Living the life of an international spy sure has its perks, doesn’t it? There’s obviously the risk of being hounded by merciless goons in Range Rovers, exactly half the women you sleep with want you dead and the other half want a monogamous relationship, and there’s tons of jet-lag, but that all gets balanced out by the kick-ass cars you get to drive.
As the debate rages on regarding who should replace Daniel Craig as James Bond, we petrolheads have decided to instead focus on what has made the iconic spy so awesome: the staggering amount of awesome cars he has driven over the years. Ever since Dr. No first decided to poke the MI6 bear way back in 1962, Bond has been at the wheel of some of the most heavily modified and high tech cars in cinema, and moviegoers gobbled it up like buckets of popcorn.
Over the past 50 years we’ve watched everyone from Connery to Craig take control of the wheel and smash, blast, and evade villains countless times, and we decided to try to rank the slickest Bond cars of all time. Luckily for us, U.K.-based insurance comparison site GoCompare.com collected votes from our friends across the pond in order to pick the top seven best Bond cars ever.
They then created a 007 themed automobile infographic and sent it over our way in order for us Autos boys to weigh in on the top cars that members of the British public voted for over all others. Naturally, Aston Martin dominated the list due to its prominent presence in the majority of the films, but you won’t hear us complaining.
7. Lotus Esprit S1
Infamous for being converted into a submarine role in The Spy Who Loved Me, the Esprit 1 sported a fiberglass body and came standard with a Lotus 907 four-cylinder engine. While the small 2.0-liter motor may have only produced 140 horsepower at the wheels in U.S. trim, it did come longitudinally mounted in the back, and was attached to a five-speed transaxle gearbox out of a Maserati Merak. Weighing less than 2,205 pounds, the original Esprit was praised for its handling and to this day some argue that it still has the best steering out of any Esprit.
6. Aston Martin Vanquish
Buried beneath the aluminium and carbon structure lies a 5.9-liter V12 engine that created 450 brake horsepower and 400 pound-feet of torque, which in 2002 was sensational. The 48-valve 60-degree engine was controlled via a six-speed Electrohydraulic manual gearbox, and could cart 007 plus one Bond girl or three to safety depending on its configuration. This car first made its big-screen debut in the notably bad 2002 James Bond film Die Another Day, and even appeared in the video games Need For Speed: Hot Pursuit 2 and James Bond 007: Nightfire.
5. Mustang Mach 1
Diamonds Are Forever was Connery’s first time back as Bond after taking a one-film hiatus from the series, and this time he had some American muscle at his disposal. Infamous for majestically out-smarting authorities along the Las Vegas Strip in the film, the Mach 1 and all of its V8 prowess caused tons of chaos in the film prior to sliding down a too-narrow alleyway on just two wheels and onward to freedom.
4. Aston Martin DBS
When George Lazenby took over the Bond role for one spin in 1969, Aston Martin changed things up and gave the suave spy a very different kind of classic car. First introduced back in 1967, the DBS seen here utilized a six-cylinder engine all the way up until 1970, when the DBS V8 first launched. Intended to be the successor to the DB6, the straight-six was a 4.0-liter model that created around 282 horsepower, and a no-cost engine upgrade using Weber carburetors remained an option for anyone wanting 325 ponies.
3. Aston Martin DBS V12
The only vehicle to make two appearances in a Bond flick today is the highly-coveted V12 DBS. First seen in 2006’s Casino Royale, which also earmarked Daniel Craig’s first appearance as Bond, the DBS was a product plug by Ford, which happened to be Aston Martin’s parent company at the time (Aston was sold off in 2007). After the company sold over 90% of all Lagonda Limited editions of the car in 2007, the DBS returned for a quick car chase in the intro of the 2008 film Quantum of Solace.
2. Aston Martin DB10
First unveiled as part of the official press launch of the most recent Bond film Spectre, the DB10 Concept was specifically developed for the film with only 10 units ever being hand-built. The in-house creation of these cars was completely overseen by the film’s director, and while eight of the 10 cars were featured in the movie, the other two were withheld for promotional purposes. Featuring a six-speed manual transmission unit and powered by the Vantage’s 4.7-liter V8 engine, the DB10 is easily the sleekest vehicle under consideration.
1. Aston Martin DB5
Taking the top spot out of all others is the stunning DB5 from the 1965 Connery classic, Goldfinger. This vehicle is easily one of the most famous cars in the world. Even though Ian Fleming had Bond in a DB Mark III in his novel, the DB5 made the cut instead as it was the company’s latest model to come out around that time.
Two versions of the vehicle were used in the film, with the original DB5 prototype serving as the star, and the other playing second fiddle for stunts and whatnot. The first DB5 prototype used in the film was stripped of its weaponry and gadgetry by Aston Martin much later and resold, only to be retrofitted by succeeding owners with non-original weaponry and props. This priceless piece of collector car memorabilia was eventually stolen in 1997 down in Florida and has never been seen since.