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It’s one of the most instantly associated pairings in Hollywood: James Bond and Aston Martin. Agent 007 has been driving an Aston Martin on and off for over 60 years. However, Pierce Brosnan’s James Bond spent more time piloting BMW cars and motorcycles than he did in a DB5.

From ‘Goldeneye’ to ‘The World Is Not Enough’, Pierce Brosnan’s James Bond preferred a BMW car to the character’s typical Aston Martin mount

Pierce Brosnan took over as James Bond following Timothy Dalton’s short tenure. It was a significant development for the character. Moreover, the new Bond took to a new ride sans Aston Martin badge: a BMW Z3 Roadster.

It was a head-scratching bit of obvious product placement, but not such a bad thing for fans of the franchise. After all, the BMW Z3 is one of the most affordable avenues to driving one of Bond’s cars. In its debut film, “Goldeneye” (1995), Q (Desmond Llewelyn) asserts that the light-blue Z3 packs missiles behind the headlights. Tragically, we didn’t see the Z3 shoot down any baddies in helicopters, but the little BMW Convertible still looked right at home under a Caribbean sun. 

Pierce Brosnan steps out a BMW Z3 on the set of the James Bond movie 'Goldeneye'.
Pierce Brosnan and Izabella Scorupco on the set of ‘Goldeneye’ | Keith Hamshere, Getty Images

After “Goldeneye,” Brosnan reprised his role as James Bond in “Tomorrow Never Dies” (1997). Of course, the new film called for another set of wheels. This time, Q handed over the keys to a remote-controlled, rocket-toting BMW 750iL. I know, a bit understated for Bond. Well, that’s not the only BMW Bond had in that film. In one of the wildest chases in Bond history, 007 rides a BMW R 1200C motorcycle while handcuffed to a fellow agent. Seriously.

Finally (and spectacularly), Brosnan rounded out his tenure as James Bond with a fan-favorite, the BMW Z8. Unlike the comparable anemic Z3, the Z8 packs a 5.0L V8 with 394 horsepower on tap. A much more apropos car for James Bond. However, the superspy was back in a weaponized Aston Martin Vanquish for Brosnan’s final film “Die Another Day” (2002).