While actor Rami Malek is rubbing his villainous hands together and promising to give Daniel Craig hell in his fifth and last James Bond film, Aston Martin is going back to 007's earliest days with a bespoke special edition DB5 made for the most die-hard and deep-pocketed 007 fans.
How special? These 'continuation' DB5s, like the kind Sean Connery drove in Goldfinger, are actual running cars based on the 1964 model.
Just 25 of these limited-edition vehicles will each be priced at US$3.5 million (A$5 million), and they'll feature enough working spy gadgets to make Q proud – although an ejector seat didn't make the cut.
Developed with Chris Corbould, the Oscar- and OBE-winning special effects supervisor for eight Bond films, the roster includes 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,” Corbould said this week as the DB5 prototypes were unveilled.
“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.
All 25 of these new-yet-old DB5s will feature the same Silver Birch paint as Bond’s movie original did. Mechanical specifications will be similar to the original, with “sympathetic modifications to ensure the highest levels of build quality and reliability,” according to Aston Martin.
“To own an Aston Martin has long been an aspiration for James Bond fans," said Aston Martin President and Chief Executive Officer Andy Palmer.
"But to own a Silver Birch DB5, complete with gadgets and built to the highest standards in the very same factory as the original James Bond cars? Well, that is surely the ultimate collectors’ fantasy."
The DB5 has featured in the franchise several times since its first outing in Goldfinger, including the pre-credits scene of follow-up Thunderball plus Craig's 007 debut in Casino Royale and most recently Skyfall.
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’ll be numbered as if new off the line in the 1960s.
Under the hood 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 100km/h with a top speed of 240km/h, according to the company – not that you’ll be able to open it up on the road.
However, as authentic reproductions they won’t meet today’s safety and legislation requirements for new cars, making them illegal to drive in most countries.
The original 1964 DB5 featured in Goldfinger and Thunderball – complete with guns protruding from tail lights, rotating plates, and a removable ejector roof – sold for US$4.6 million at auction in London in 2010.
A 1965 DB5 original that was featured in the 1995 Bond film GoldenEye sold at auction in July 2018 for US$2.5 million, no gadgets included.
Deliveries of the continuation DB5s start in 2020, with the majority of the 25 now allocated.