Cool cars are an essential part of what makes the James Bond films so good. No Time to Die – the hotly-anticipated 25th Bond film and actor Daniel Craig’s last stint as the famous fictional spy – is no exception, with the film jam-packed with all sorts of exciting vehicles and stunts.
But the car that’s generated the most buzz from No Time to Die isn’t an Aston Martin, funnily enough. No, it’s a car that’s a bit more shopping run than secret agent: the rather humble tan-coloured J90 Series Toyota Land Cruiser Prado that stole the show during one of the film’s most tense action scenes. WARNING: spoilers ahead.
Halfway through the film, Bond finds himself embroiled in a desperate car chase in the late 90s SUV, with villain Lyutsifer Safin’s thugs in hot pursuit in a fleet of brand-new, modified Land Rover Defender V8s and Range Rover Sport SVRs. Despite being outnumbered and seemingly outmatched, the plucky Prado managed to more than hold its own – with Bond spectacularly running a number of the bad guys off the road in the Japanese underdog.
It might not be as glamorous as a classic Ford Mustang, Lotus Esprit or Toyota 2000GT, the likes of which we’ve seen in previous Bond films, but we reckon No Time to Die’s Prado might just be the coolest Bond car of all time. It didn’t need gadgets, gizmos or sex appeal to keep Bond alive: just Toyota toughness. It was an inspired choice.
What makes Bond’s Prado even cooler is that the average Bond fan actually stands half a chance of owning one.
Prados (and Land Cruisers more broadly) are everywhere in Australia; they’re one of the most popular cars on the market and have been for decades. They were also sold all across Europe (such as in Norway, where this Bond scene takes place) – they’re no rare vintage sports car. The J90, too, is particularly good buying: it’s not new enough to be outrageously expensive nor old enough to be super collectible.
You can pick one up on Carsales in Australia for as little as $4,000. Four grand for a bona fide Bond car! Sign me up. It’s also worth pointing that a Prado will be cheaper to run and insure than an Aston or a Land Rover, and a hell of a lot more practical or reliable… It’s exactly the kind of car a real-life spy would drive, actually.
The Prado wasn’t the only cool or unusual car to make an appearance in No Time to Die, though. Here are a few of the other most interesting vehicles from the blockbuster film that caught our eye.
Maserati Quattroporte IV
The bad guys often drive Italian cars in Bond films, and No Time to Die is no exception. During the nail-biting opening action sequence at the start of the film, Bond is hunted down by Spectre agents in a fleet of Maserati Quattroporte IVs, and almost gets run over by one.
Designed by the legendary Marcello Gandini and produced from 1994 to 2001, the fourth generation of Maserati’s unimaginatively named Quattroporte saw the long-standing luxurious executive car lose a bit of weight, become more aerodynamic and get a little sportier.
Personally, I love Italian cars from this era, like the Alfa Romeo GTV, Fiat Coupé and Lancia Thema: they’ve got a sort of utilitarian, honest charm to them. We’re not sure Bond’s probably quite as enamoured with them, however.
Aston Martin DB5
The Aston Martin DB5 is the quintessential Bond car… So it was only fitting that Daniel Craig would get one last chance to go all-out in one before the end of his stint as Bond. 007 gets behind the wheel of the classic British car during the opening scenes and action sequence in Matera, Italy – and it’s a doozy.
The gadgets make a welcome return, too, with the DB5 outfitted with bulletproof glass, machine guns mounted in the headlights and a smokescreen generator. According to Car Magazine, Aston Martin’s Q Advanced Operations unit provided eight replica DB5s for the film, including two pristine hero cars were also used, one of which is owned by Bond producers EON Productions.
The DB5 first appeared in 1964’s Goldfinger, and has since gone on to appear in another seven Bond films: 1965’s Thunderball, 1995’s GoldenEye, 1997’s Tomorrow Never Dies, 2006’s Casino Royale, 2012’s Skyfall, 2015’s Spectre and of course, 2021’s No Time to Die.
Aston Martin Valhalla
From a classic to a concept car: another Aston that makes a brief appearance in No Time to Die is the Aston Martin Valhalla. The futuristic-looking supercar, which is planned to enter production in 2023, is positioned below the similar-looking Valkyrie track car and is designed to be more of an everyday road car… As much as a 699kW mid-engined coupé that looks like that is an everyday road car.
The car can be seen parked in Q-Branch’s wind tunnel while M (Ralph Fiennes) has a characteristically terse phone call. Sadly, we don’t actually get to see the car in action. Guess we’ll have to wait for the next film for that.