James Bond is not only one of the most famous characters in all of fiction, but he is also arguably one of the coolest. Bond, an MI6 agent codenamed “007,” is a suave British spy tasked with saving the world time and time again. Although he always gets the job done, he does it his way, and definitely not by the book. Bond is known for his fierce independent streak, and generations of fans have admired his coolness under pressure.
The James Bond character was invented by author Ian Fleming, and Bond has appeared in 14 spy novels bearing his name. The definitive version of the character, however, is the James Bond of the long-running film series. There have been 25 James Bond films to date, and together they have grossed more than $6 billion worldwide box office, trailing only Harry Potter for the most lucrative film series in history.
There are certain elements of every Bond film that are much beloved by fans. James Bond films are full of clever gadgets and weapons, beautiful women co-stars, and megalomaniacal villains. However, perhaps the best-known recurring feature of the Bond series is the amazing cars driven by the suave spy and his cohorts in the movies.
James Bond’s cars are sleek, sexy, fast machines that whisk the agent from scene to scene. They are also often fitted with ingenious gadgets, modifications, and weapons, allowing Bond to defy apparently insurmountable odds and escape even the most dire circumstances.
Dozens and dozens of cars have been featured in the James Bond films, enough to fill a good-sized parking lot. But a few of the cars stand out from the crowd as the fastest, cleverest, and best-made cars in the film. Here are the ten care that truly stuck out from the James Bond movies.
10 Lotus Esprit S1 — The Spy Who Loved Me
The Esprit was debuted by Lotus in 1976, and the car was well-known for its tight handling. The 4-cylinder car was criticized, however, for lacking power, and its top speed was only 133 mph. James Bond’s version could hardly have been said to lack anything, though. Bond took delivery of his Lotus in Sardinia in The Spy Who Loved Me, which was the 10th film in the series. In the movie, the Lotus could transform into a fully functioning submarine, and featured anti-aircraft missiles that could be fired from underwater.
9 Toyota 2000GT — You Only Live Twice
In real life, the Toyota 2000GT was a limited-production sports car produced from 1967 to 1970. The car was praised by Road and Track Magazine as "one of the most exciting and enjoyable cars” it had ever driven. Considered to be the first Japanese supercar, the 2000 GT was, appropriately, introduced in You Only Live Twice as belonging to Bond’s Japanese girlfriend Aki. Bond actor Sean Connery could not fit inside the tiny tourer, so Toyota had two weeks to create a topless version of the car. Toyota sent two open-top versions of the car to the film’s set, the only two ever produced.
8 Rolls-Royce Silver Wraith — Dr. No
The Rolls-Royce Silver Wraith was the very first Rolls model produced after the conclusion of World War II. Its gargantuan engine was based on the original, earlier Wraith model, and was increased from 4566 cc to 4877 cc in 1954. The Silver Wraith was offered “chassis-only,” meaning it needed a custom-built coach for each buyer. Most Silver Wraiths were fitted as limousines. In Dr. No, Bond gives his boss “M” a lift to MI6 headquarters in this classic car.
7 Ferrari F355 GTS — GoldenEye
Ferrari produced this V8 supercar in the mid-nineties, and it was designed with an emphasis for performance. With a top speed of 183 mph and a 0-60 time of just 4.6 seconds, the F355 had enough performance even for James Bond. In GoldenEye, this supercar belongs to Bond girl Xenia Onatopp, who races Bond in his Aston Martin on the dangerous mountain roads of Monte Carlo.
6 BMW 750iL — Tomorrow Never Dies
This BMW 7-Series was produced by the German manufacturer from 1994 to 2001. It was a well received full-size luxury car, and included high-end specifications like rain-sensing wipers and auto leveling xenon headlamps. Bond’s version, however, was somewhat cooler, as gadget-guru Q outfitted the BMW to be remotely controlled by Bond’s cell phone. Just in case that wasn’t enough, Q also gave the car self-inflating tires, missile launchers, and anti-personnel caltrops.
5 Bentley Mark VI — Moonraker
The Mark VI was the first luxury car made by Bentley after World War II. Only 5,208 were ever produced. It was the first car by parent-company Rolls Royce to feature all-steel coachwork, and it was the first car completely assembled and finished at the Rolls Royce factory. It had a top speed of 100 mph, and accelerated from 0 to 60 in 15 seconds. In Moonraker, James Bond buys one of these expensive, rare cars with winnings from a card game.
4 Aston Martin V8 Vantage Volante — The Living Daylights
Introduced in 1977, the V8 Vantage Volante was billed as Britain’s first supercar, and rightfully so with its top speed of 170 mph. At the time, its 0 to 60 mph time of 5.3 seconds was the fastest in the world. In the Bond movie, this convertible is fitted with spike-releasing tires, rocket propulsion, and a laser weapon designed to dissolve other cars’ tires. The car also could self-destruct on Bond’s command.
3 Aston Martin V12 Vanquish — Die Another Day
The Vanquish supercar was introduced by Aston Martin in 2001. With a blazing top speed of 200 mph, the Vanquish enjoyed a 12-year reign as the fastest car ever produced by Aston Martin, surpassed only in 2013 by the newer V12 Vantage S. In Die Another Day, Bond’s version of the Vanquish came standard with front-firing missiles, hood-mounted guns, and even a passenger ejector seat. The car also came with a computer-assisted cloaking mode, making it invisible to the naked eye.
2 Aston Martin DBS V12 — Casino Royale
This modern supercar was produced from 2007 until 2012. It featured a 5.935-liter v12 engine, which allowed for a top speed of 191 mph and an astonishing 4.3 second 0-60 time. In Casino Royale, Bond’s DBS is outfitted with an advanced emergency medical kit that featured a realtime link to MI6, a defibrillator, and antidotes to an array of poisons. This doctor on wheels saves Bond’s life in the film.
1 AMC Matador Coupe — The Man With The Golden Gun
This mid-sized coupe was produced by the now-defunct American Motors from 1971 to 1978. With a top speed of 125 mph, it wasn’t nearly as fast as some of the Aston Martin supercars featured in the Bond films. Still, the Matador was fast enough to compete in NASCAR races in the 1970's. So why is this the coolest Bond car ever? Used to kidnap Mary Goodnight in the film, the car makes its getaway by transforming into a plane and flying away to villain Scaramanga’s private island in Southeast Asia.