Hollywood

Production begins on Aston Martin DB5 'Goldfinger' Continuation cars

Work has begun on movie replica cars from the famous Bond film "Goldfinger".

Photo courtesy of Aston Martin

Did you happen to catch a few minutes of the James Bond movie marathon on AMC over Memorial Day weekend? With the release of the most installment of the series postponed, there has been a bit of a news void about the world's most beloved spy. Until now.

Aston Martin has once again begun production of the DB5, a model that is considered one of the most desirable cars in the world. Originally, just 900 saloon examples were built between 1963 to 1965. Bond drove one in "Goldfinger".

Fifty-five years after the first model rolled off the line in Newport Pagnell, Buckinghamshire, work is again happening on a limited number of new DB5 models in association with the producers of the James Bond films, EON Productions. Each car takes around 4,500 hours to produce.

Aston Martin DB5 "Goldfinger" Continuation car production

Photo courtesy of Aston Martin

These models will be known as continuation cars and features a broad suite of working gadgets first seen on screen in the 1964 film are priced at £2.75 million, plus taxes. Just 25 will be made.

According to a release, "Each of the 25 new cars is being built to the highest possible quality using a blend of Sir David Brown-era old world craftsmanship, with the sympathetic application of modern engineering advancements and performance enhancements, alongside the integration of cutting-edge gadgets developed in association with Chris Corbould OBE, the special effects supervisor who has worked on more than a dozen Bond films."

All of the cars are a meticulous reproduction of the one Sean Connery drove in character on screen.

The exterior features a rear smoke screen delivery system, rear simulated oil slick delivery system, front and rear revolving number plates, simulated twin front machine guns, bullet resistant rear shield, front and rear battering rams, simulated tire slasher, removable passenger seat roof panel (optional).

Rare Bond Car To be Sold At Automobiles Of London Auction This is the 1964 Aston Martin DB5 that was used in the "Goldfinger" and "Thunderball" movies. It recently went under the hammer. Photo by Getty Images

Additionally, the cabin includes a simulated radar screen tracker map, telephone in the driver's door, gear knob actuator button, armrest and centre console-mounted switchgear, under-seat hidden weapons/storage tray, and remote control for gadget activation.

All the DB5 "Goldfinger" Continuation cars are being built to one exterior color specification – Silver Birch paint – just like the original.

The cars feature original DB5 styled aluminum exterior body panels and a mild steel chassis. Under the hood lives a 4.0-liter inline six-cylinder engine, three carburetors, and oil cooler. The power plant achieves 290 bhp and is paired with a five-speed ZF manual transmission. It also has a mechanical limited slip differential.

Additional equipment is very much of the car's original production time. There are Servo-assisted hydraulic Girling-type steel disc brakes, rack and pinion steering – which does not feature assistance – and a suspension set-up comprising coil over spring and damper units with anti-roll bar at the front, and a live axle rear suspension with radius arms and Watt's linkage.

Rare Bond Car To be Sold At Automobiles Of London Auction The car featured a number of gadgets that were installed for the movie, including machine guns under the fog lights. Photo by Getty Images

First deliveries of the DB5 Goldfinger Continuation to customers will commence in the second half of 2020.

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The Nissan Re-Leaf is designed to help in disaster zones.

Photo courtesy of Nissan

When you need disaster relief, this Nissan Leaf is there for you, at least in theory. The Nissan Re-Leaf, an electric emergency response vehicle concept vehicle, takes the idea of portable electricity to a new level.

The Re-Leaf isn't just all-show. It's a working prototype that is designed to serve as a mobile power supply that can be used following natural disasters or extreme weather events. The Leaf was the world's first mass-market electric vehicle when it debuted a decade ago.

Natural disasters are the biggest cause of power outages. A 2019 World Bank report found natural shocks and climate change caused 37 percent of outages in Europe between 2000 and 2017, and 44 percent of outages in the US over the same period.

Nissan Re-Leaf

Photo courtesy of Nissan

Usually, when a disaster hits, the time for electricity supply to be restored is typically 24-48 hours if the damage is not too extensive. During that time, electric vehicles can provide mobile emergency power.

The Re-Leaf has a few modifications to make it disaster-ready. That starts at the exterior of the vehicle where weatherproof plug sockets mounted directly to the exterior enable 110- to 230-volt devices to be powered by the car's lithium-ion battery.

It is designed to drive into disaster zones and provide a mobile power supply. The integrated energy management system can run medical, communications, lighting and other life-supporting equipment.

The cars can also act as mobile storage batteries to supply homes with electricity during non-emergency situations by using the LEAF's bi-directional charging ability, a standard feature of the model since its introduction in 2010. This means the LEAF can not only 'pull' power to recharge the high-capacity battery, but also 'push' it back to the grid through V2G (Vehicle-to-Grid) technology, or directly to electronic devices through V2X (Vehicle-to-everything).

Acting as a portable power station, the latest generation Nissan LEAF e+ with a fully charged 62 kilowatt-hour (kWh) battery can provide enough electricity to power the average UK household for around six days.

This concept may look futuristic but the future is already here. Nissan has used the Leaf to provide emergency power and transportation following natural disasters since 2011.

The Re-Leaf sports an amber color scheme, a nod to the ancient Greek word for amber – electron – the origin of the word 'electricity'. There's a roof-mounted LED light bar that flashes amber lights as well. Nissan has raised the car by 70 mm and given it a wider track and all-terrain tires on 17-inch wheels.

Inside, the rear seats have been removed and the floor levelled to provide storage for essential equipment. A custom bulk-head cage also separates the front seats from the cargo area.

A bespoke pull-out desk extends from the cargo area with a 32-inch LED screen and dedicated power supply creating an operational hub to run communications from and manage the recovery process.

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Acura is revealing its next-gen MDX slowly, first with this, the MDX Prototype.

Photo courtesy of Acura

The MDX is the best-selling Acura in the lineup. It's also America's best-selling luxury three-row SUV. But that's not good enough.

Acura is redesigning the MDX and as it prepares to enter a fourth generation, a prototype of the new SUV will be shown on October 14. This looks to follow the same pattern as the TLX launch, which saw a prototype revealed about six months before the true model debut, just after the PMC Edition was put on sale.

Acura says that the next-gen MDX will usher in " new levels of Acura design, performance, technology and craftsmanship, assuming the mantle as the brand's new flagship model". And that's a good thing. The brand revolution that started with the RDX and continued with the TLX looks to go even further in a bid to re-establish Acura on its premium model throne.

The ofirst MDX was the industry's first three-row SUV based on a unibody platform, a design that has since gone mainstream as crossovers and lifestyle SUVs overrun a vehicle type that started as rugged off-roaders and family trucksters. Since it's debut, the MDX has garnered praise from buyers and critics alike including winning the 2001 North American Truck of the Year and 2001 Motor Trend SUV of the Year awards.

Over the past two decades, cumulative sales have surpassed 1 million units, securing MDX's place as the best-selling Acura model, accounting for roughly one-third of the brand's U.S. sales since its launch.

"We're accelerating Acura's commitment to Precision Crafted Performance and this fourth-generation MDX is the most ambitious and consequential redesign of an Acura core model in our history," said Jon Ikeda, vice president and Acura brand officer. "This all-new MDX will take us into new territory in terms of performance, prestige and emotional appeal."

The teaser image (above) and video (below) that were released today highlight the sharply sculpted beltline running the perimeter of the wider, lower and longer MDX, connecting the Jewel Eye LED headlights at the front to the Chicane LED taillights in the rear.

The MDX Prototype pulls heavily from the RDX and TLX with design nods to each. Still, it's unmistakably a three-row SUV. Though we don't know for sure what's under the hood, expect the MDX to have more a dynamic driving style when it debuts, following in the vein of the RDX and TLX redesigns.

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