10/11/2006 00:00 | By By Ian Dickson

The cars of Casino Royale



Aston Martin DBS in the barrel roll scene (© Image © 2006 Danjaq, LLC, United Artists Corporation, Columbia Pictures Industries, Inc)

You get the impression that when it comes to cars, James Bond is a discerning sort of chap. You won’t find him browsing the displays in your typical out-of-town car showroom, or going through the optional extras with a spiky-haired, exuberant salesman.

However, it seems that while image is everything, he is open to offers. Ford put a bit of money his way and the result is a collection of Ford, Aston Martin and Jaguar cars in Casino Royale, which is in cinemas from Friday November 17. We take a look at his latest collection.

Top 10 greatest ever Bond cars

Ford Mondeo

Ford Mondeo on set of Casino Royale (© Image © Ford)

How’s this for a spot of clever marketing. Bond drives the new Ford Mondeo. The Ford Mondeo also happens to be one of the best sellers among company car drivers. Who, presumably, spend their lives stuck in traffic jams wishing they were Bond. We see where you’re going with this Ford, which could explain why ‘several million’ quid changed hands to get Ford products on the silver screen. We’re not knocking it, though. Bond has to drive something and it might as well have a blue oval on the bonnet.

However, Bond doesn’t use the Mondeo much in the film, preferring to stick to his ‘everyday’ wheels, the awesome Aston Martin DBS. This is probably a good thing because, according to a survey carried out by Barclays Motor Insurance, only 18 per cent of people reckon the Ford is a suitable car for James Bond. The Mondeo, which goes on sale here early next summer, was specially built for Casino Royale and flown in top secrecy to the Bahamas for filming. In the film, Craig was driving the range-topping 2.5-litre ST version with a snazzy bodykit and special Tonic blue paintjob. For lesser Bonds out there, the Mondeo will also come with a range of engines from 1.6 petrols through to 2.0-litre diesels.

Aston Martin DBS

Aston Martin DBS in the barrel roll scene (© Image © 2006 Danjaq, LLC, United Artists Corporation, Columbia Pictures Industries, Inc)

James Bond and Aston Martin. It’s a classic and enduring combination that spans almost 50 years. In Casino Royale, Bond gets to drive the DBS, the new Aston Martin supercar based on the DB9, which should be available in limited numbers (think less than 300) from next year. It’ll set us normal folk back £160,000, which is a bit of a steal considering this track-focused beast has a 530bhp 6.0-litre V12. It’s also something of a record breaker, entering the Guinness Book of Records for the greatest number of barrel rolls, in this case 7.75 for one scene in the film.

This could explain why Craig managed to use up five DBSs – three of which were destroyed in the aforementioned roll sequence. Unlike most Bond cars, the DBS is a bit lacking in the gadgets department, with only a couple of secret compartments. Still, when it’s as cool as this, who needs toys?

Aston Martin DB5

Sean Connery and the Aston Martin DB5 (© Image © Everett Collection/Rex Features)

It’s true that you can get too much of a good thing. Take the Aston Martin DB5, for instance. It was fantastic in Goldfinger, the sort of car that defines Bond, with its state-of-the-art gadgets, a thumping great engine and sleek shape, but since that first outing it has gone on to star in Thunderball, Goldeneye, Tomorrow Never Dies and a bit-part in The World Is Not Enough. And now Casino Royale. Bond wins the DB5 in a poker game but it isn’t in the film for long before being replaced with a shiny new Aston Martin DBS.

Just as well really, because the DB5 is more than 40 years old, has a 282bhp 4.0-litre engine pumping power through the rear wheels and not a safety aid in sight. In other words, it’s a bit of a handful. Still, according to the Barclays Motor Insurance survey, the DB5 remains one of the coolest and most popular Bond cars of all time.

Jaguar XJ8 Sport and XJR

Jaguar XJR like the one used in Casino Royale (© Image © Jaguar)

If the motors in Casino Royale reflect Ford’s sentiments on its portfolio of cars, then Jaguar ranks pretty low down. A Jaguar XJ8 Sport (a model which isn’t on sale in the UK) and XJR are used only briefly in the film – as bad-guy cars. The supercharged XJR is seriously quick, with 60mph gone in 5.0seconds and a top speed limited to 155mph, but it’s no match for the uber cool DBS. Bond fans will remember a similar scenario in Die Another Day, where Pierce Brosnan is chased across a frozen lake in his Aston Martin Vanquish by a bad guy in a Jaguar XKR.

Still, it’s good to see the Bond empire giving one of Ford’s struggling brands a bit of much-needed product placement.

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Reviewed: Casino Royale

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