Hollywood

Not all Bond cars were Aston Martins; these are the ones you forgot about

Not all the cars in James Bond movies are Aston Martins. This Lotus made an appearance in "For Your Eyes Only".

Photo by Getty Images

When one thinks of James Bond cars, Aston Martins are probably what come to mind. That's understandable, since not only are those lovely, hand-made automobiles among the most beautiful cars he (or anyone) has ever driven, they've also made the most appearances in Bond films, starring in half of the 24 Bond movies released to date.

If you think that Bond's affinity for the storied British marque might be waning in this modern, eco-conscious age, know that no fewer than four Astons are slated to appear in the soon-to-be-released "No Time to Die". Who could fault him for such exquisite automotive taste? Renowned as he is for his ability to accessorize, Bond knows he can't just show up to the gun fight—or car chase, as it were—in any old car.

Oh, but he has. There are 12 Bond films in which Agent 007 was not driving Aston Martins, and AutomotiveMap has put a list together of some of the more interesting Bond cars that weren't Astons here.

Sunbeam Tiger — 'Dr. No' (1962)

The first official James Bond car was a little blue roadster from Britain (of course) called the Sunbeam Alpine (an ironic name, given that the Alps are nowhere near Britain). But the Alpine's Bond car chase debut took place in a mountain setting on roads that we surmise must have been mostly downhill, as the Alpine's puny four-banger would have rendered it no match for the gutsy Cadillac hearse giving chase on an upward slope. In the end, size, not power, is how the Alpine saved Bond, played by Sean Connery, as the nimble and diminutive Alpine darted under a construction vehicle that blocked the road while the hearse full of bad guys wound up tumbling down the mountain-side in a fiery crash.

1935 Bentley 3.5 Litre Drophead Coupe Park Ward — 'From Russia With Love' (1964)

The second Bond Film, "From Russia with Love", features Bond in a scene by his presumed personal car, one that's more consistent with Ian Fleming's Bond character as depicted in his novels. It's another British ragtop, incidentally—an elegant green Bentley 3.5-litre Drophead Coupe Park Ward, which would have been nearly 30 years old at the time the film came out. We never actually see Sean Connery drive the thing, but we do see him use its nifty and rather ahead-of-its-time onboard telephone, complete with a long, curly cord.

Toyota 2000GT Convertible – 'You Only Live Twice' (1967)

Two icons met in the Far East when Sean Connery drove a stunning 1967 Toyota 2000GT convertible—one of only two 2000GT convertibles ever built—in 1967's "You Only Live Twice", the fifth of the James Bond film and the first to be set in Japan. It looked faster than it was. The 2000GT convertible was one of the only rides to ever appear in the James Bond movies that could hold a poison-dart-deploying-candle to the Aston Martin DB5 that he drove in his two prior films.

1971 Ford Mustang Mach 1 — 'Diamonds Are Forever', 1971

The Malaise Era was upon us as when "Diamonds Are Forever" came out in 1971. But James Bond had one of the last fast-ish cars of the moment with a 275-horsepower, 351-cubic-inch V8 that was less powerful that preceding Mustangs but was more powerful than what the cops that chased him and his lovely lady friend around Las Vegas drove. It could also be driven on two wheels (who knew?) at what must have been a side-splitting seating position. Hey, no one said being a Bond girl would be easy.

AMC Hornet — 'The Man with the Golden Gun' (1974)

In the 1974 Bond Flick, "The Man with the Golden Gun", Bond (then played by Roger Moore) stooped to a new low by slipping behind the wheel of one of the most unloved models from one of the most unloved carmakers in U.S. History: the AMC Hornet. To his credit, it wasn't his personal car or anything bestowed upon him by Q; he stole it from an AMC dealer in Bangkok (there was an AMC dealer in Bangkok?) and drove it right through the showroom window. Then Bond whisks through then streets of Bangkok and rescues the girl, but not until after he and the Hornet engage in some impressive aerial acrobatics over a river, likely making it one of the only Hornets of the AMC variety that could actually fly.

BMW Z3 – 'GoldenEye' (1995)

Among the memorable aspects of 1995's "GoldenEye": Tina Turner's crooning; Judi Dench first appearing as M; and the now-laughable vision of freshman 007 Pierce Brosnan bounding down a sunny road in a narrow-bodied, four-cylinder, slow-as-dirt BMW Z3. It was perhaps the Bond franchise's most egregious case of product placement priorities gone awry—it could barely have kept up with a Buick Rendezvous or Chevrolet Lumina minivan at the time. If they performed the trick as badly today, they may as well choose the glamorous Volkswagen Jetta, which casts roughly the same performance footprint. We might have had more respect for the little Z as a credible Bond ride had he actually used its alleged headlight-mounted stinger missiles, parachute braking system, or better yet, its self-destruct system.

BMW 750iL – 'Tomorrow Never Dies' (1997)

Having learned, perhaps, that 138 horsepower is woefully inadequate for someone with James Bond's velocity (and dignity) requirements, BMW supplied Britain's most famous secret agent with a car boasting twice the mass, three times as many cylinders, 236 percent more horsepower, and about 10 times more masculinity than the wimpy Z3 he drove in the previous flick. No wonder he had two Bond girls this time around. While a V12-powered 7-Series is no 1930s-vintage Bentley Mark IV—Bond's favorite, if mythical, saloon—according to the BMW product placement agreement, it would have to do.

BMW Z8 – 'The World is Not Enough' (1999)

It only took three films, but BMW finally gave James Bond a suitably flattering ride in the form of the stunning, then-new Z8 roadster in 1999's "The World is Not Enough". Of course, Denise Richards also appeared in the movie, and frankly, we'd rather have seen Richards get sawed in half rather than the Z8. Oh well, the M5-based sports car was fast while it lasted and is still Bond-girl beautiful today.

1957 Ford Fairlane Skyliner — 'Goldeneye' (1995)

In 1957, the Ford Fairlane Skyliner's nifty retractable hardtop would be a Bond-worthy device in and of itself. By the time the land yacht appeared in Goldeye 40 years later (in a rather unpleasant white-and-brown color combo, no less) the novelty of its top had worn off, so when Bond picked it up upon landing in Havana, he took a leisurely top-down drive to his hotel in the Fairlane and it was never seen again. This trailer doesn't show off the Fairlane but it a sweet red Ferrari F355 GTS and the aforementioned BMW Z3 do make an appearance.

Lotus Esprit S1 – 'The Spy Who Loved Me' (1977)

You didn't have to see "The Spy Who Loved Me" to guess the second-most-famous James Bond car of all time (after the Aston Martin DB5 from "Goldfinger", of course): the white Lotus Esprit cum submarine that Roger Moore as 007 drove alongside and then into the coastal waters of Sardinia. Once submerged, it could spew smoke like an octopus ink and unleash depth charges. Back on land, with its 160-horsepower four-cylinder engine it wouldn't be able to outrun an expertly driven Caprice Classic, requiring as it did nearly 10 seconds to hit 60 miles per hour—probably longer considering the weight of all that waterproofing gobbledygook. Subsequent Esprit Turbo models would cut that time nearly in half, which Bond would find out for himself four years later in "For Your Eyes Only".

Lotus Esprit S1/Turbo — 'For Your Eyes Only' (1981)

Lotus Esprit S1/Turbo \u2014 'For Your Eyes Only' (1981)

Photo by Getty Images

As we were saying in our previous discussion, Mr. Bond's little Lotus got a much bit of a power upgrade in 1981's "For Your Eyes Only", with a fat turbocharger making the Esprit Turbo one of the quicker cars of its day. Q Branch may have blown its gizmo wad on the Esprit submarine in "The Spy Who Loved Me", as Bond's new Turbos were enhanced by nothing more than a self-destruct system, which as one can see with his first one, doesn't seem like much of an enhancement in the end. But what it and its bronze-colored replacement lacked in special upgrades they made up in looks, with their 3-three-piece BBS wheels, body kits designed by famed Italian design house Giugiaro, side stripes, white-letter tires, rear window louvers, and for the bronze one, skis strapped to the back. Thankfully, the second Esprit Turbo would survive to drive another day, albeit with a different special agent, as the Esprit Turbo has never been seen in a Bond film since.

1981 Citroën 2CV 6— 'For Your Eyes Only' (1981)

While an Esprit Turbo was the official Bond car of 1981's "For Your Eyes Only", an adorable yellow Citroën 2CV 6 stole the show in a chase scene in which it hustles and bustles, forward and backward, rolling on its head, gets rolled back over on its wheels by passersby, tumbles down a mountain, drives through thickets, and ultimately goes airborne, bouncing off the roof of a Peugeot as Bond and his lady friend evade the evil henchmen.

1985 Chevrolet Corvette C4 — 'A View to a Kill' (1981)

1985 Chevrolet Corvette C4 \u2014 'A View to a Kill'

Photo courtesy of Eon Productions

1985's Bond film "A View to Kill" had everything we love in life. Grace Jones, Christopher Walken as the bad guy, a blimp, fire engines jumping a drawbridge, and a Corvette. All new and radically different for 1984 with its larger, more geometric body, a digital dashboard and targa top, the "C4" 'Vette still had its share of skeptics, so its appearance in "A View to a Kill" gave it a bit more street cred. The way things are going between Double-O and Aston Martin, we're unlikely to see one of the all-new, mid-engine "C8" 'Vettes in any future Bond film unless it's driven by a villain.

Leyland Mini Moke — 'You Only Live Twice', 'Live and Let Die', 'The Spy Who Loved Me', 'Moonraker'

Live and Let Die Mini Make

Photo courtesy of Eon Productions

Surprising fact: No car that wasn't an Aston Martin has been used in more Bond movies than the diminutive Mini Moke. Huh? That's right, the little Leyland runabout has appeared in "You Only Live Twice", "Live and Let Die", "The Spy Who Loved Me", and "Moonraker".

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The Michelin VISION tire is the tire of the future for the company

Photo courtesy of Michelin

Sustainability is in focus for most of the world's automakers. Making cars, trucks, SUVs, and vans that pollute the Earth less than their predecessors is their focus alongside emerging safety and driver assistance technology. Others in the auto industry supply chain are also looking to become more sustainable, including Michelin.

The tire company has announced that by 2050, Michelin tires will be made entirely from renewable, recycled, bio sourced, and otherwise sustainable materials. Today, nearly 30 percent of the materials used in manufacturing Michelin Group tires is are sustainable.

A study released last year, Emissions Analytics, an independent global testing and data company that studies real-world emissions and fuel efficiency for passenger and commercial vehicles, found that pollution from tire wear can be 1,000 times worse than what comes out of a vehicle's exhaust pipe. Unlike exhaust pollution, tire and brake pollution is mostly unregulated.

A recipe not as easy as it looks! www.youtube.com

In 2017, Michelin introduced the VISION tire, a concept that is airless, connected, rechargeable, and entirely sustainable. Since then, the company has invested in recycling efforts, buying up rubber pellet recyclers in the State of Georgia and in Spain.

The current lineup of Michelin tires consists of products that contain more than 200 ingredients each. The main part of the equation is natural rubber, which is harvested from rubber trees via a process that requires tapping a tree much in the same way that maple syrup comes from maple trees. Rubber trees traditionally need to be at least six years old before they are harvested.

Other materials in Michelin tires include synthetic rubber, metal, fibers, and components that are designed to strengthen the tire's structure like carbon black, silica, and plasticizers.

In a statement, a spokesperson fro Michelin said, "Michelin's maturity in materials technology stems from the strength of its R&D capabilities, which are supported by 6,000 people working in seven research and development centers around the world and mastering 350 areas of expertise. The commitment of these engineers, researchers, chemists and developers has led to the filing of 10,000 patents covering tyre design and manufacturing. They work hard every day to find the recipes that will improve tyre safety, durability, ride and other performance features, while helping to make them 100-percent sustainable by 2050."

Michelin has partnered with a number of companies to create materials of the future. Axens and IFP Energies Nouvelles, the two companies that are spearheading the BioButterfly project, have been working with Michelin since 2019 on producing bio-sourced butadiene to replace petroleum-based butadiene. Using the biomass from wood, rice husks, leaves, corn stalk, and other plant waste, 4.2 million tons of wood chips could be incorporated into Michelin tires every year with the materials replacement.

A partnership between Michelin and Pyroware can produce recycled styrene from plastics found in packaging. Styrene is used to produce synthetic rubber. Eventually, tens of thousands of tonnes of polystyrene waste could be recycled back into its original products as well as into Michelin tires every year.

Additionally, Michelin will launch the construction of its first tire recycling plant in the world with Encivo, a Swedish company that has developed a patented technology to recover carbon black, pyrolysis oil, steel, gas and other new, high-quality reusable materials from end-of-life tires.

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The Porsche Taycan Cross Turismo will be the next member of the company's all-electric family.

Photo courtesy of Porsche AG

There's a new Porsche car coming and despite the way it looks, it's not a fresh all-electric Panamera. It's the Porsche Taycan Cross Turismo. The car was spied on the roads east of Weissach, Germany, doing its finally testing wearing very little camouflage.

We already know that the underpinnings of the new car are pretty much the same as what's in the Taycan sedan. Its outside isn't too dissimilar from the Taycan either, with much of the face holding the family looks and its back getting a sport wagon treatment that's similar to the Panamera - new fenders a longer roof, and a hatchback. The car also has an increased ride height.

And that's just what we can see from the photos. The car was darting along the countryside between frozen farmland and snow-covered forests. Porsche has confirmed many of these details and they were the ones that released the photos of the car testing - something usually left up to a spy photographer but in a COVID world, here we are.

They also released a video showcasing the car and its testing journey, featuring Stefan Weckbach, Vice President of the Taycan product line at Porsche. Take a watch.

The Camouflaged Taycan Cross Turismo Hits the Road www.youtube.com

Just a few days later, Porsche released video of the inside of the Taycan Cross Turismo, giving enthusiasts a peek behind the scenes on its development.

Taycan Cross Turismo - Inner Space www.youtube.com

The Porsche Taycan Cross Turismo is expected to be fully revealed later this year.

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