On a dusty movie set north of Hollywood, we spent a day this week driving James Bond’s Aston Martin DB10, one of 10 cars made for Spectre — the 24th film in the Bond series. Unlike the setting for the film, based off Ian Fleming’s popular spy novels, the DB10 is a very real car commissioned by Eon, the production company that’s been behind the Bond movies since 1961. Well, it’s mostly real: the windows don’t roll up and down and there’s no air conditioning. There is, however, a button for a flamethrower.
And with all due respect to reigning Bond Daniel Craig, the cars the in films are as legendary as the worldly British spy. Aston Martins have been featured in 12 of the 24 Bond films, beginning with the Aston Martin DB5 that debuted in the 1964 film Goldfinger. The DBS featured in Casino Royale, the invisible Vanquish in Die Another Day, and the 1977 Lotus Esprit that transformed into a submarine in The Spy Who Loved Me are among Bond’s most memorable rides.
But for as many Astons as 007 has used, the DB10 is the first and only car that was commissioned from scratch by the franchise. (The Jaguar C-X75 supercar also featured in Spectre was already in prototype form before the movie.) When Bond first lays eyes on the DB10’s svelte lines, his quartermaster, Q — played by Ben Whishaw — responds, “Magnificent isn’t she? Zero to 60 in 3.2 seconds. She’s a got a few little tricks up her sleeve.” The actual performance numbers aren’t quite as wicked: its engine is culled from the V8 Vantage, which goes from 0 to 60 mph in a tamer 4.7 seconds.
The fact that this car exists at all is a bit of a miracle: Aston Martin lead designer Marek Reichman only had six months to make the car transform from a sketch into a real machine before filming began last spring. While Aston Martin won’t be selling the DB10 as a production model, it did create a limited DB9GT Bond Edition; the 150 examples are already sold out. Of course, if you’re a Bond superfan with a lot of money, there’s still hope: just one of the DB10s will be auctioned next year.