A trending topic of late is everyone’s favorite fictional super spy, James Bond, who’s been making waves at box offices all around the world. The 24th James Bond movie, Spectre, opened in U.S. theaters to the tune of $73 million on the first weekend — the second highest debut in the series’ history.
As PJ Media’s resident gearhead, one of my favorite scenes in the new film is when evil henchman Mr. Hinx, played by former wrestler Dave Bautista, jumps into a Jaguar C-X75 to chase down Bond (Daniel Craig) in his Aston Martin DB10. The two tear through the narrow streets of Rome in spectacular fashion.
Cars have always played a crucial role in the 007 movies, but it was the 1964 film, Goldfinger, that solidified the iconic relationship between British carmaker Aston Martin and James Bond. A 1963 DB5 made its debut alongside actor Sean Connery, and from that moment on, Aston Martin has been the brand of choice for the suave secret agent.
I recently had a chance to drive an Aston Martin for the very first time, specifically a 2016 V8 Vantage GT Roadster, and I quickly found out why no other carmaker would do for 007.
Let’s start with the car’s looks. The long front end with Aston Martin’s signature grille sets up a sleek character line that flows effortlessly toward a stylish rear fascia, complete with clear taillights.
The red accents on the Mariana Blue paint scheme pay homage to an iconic DB2/4 race car from the 1950s and turned quite a few heads as I cruised along the coast of Southern California.
Just like Bond’s bespoke suits, the Vantage GT is a product of master craftsmanship and an unmistakable heritage. The details throughout the car are more akin to pieces of art than vehicle components, and there’s an analog feel to the driving experience that draws on Aston Martin’s years of expertise in creating emotionally engaging cars.
Even the key fob looks and feels like a finely crafted pendant. And the ignition sequence is quite slick — as if Q designed it himself.
But it’s not all posh appointments and dashing looks for the Vantage GT, as you’ll find a 430 horsepower 4.7-liter V8 engine that can launch the car from 0 to 60 mph in 4.6 seconds, topping out at 190 mph.
The best feature might be the Vantage GT’s price point, which Aston Martin has positioned so you won’t need the financial backing of the British government. With the coupe version starting at $99,900, the secret agent lifestyle is closer than you think.
After spending a day with the 2016 V8 Vantage GT Roadster, it’s clear that Aston Martin and James Bond are a perfect match. Both are suave, have killer looks and pack a mean punch.
Photos by Andrew Chen unless noted otherwise.