What Should James Bond Drive?

September 26, 2013

The Mercedes CLA is one of many good saloon cars MI6 might issue Bond

The film makers have gone to considerable length during Daniel Craig’s tenure as James Bond to explain how he came to be in possession of a vintage Aston Martin DB5. However, as a mid-ranking civil servant, the Aston Martins and Bentleys that have been Bond’s traditional fare are about as realistic as some of his more outrageous stunts. On occasion attempts have been made to inject a bit of realism, such as the Pierce Brosnan BMW years, but these met with heavy criticism, spawning the return of the Aston Martin.

So, realistically, what might a real life James Bond drive? He is not super rich – he has a small private income and a good salary, so Bond can afford quality but is unlikely to be driving the traditional ‘supercar’. The instantly recognisable character of the films, where villains give gasps of horror upon realising he is on their tails, is also inappropriate. Bond wants to be inconspicuous. What he needs is something with a decent amount of shove but that doesn’t attract undue attention.

On the other hand it’s got to be good looking – our man has an image to keep up after all and he’s not so likely to pull the ladies in a rusty Lada. In the course of his work our hero needs something practical enough to lug around his professional equipment, so a good sized saloon with room for laser weapons is most likely to fit the bill.

This leaves us with a few premium brand options:

The CLA is one of many good saloon cars from the German giant offering all the properties the world’s best spy needs. It’s big enough for essential spy kit but sleek and speedy enough for a high speed chase. It’s elegant and screams quality but could pass inconspicuously through any city in the world. The CLS could also work – it’s slightly larger and has awesome road presence but is possibly on the flashy side for someone trying to pass under his enemy’s radar. The E and S Classes are more conventional but could serve Bond well at home in addition to in the field.

Another premium German option with a variety of good sized saloons. Like Mercedes, they’re fast enough, good quality and good looking. The S5, S6 or S7 could hit the spot nearly as well as the Mercedes CLA but may not have the charisma Bond requires in his transport.

The now defunct Swedish brand was chosen by continuation author John Gardner as Bond’s everyday vehicle of choice – and could have been spot on. Unfortunately, Saab is no more but could you see Bond maintaining a classic 900 Turbo as a passion project?

The English luxury brand is perfect for Bond, but maybe a bit too obvious. The company’s recent output has been either too bland or too dramatic, with no ideal all rounder that could fit all of Bond’s many requirements. However, the company has some ambitious plans for the future so we could yet see Bond taking the wheel of a big cat.


Image: Vlado