Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 22 July 2019

Aston Martin revives Bond's DB5 - complete with spy gadgets

Special edition based on Sean Connery's car has gadgets including rotating number plates, rear smoke screens and twin "machine guns"

Andy Palmer, CEO of Aston Martin, with an original DB5 in London. Bloomberg
Andy Palmer, CEO of Aston Martin, with an original DB5 in London. Bloomberg

While actor Rami Malek is rubbing his villainous hands together, promising to give Daniel Craig a hard time in his fifth and last James Bond film, there is news out of England on the 25 cars Aston Martin is making for the most die-hard, deep-pocketed 007 fans.

The $3.5 million (Dh12.86m) continuation DB5s, like the type Sean Connery drove in Goldfinger, are not only actual running cars based on the 1964 model, but they are teased as having working spy gadgetry as well, according to Bloomberg. And now we know what that spycraft will be.

Developed with Chris Corbould, the Oscar and OBE-winning special effects supervisor for eight Bond films, the gadgets will include rotating number plates, rear smoke screens and oil slicks, and retractable bullet-resistant rear shields. Most likely to appeal to your inner hyped-up 10-year-old: “simulated” twin machine guns planted on the front of the car.

“The guns appearing from the front lights were a particular challenge as, in the film world, we are able to use flammable gas mixtures combined with an ignition system to produce a flame and noise effect,” Mr Corbould said of the prototypes unveiled on Tuesday. “Clearly this is not practical in untrained hands, so we have devised a new system to achieve a realistic effect.”

Instead, the final version of the “guns” will emit light and include a sound effect when you pull the “trigger”.

The interior will feature a telephone in the driver’s side door, a faux radar-tracker screen, and a weapons tray hidden under the leather seats, all of which are intended to be just as engaging as they were when Q approved them for Bond decades ago.

The cars will be made by Aston Martin engineers in the same Buckinghamshire factory where all 1,095 DB5 sports cars, including convertible and shooting-brake versions, were manufactured from 1963 to 1965. They will be numbered as if new off the line in the 1960s – and, no, prospective owners can’t ask for custom tweaks.

The cars will no doubt provide a welcome spot of relief for the company as it prepares to deal with more mundane domestic issues.

In April, Aston Martin chief executive Andy Palmer revealed he was shaken but not stirred by Brexit as he lamented that Britain's departure from the EU would be "unwelcome".

"All of this is unwelcome. We are absolutely behind the principles of free trade all over the world.

"But in terms of: are we ready for a no-deal Brexit? I think we are as ready as one can be.

"We are less exposed but equally p****d off," he told a conference hosted by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT), AFP reported.

Back to the DB5 specials though and, under the bonnet, will be straight-six, 282-brake-horsepower engines similar to the originals. They’ll go just about as fast, too, requiring 7.1 seconds to hit 100kph with a top speed of almost 200kph, according to the company - not that you will be able to open it up on the road. As authentic reproductions, they will not meet today’s safety and legislation requirements for new cars, making them illegal to drive in most countries.

By comparison, an original (and theoretically drivable) 1964 DB5 took $880,000 at an RM Sotheby’s auction in 2014. The convertible version of the DB5, more stunning and more expensive than the coupe, also costs less than the new Bond toy. A 1965 DB5 convertible sold for $2.7m at RM Sothebys in 2017. Wresting more of those beauties from the current owners may prove difficult, with only 85 per cent of the original DB5s still in existence today, per Aston estimates.

Deliveries of the continuation DB5s start in 2020, with the majority of the 25 now allocated.

Updated: May 14, 2019 01:57 PM

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