Spectre: Bond Film Series and Car Manufacturer Aston Martin

The 24th James Bond movie, Spectre, marks a milestone in the 50-year relationship between the film series and the car manufacturer Aston Martin.

For the very first time, they have built a car specifically for the film.

The iconic DB5, which debuted in 1964’s Goldfinger, the DBS from 1969’s On Her Majesty’s Secret Service and the V8 Volante from 1987’s The Living Daylights, were all cars that were available for public purchase. The new DB10, however, is something else entirely.

The DB10 is a concept car. It has a chassis that is based on a modified V8 Vantage, though with a longer wheelbase, and it boasts a 4.7-litre V8 engine. It has an estimated top speed of 190 mph and can get from 0-60mph in just 4.7 seconds. The sleek car features a shark-inspired nose where the grille sits in shadow, tucked back beneath the main feature line. This new interpretation of the classic Aston grille hints at the car’s stealthy character

All of the car’s body panels are carbon fibre, which is exposed on the sills and diffuser, and it features a full clamshell bonnet with a heat mapped perforation pattern, ensuring that there is no need for a vent surround. In a move designed to recall the DB5, the designers worked hard to make sure that when seen in profile, the DB10 has one elegant shoulder line, running from front to back.

The DB10 is the sixth different Aston to appear in a James Bond movie, and only ten of these concept cars were built. Eight were employed to film key scenes in Spectre, while the other two were manufactured for promotional use. One of these extra vehicles will be auctioned off for charity next year.

When designing the car, Aston Martin invited Skyfall and Spectre director Sam Mendes to offer his input.  “I felt very involved,” says the Oscar®-winning director. “I don’t know whether it was Aston’s brilliance at making me feel that way or whether I genuinely was. But I went and saw the initial model and I was particularly concerned with removing unnecessary details.

“I wanted a car that had clean, clear lines,” he adds, “something classic where it is almost impossible to place its year of birth. The car felt like it was born anywhere between the early ’70s and now.”

The car features in a breath-taking night chase that careens through the streets of Rome, as Hinx (played by Dave Bautista) gives chase in a Jaguar C-X75, another high-tech concept car. Jaguar also has a strong relationship with the James Bond films and the C-X75 proves a great match for the DB10.

“The C-X75 programme represents the pinnacle of Jaguar’s engineering and design expertise,” says Adrian Hallmark, Jaguar’s Global Brand Director. Indeed, the C-X75 has a combined power output in excess of 850bhp thanks to its state-of-the-art, Formula 1-inspired, 1.6-litre turbocharged and supercharged four-cylinder powerplant.

With its seven-speed transmission, the car can sprint from 0-100mph in less than six seconds. The very first C-X75 prototype exceeded 200mph in testing, and the car has a theoretical maximum velocity of 220mph. Spectre’s stunt co-ordinator, Gary Powell, was blown away by its power. “The Jag was so powerful that we had to tone down the engine so the throttle response wasn’t so aggressive,” he says. Seven Jaguars were used to film the Rome chase sequence.

As it happens, the Jaguar C-X75 isn’t the only car that Hinx drives. The muscled henchman also clambers into a Land Rover for a scene that unfolds in the Alps. A number of Land Rover vehicles were used in the scene and each had to be fitted-out to make sure it was safe for the stunts that ensued.

Special effects supervisor Chris Corbould explains, “We had to fit safety roll bars into all these vehicles when we were in Austria. We then had to give them back to Land Rover to do all the interior trim, so that the roll bars are hidden from view.”

The black four-wheel drives feature in the snow during a stunt sequence with an aircraft, the Britten-Norman BN-2 Islander, a 1960s British light utility aircraft that Bond uses to chase after Hinx during a crucial action sequence. Although designed in the 1960s, several hundred BN-2 Islanders are still in service with commercial operators. The British Army and police forces in the United Kingdom also use the aircraft to this day.

In all, eight aircraft were used on a variety of stunt rigs. Two of the planes were fully operational. These were hired machines and were painted with a washable black paint. A further two shells were built for use on a wire rig, which guided the plane over the top of the 4x4s and crashed it through a specially constructed barn. Four planes more were built as carcasses and then fitted with internal skidoos.

“This means that when the plane crashes in the film, our stunt team could drive the plane downhill with the skidoos,” says Chris Corbould. “It looks as though it is out of control, but we are in fact steering the plane, which has lost its wings, from inside the carcass.”

Other notable vehicles in Spectre include three different helicopters. A light utility McDonnell Douglas MD500E features in Morocco while a lightweight, twin-engine AgustaWestland AW109 forms an integral part of the climax on Westminster Bridge in London.

The most notable chopper, however, is probably the Messerschmitt-Bölkow-Blohm Bo 105 another light, twin-engine machine, which stars in the thrilling sequence that unfolds in Mexico City. The Bo 105 was piloted by the Red Bull aerobatic helicopter stunt pilot, Chuck Aaron, whose machine was built especially for barrel-rolling and free-diving.

Due to the altitude in Mexico City, Aaron had to rein in his aerobatics though in the exciting scene above the city’s main square, the Zócalo, he flew just 30 feet above the extras while two stuntmen hung onto the exterior of the machine trading punches.

“The Mexico City sequence climaxes with a spectacular fight inside a helicopter that is out of control,” says Mendes. “It is being flown by an incredible stunt pilot, Chuck Aaron, who does amazing things. It’s a spectacular moment and unlike anything we’ve ever seen in a James Bond movie.”



  • SPECTRE marks Bond’s eighth film in the snow, following snowbound appearances in On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, The Spy Who Love Me, For Your Eyes Only, A View to a Kill, The Living Daylights, The World Is Not Enough, and Die Another Day.
  • SPECTRE crew were only able to access the ICE-Q location in Solden by cable car
  • Vehicles (Land Rovers and Range Rovers) were towed up the mountain by snowmobiles due to lack of access, which was over 3000 meters above sea level
  • One of the Austria locations, the village of Obertilliach, has a population of only 700 people. Still, 50 locals joined the crew, included among 250 Austrians in the total crew of 480.
  • Filming the Austria car chase required the use of 18 cars – 11 Defenders and 7 Range Rovers – which were all heavily modified in just 4 weeks
  • The studded ice tires had to be studded by hand, with each tire taking over 1500 studs


  • Bond returns to Mexico City, following his appearance in License To Kill.  SPECTRE filmed in three Mexico City locations: Tolsa Square, the Zocolo, and the Gran Hotel
  • For the Day of the Dead sequence, it took 3.5 hours to create the crowd of extras – from 25 minutes to create a Catrina or a skeleton, to the Paper Bride requiring 2.5 hours of hair and makeup.  Costumes required 90 minutes – 350 at a time, 15 to 20 minutes each
  • MAC kindly provided gave a huge range of products to help create the various looks/ characters
  • To ensure that no time was wasted, the makeup team employed 187 mirrors and a red-and-green “traffic light” system to show which extras were ready and which needed additional work.
  • 75 costumers (70 from Mexico and 5 from the UK) designed 1,500 original looks — no two costumes are alike
  • The team made 6 paper dresses, each one different. Each dress required three weeks to make, from a team of four people.
  • Every costume was made or purchased in Mexico by Mexicans.
  • Police escorted the 12 buses that transported the crowd to and from the set


  • In total, the Mexico City scenes required five months of prep work, overseen by 27 locations personnel (25 of which were local)


  • A night team of 20 cleaned and repaired costumes, to get them ready for the next day’s shoot
  • The scene required two helicopters – one to film and the other to be filmed.  The picture helicopter was painted and modified in Mexico City to give its evil look.  Part of Zocolo Squre was turned into a heliport in order to refuel the helicopters.



  • Local nomads were hired as guides and security throughout prep and filming
  • Due to the high temperatures, the production brought in shades, cold water, and cooling vehicles to the film unit in Erfoud


  • SPECTRE marks James Bond’s first-ever film visit to Rome
  • Both the Jaguar CX75 and the Aston DB10 were reengineered by SFX Vehicles to carry out the stunt work
  • Blenheim Palace doubled as the location of the SPECTRE meeting in Rome. The Action Vehicles team dressed the parking lot with rare vehicles to paint a picture of the mafia types that would be attending the meeting, including a Porsche 956 Group B Homologation car, a full carbon fiber Bugatti, concept XJ Jaguars, a Lagonda from Aston Martin, and a wide selection of other supercars, including Ferrari 458 Speciales and Californias
  • In total, the vehicle shoots in Austria, Rome and London required the use of more than 1000 tires, varying from full summer spec to winter.  In preparing for the Rome car chase, the production used over 400 tires for testing – but only replaced 12 during filming