James Bond may ditch his V12 Aston Martin for electric power, report says

Aston Martin Rapide E prototype

Aston Martin is as much a part of the James Bond mythos as vodka martinis. While Bond has flirted with other brands, the Daniel Craig films reasserted the connection between 007 and Aston, even bringing back the classic DB5 for Skyfall. But Bond may be driving a very different kind of Aston in the next film in the franchise.

Bond will switch from a wailing V12 to a silent electric car, reports British newspaper The Sun. The change was reportedly spearheaded by the director of the upcoming 007 film, Cary Joji Fukunaga. An anonymous source familiar with the matter told the paper that he was a “total tree hugger.”

The car Bond — a man of many gadgets — will reportedly drive is the Rapide E, Aston Martin’s first production electric car. It’s essentially an Aston Martin Rapide with the V12 engine swapped out for a pair of electric motors. Those motors produce a combined 602 horsepower and 702 pound-feet of torque, according to Aston, all going to the rear wheels. Aston previously quoted 0 to 60 mph in under 4.0 seconds, and a top speed of 155 mph. Just 155 cars will be built, priced at around $330,000 each.

It won’t sound as dramatic on film, but an electric car would make sense for a spy like James Bond. Unlike Bond’s gasoline-powered conveyances, bad guys will never hear an electric car coming.

The availability of the Rapide E also allows the association between 007 and Aston Martin to continue in a greener way. That association dates back to 1964, when Sean Connery drove a DB5 in Goldfinger. Bond later switched to other brands — including Lotus, BMW, and even AMC — but studio Eon Productions eventually made the call to bring Aston back. The automaker even designed a special car — the DB10 — for 2015’s Spectre.

Today’s Aston Martin DB11 and Vantage sports cars are worthy of 007, but the automaker is also looking to build more electric cars. The limited-production Rapide E will test the waters and allow Aston to gain customer feedback before launching higher-volume models, including some for the revived Lagonda luxury brand. Aston is also preparing to launch its first SUV, although it’s unclear if 007 will ever take the wheel of that vehicle.

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