Marketing… or Messaging? Tabloid Says Bond's Going Green in Next Film
British tabloid The Sun reported this week that the next James Bond movie will feature an all-electric Aston Martin Rapide E as 007’s featured ride in an effort to give the government-sanctioned killer a greener persona. While Bond films have featured countless vehicles, Astons are typically reserved for series’ titular hero — though he has driven a weird amount of Fords throughout the years.
Developed with loads of help from Williams Advanced Engineering, the Rapide E will be James’ first electric vehicle (watercraft and moon buggy excluded) and was an intentional decision on the part of the film’s director, Cary Joji Fukunaga, to update the character. “The decision was spearheaded by the film’s new director, who’s a total tree-hugger,” claimed The Sun’s unnamed source. “He is working directly with Aston Martin to get one of their electric cars ready for its big close-up.”
“It’s going to be the centre of an incredible action sequence in the movie. James Bond is known for driving amazing cars and this one won’t disappoint either,” the source continued. “It’s going to have all the high-tech gadgets. To be clear, this is something Cary pushed for and Daniel and the producers are going along with … Everybody is afraid of Bond getting labelled ‘too PC’ but they all felt the time was right to put him in a zero-emission vehicle.”
We’re hoping that sequence involves the car making a noble sacrifice to protect its owner, with the EV bursting into flames as countless energy cells shoot out of the battery pack like little roman candles. Of course, if the filmmakers are truly trying to push the green angle, that might not be in the cards.
However, it might be easy to overstate the claim that this is all simply about using entertainment to promote automotive electrification. Bond’s filmic Aston Martin is frequently whatever hot new model the automaker has on the table (except for the early books, where he often drives Bentleys). The Rapide E follows that trend. Scheduled to enter production towards the end of 2019, not long before the film’s expected release, the twin-motor EV is said to boast over 610 metric horsepower and 700 lb-ft of torque — more output than its internal combustion counterpart’s 6.0-liter V12.
It does, however, top out at a mere 155 mph and is rumored to possess a maximum range of around 200 miles (WLTP). Hopefully, James isn’t going to get involved in any extended highway getaways after a long day of tailing bad guys. Then again, movie magic will probably take care of that, unless the film’s authors need a convenient place for a sex scene, shootout, or both.
The movie, which is still in pre-production under the working title of Shatterhand, could end up coming out slightly later than anticipated due to repeated delays. But we doubt it will impact Rapide E sales if it’s released later than initially expected. Aston Martin only plans on building 155 examples of the limited-run model.
[Images: Aston Martin]
A staunch consumer advocate tracking industry trends and regulation. Before joining TTAC, Matt spent a decade working for marketing and research firms based in NYC. Clients included several of the world’s largest automakers, global tire brands, and aftermarket part suppliers. Dissatisfied with the corporate world and resentful of having to wear suits everyday, he pivoted to writing about cars. Since then, that man has become an ardent supporter of the right-to-repair movement, been interviewed on the auto industry by national radio broadcasts, driven more rental cars than anyone ever should, participated in amateur rallying events, and received the requisite minimum training as sanctioned by the SCCA. Handy with a wrench, Matt grew up surrounded by Detroit auto workers and managed to get a pizza delivery job before he was legally eligible. He later found himself driving box trucks through Manhattan, guaranteeing future sympathy for actual truckers. He continues to conduct research pertaining to the automotive sector as an independent contractor and has since moved back to his native Michigan, closer to where the cars are born. A contrarian, Matt claims to prefer understeer — stating that front and all-wheel drive vehicles cater best to his driving style.
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