I just caught the latest installment in the James Bond universe – the Quantum of Solace over the weekend. I’m abit disappointed that the sexy Aston Martin DBS did not get much screentime other than an initial heated car chase scene.
Instead, Bond goes on to drive a few SUVs from the Ford group of marques, though the makers did try to “balance” them out with a fuel efficient small car.
Let’s have a look at the cars of the Quantum Solace.
Aston Martin DBS
The Aston Martin DBS replaces the Vanquish V12 as the new flagship of the marque. The GT is powered by a 6.0 litre V12 engine producing 510 horsepower at 6,500rpm and 569Nm of torque at 5,750rpm. It also had carbon ceramic disc brakes, which is a first for a road-going Aston Martin.
Everyone probably looked forward to seeing this in action the most. It’s expected really, since the DBS is pure Aston Martin design language, which is possibly the sexiest of all with all the right curves and lines in all the right places. Plus the DBS was also first revealed to the public in Casino Royale (though they were actually reskinned DB9s), and only made a public physical appearance a year later at Pebble Beach 2007.
The vehicles in the Bond movie is probably a deal with Ford, so I suspect the Aston Martin DBS got KO-ed so early because Aston Martin is no longer part of the Ford group. The movie opens with a car chase scene with plenty of flying bullets, and Bond in the DBS is being chased by delicious-looking Alfa 159s. The 159s end up getting wrecked of course, that’s not even a spoiler as it’s so predictable.
Alfa Romeo 159
While we have to be content here with Sime Darby Auto Connexxion still flogging the 156 (though the 159 is promised soon), its successor has been on sale since 2005, long enough for the producers of Quantum of Solace to buy a few and destroy them in a heated car chase scene in Italy.
The 159 is available in both front wheel drive and Q4 all-wheel drive configuration, with the top of the line being the JTS Q4 powered by a 3.2 litre V6 engine putting out 260 PS at 6,200rpm and 322Nm of torque, though most Europeans may opt for the 2.4 JTDM turbodiesel with 210 PS and 400Nm of torque instead.
Jaguar Daimler Double-Six
Villain Dominic Greene (apparently inspired by Nicolas Sarkozy and Tony Blair) sometimes rides in a big Daimler Double-Six whenever he’s bored of his silent hydrogen fuel cell vehicles. Greene Planet for a “Greener” planet, he says?
Range Rover Sport
This is one of the two SUVs featured in the movie, but this one’s powered by a regular combustion engine, and a powerful one at that. The Range Rover Sport isn’t just a Range Rover with a powerful engine, its actually a completely different and smaller vehicle based on the Discovery.
It’s powered by a 390 PS 4.2 litre Jaguar V8 supercharged engine, though a normally aspirated version was also previous available but since dropped due to lack of popularity. It’s also rather infamous – it seems that it was made a target of Greenpeace protests in 2005 because it was such an inefficient vehicle.
The Range Rover is piloted by a certain “Miss Fields” and later by Bond.
The Ford Ka is the Bond Girl’s car. Olga Kurylenko plays Camille, the leading lady picks Bond up in her golden Ford Ka – who wants to bet a special edition will be sold by Ford in a similiar golden paint in a movie tie-up? A similiar scene is repeated later in a classic Volkswagen Beetle… I’m pretty sure Volkswagen didn’t pay for that!
The Ka is even smaller than the Ford Fiesta and in its original iteration it was truly low-cost in the sense that Ford even resorted to using a 1.3 litre Ford Kent pushrod engine under its hood. The new Ka has Italian origins – its based on Fiat Panda/500 underpinings and uses modern petrol and diesel engines.
Bond drives a Volvo S40 rental car in Austria. The facelifted Volvo S40 was recently launched in Malaysia in locally assembled form and offers European premium motoring at a price of under RM200,000. Though it’s one size smaller, those considering Japanese 2.4 litre D-segment cars but don’t really need the space should consider it.
Ford Edge powered by Hydrogen
The Ford Edge is a crossover SUV but no real hydrogen-powered version of it currently exists, though Ford has announced a “HySeries Drive” version that combines electric drive powered by either an on-board hydrogen fuel cell or lithium ion batteries that have plug-in charging capabilities.
In the movie, the Edge is part of a fleet of green vehicles owned by the villain’s company Greene Planet. Bond ends up driving one of these, and this just so happens to take place in a desert where the fuel cell’s pure water exhaust would be most appreciated.
So what’s your favourite vehicle in the movie, and what did you think of the movie? My favourite is of course the Aston Martin DBS and I didn’t think any of the other cars had very much of a stage presence except for the Range Rover Sport.
PHOTO GALLERY: Aston Martin DBS
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