A new Bond film is always an event, and Spectre, the 24th official silver-screen outing for Fleming’s Martini-swilling superspy, is no exception. No doubt when it reaches cinemas on 26 October 2015 it’ll be packed with layers of plot intrigue and stunning visuals but, most importantly, it looks like it’ll include a thumping good car chase.
From experimental Jaguar supercars to giant-wheeled ‘Bigfoot’ Defenders, via a spectacular one-off Aston (okay, plus a few stunt-doubles), read the inside story of the cars of Spectre below, and see them in action in the behind-the-scenes video above.
Director Sam Mendes helped choose the DB10 design personally
Aston Martins have become synonymous with Bond ever since Sean Connery first got behind the wheel of a silver DB5 in Goldfinger, but this is the first time an Aston has been designed specifically for a 007 flick. Introducing the DB10 as the film’s ‘first cast member’ at the car’s reveal at Pinewood Studios, Spectre director Sam Mendes described how the car was brought into being by a collaborative brief between himself, EON Productions (owners of the Bond film rights since 1961) and Aston Martin’s design team at Gaydon.
It’s not the replacement for the DB9 – that’s the DB11, due to be revealed soon– but it does give us a few clues as to what it will look like. This is unlikely to be the last modern-era Aston with minimal surfacing and a predacious, shark-like nose…
Ten Vantage-based DB10s have been built, all for filming purposes. Rally pro Mark Higgins doubles for Daniel Craig in the driver’s seat, jumping and power sliding his way around priceless historical Rome furniture in the film’s centrepiece chase through Vatican City. Very cool.
Aston’s not the only star of the show – Jaguar Land Rover’s SVO team’s been busy
It’s up to EON which cars go in each Bond film, and continuing a partnership begun on Skyfall, it got on the blower to Jaguar Land Rover. No less than 22 JLR cars were used for filming, including seven Jags, four Range Rover SVRs and a whole load of Land Rover Defenders. Creating the vehicles and managing the logistics fell to JLR’s Special Vehicle Operations (SVO) arm, the division that makes Range Rovers go more quickly than they really should, builds Lightweight E-type continuations at £1m a pop and created the Project 7 F-type.
‘Working on Bond is aligned with the skunkworks capabilities we have, rather than our core business like Range Rover Sport SVR, which is a serious product with serious volume down the production line,’ John Edwards, JLR Special Operations managing director, told CAR. ‘But we like the Bond relationship. They throw us a challenge and we grasp it.
The cars got a right royal thrashing
Pity the life of a stunt vehicle. Each car appearing in Spectre got a real pasting, Edwards explains: ‘It’s hard work, [EON] are very demanding. Not just in producing the vehicles in a spec that works for them, but also in supporting the vehicles. Our guys were out on set 24:7 pretty much, looking after cars that get trashed all the time. They come in overnight, they are either trashed completely, or we have to make it right for the next day.
Even if you pull the plug on a supercar, it can still be a marketing win
The decision to use cars from the shelved C-X75 supercar project in Spectre was ‘a eureka moment’, Edwards says. ‘We had to think quite carefully about that, because we have no plans to put that car into production. We knowingly went into this: everyone loves that car, it’s a fantastic design. When we were given the opportunity to put it into the film, the left brain said “why would you do that with a car we won’t put into production”, the right brain said “yeah, why not, because it’s fantastic.” We’re working an asset that was otherwise doing nothing.
Those stunning C-X75 Jaguars on screen are special-build V8 stunt cars
Jag’s original C-X75 concept featured futuristic micro-turbine power, and the shelved production car a clever F1-style hybrid powertrain with a twin-charged 1.6-litre four-pot and oodles of electric power. The cars in Spectre, however, tote good ol’ fashioned V8s. Edwards takes up the story: ‘We produced five stunt cars using the V8 powertrain, a completely unique car. More like building a world rally car, they were completely abused. It’s relatively easy to do that, we worked with Williams [who worked on the original concept]. It was an eight-week build process, round the clock to meet those deadlines.
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