbocharged 570-hp V-8 engine for highway cruising.
For the ultimate getaway chase, James Bond can use both powertrains together, producing an astonishing 770 horsepower and a 0-to-62-mph time of less than 3 seconds.
The 918 Spyder won't be released until next year; when that happens, it'll be not only the world's fastest hybrid car, but also the most expensive.
Of course, spy videos showing some of its inner details have already surfaced.
Occasionally Agent 007 finds himself in France, often at the swankiest of restaurants in Paris, or perhaps on the Riviera.
There, he could opt for a French car--not to blend in, but to combine his green travels with a touch of distinctively French styling.
From the distinctive chrome blades along the hood to the dropped roofline at the rear, the Citroën DS5 Hybrid is all about combining unexpected elements.
It could be a wagon, or a large five-door hatchback--its chic, French style and luxurious interior offer elements of both.
Inside, the seats and surfaces are wrapped in the softest leather, with burnished metal to highlight the details.
Gauges are patterned after those in fighter jets--Bond knows how to fly them, so this should be familiar--complete with a heads-up display.
Under the striking sheetmetal that gives the DS5 Hybrid all that presence, the French cruiser offers a surprise: two different powertrains.
It's one of only three diesel hybrids sold in the world, in fact. Up front, there's a 2.0-liter turobdiesel engine, for fuel-efficient motoring that offers loads of torque.
Out back, the other is an electric motor that runs so silently that James Bond could sneak behind that suspicious waterfront warehouse entirely undetected.
Driving green can even help the plotting, eh?
It's quite simply the most striking car we've ever driven, and James Bond would look far better in it than we ever could.
The creation of Henrik Fisker, a former designer for Aston Martin, the Fisker Karma range-extended electric car is a radically low four-door sedan riding on astoundingly tall 22-inch wheels.
A pair of 200-horsepower electric motors drives the rear wheels, with a lithium-ion battery pack down the spine of the car for up to 32 miles of all-electric travel.
Then the high-performance turbocharged 2.0-liter engine under the hood switches on to generate electricity, for another 200 miles or so of travel.
As tight inside as it is sexy outside, the Karma won't hold much more than Bond himself, and two or three beautiful young women.
In the tiny trunk, perhaps a couple of fine leather bags stuffed full of stolen gold bullion or the odd stray suitcase thermonuclear device.
But interior volume really doesn't matter.
Of all the green cars sold told, the Fisker Karma is the one we can most readily imagine Agent 007 climbing out of, perhaps in front of an exotic palace or the finest restaurant in Beijing.
Where on earth Q will find room to fit all the gadgets and weaponry is another story entirely.
Yes, it's an Aston Martin. Sort of.
If Agent 007 ever folds himself into a Cygnet, it'll only be for a few short seconds of film, most likely in an exotic Asian capital with very, very, very crowded streets.
No doubt Bond will easily find a parking space, assisted by the less-than-10-foot length of the most fuel-efficient Aston Martin the factory has ever built.
What on earth is it?
Believe it or not, it's a real Aston Martin model that's essentially a retrimmed and very luxurious version of what we know as the Scion iQ minicar.
Aston Martin only offers Cygnets to current owners of its pricier, sportier cars, and it has referred to them as "tenders"--the marine dinghies that ferry goods to and fro from ships moored in a harbor.
In other words, it seems to be the car that James Bond would drive from his home (if he had one) to his garage.
Or perhaps to Q's laboratory.
In any event, this is not the Aston Martin in which he races at high speeds over the Alps.
We'll leave that task to his original DB5.
(c) 2012, High Gear Media.