What Lotus Did He Drive?

The Iconic Cars of James Bond


James Bond, the iconic British spy, has captivated audiences for decades with his daring adventures, suave demeanor, and, of course, his choice of exceptional automobiles. Among the impressive array of vehicles associated with 007, Lotus holds a special place in Bond’s automotive history. In this article, we delve into the question: What Lotus did James Bond drive? From the famous Lotus Esprit S1, which transformed into a submarine, to the turbocharged thrills of the Lotus Esprit Turbo, we explore the captivating relationship between Lotus and the Bond franchise, immersing ourselves in the world of high-speed chases, cutting-edge technology, and sleek design.

Key Takeaways

  • The Lotus Esprit S1 featured in “The Spy Who Loved Me” captivated audiences with its ability to transform into a fully functional submarine, combining the realms of land and sea.
  • The Lotus Esprit Turbo, seen in “For Your Eyes Only,” boasted turbocharging technology and enhanced performance, showcasing the brand’s commitment to speed and precision.
  • The collaboration between Lotus and the Bond franchise not only elevated the brand’s profile but also solidified its status as a symbol of style, innovation, and automotive excellence.
  • Bond actors, including Roger Moore, showcased their personal affinity for Lotus, further strengthening the connection between the iconic spy and the British automaker.

The Lotus Esprit: A Bond Car Legend

Lotus Esprit: The Submarine Spy Car

One of the most memorable Lotus vehicles featured in a Bond film is undoubtedly the Lotus Esprit. In the 1977 film “The Spy Who Loved Me,” Bond aficionados were introduced to the Lotus Esprit S1, which doubled as a fully functional submarine. This remarkable transformation captivated audiences worldwide, as Bond navigated the depths of the ocean to outsmart his adversaries. The Lotus Esprit’s sleek design, coupled with its ability to traverse both land and sea, made it an instant hit with fans.

Lotus Esprit Turbo: The Ultimate Pursuit Vehicle

Another Lotus gem in the Bond collection is the Lotus Esprit Turbo. This high-performance sports car made its appearance in the 1981 film “For Your Eyes Only.” Equipped with turbocharging technology, the Lotus Esprit Turbo delivered blistering speeds and exceptional handling, allowing Bond to maneuver through thrilling chase sequences with finesse. Its aerodynamic design and unmistakable presence on the road cemented its status as a true Bond car legend.

Lotus and James Bond: A Perfect Partnership

The association between Lotus and the Bond franchise extended beyond the on-screen appearances. Lotus cars have often been favored by Bond actors themselves, further solidifying the connection between the iconic spy and the British automaker. Actor Roger Moore, who portrayed Bond in multiple films, owned a personal Lotus Esprit Turbo in real life, showcasing the bond between man and machine.

Other Bond Cars and Collaborations

While Lotus left an indelible mark in the Bond universe, it is worth mentioning other noteworthy vehicles featured in the franchise. From the iconic Aston Martin DB5 in “Goldfinger” to the sleek BMW Z8 in “The World Is Not Enough,” Bond’s garage boasts an impressive lineup of automobiles that have become synonymous with his character. The collaboration between luxury car manufacturers and the Bond franchise has often resulted in limited-edition models and exclusive promotional tie-ins, captivating car enthusiasts and Bond fans alike.

FAQ – What Lotus Did James Bond Drive?

1. What are the distinctive features of the Lotus Esprit S1 seen in “The Spy Who Loved Me”?

The Lotus Esprit S1 featured in “The Spy Who Loved Me” showcased several distinctive features that made it an unforgettable Bond car. Its sleek and aerodynamic design, characterized by sharp lines and a low profile, added to its allure. Equipped with retractable fins and a periscope, the Esprit S1 transformed into a functional submarine, offering Bond a unique advantage in underwater espionage. The car’s elegant interior, advanced gadgetry, and powerful performance made it a symbol of technological sophistication, epitomizing the blend of style and functionality that the Bond franchise is known for.

2. How did the Lotus Esprit Turbo differ from the original Esprit in Bond films?

The Lotus Esprit Turbo featured in “For Your Eyes Only” showcased several enhancements over the original Esprit. The most significant difference was the addition of turbocharging technology, which substantially increased the car’s power and acceleration. This upgrade allowed Bond to effortlessly maneuver through high-speed chases with agility and precision. Furthermore, the Esprit Turbo boasted a revised body design, with a more aggressive front end and improved aerodynamics, enhancing both its performance and visual appeal. With its turbocharged engine, refined handling, and distinctive aesthetics, the Lotus Esprit Turbo was a worthy successor to the original Esprit.

3. Were the Lotus cars used in Bond films modified for the stunts?

Yes, the Lotus cars used in Bond films often underwent modifications to meet the demands of the intense action sequences. Professional stunt drivers and automotive experts worked closely to enhance the vehicles’ performance and safety. Modifications included reinforced chassis, upgraded suspension systems, and specialized braking systems to ensure optimal control during high-speed maneuvers. Additionally, the cars were fitted with roll cages and other safety features to protect the drivers during stunts. These modifications allowed the Lotus cars to perform the thrilling and daring stunts that have become synonymous with the Bond franchise.

4. Did James Bond actually drive the Lotus cars himself in the films?

In the Bond films, the character of James Bond is portrayed as an expert driver, and he is often shown driving the Lotus cars himself during high-speed chases and action sequences. However, it’s important to note that professional stunt drivers handle the majority of the dangerous and intricate driving maneuvers. This ensures the safety of the actors and allows for precise execution of the stunts. Nevertheless, the portrayal of Bond driving the Lotus cars creates an immersive experience for the audience, adding to the excitement and adrenaline of the scenes.

5. Did Lotus benefit from the exposure in Bond films?

Absolutely. The inclusion of Lotus cars in the Bond films provided invaluable exposure for the brand, propelling it into the global spotlight. The association with James Bond, a legendary and iconic character, helped elevate the reputation of Lotus as a manufacturer of high-performance sports cars. The Bond franchise’s massive fan base and worldwide reach ensured that the Lotus cars received significant attention and recognition. The exposure not only boosted sales and brand awareness but also solidified Lotus as a symbol of style, innovation, and automotive excellence.

6. Were there any limited-edition Bond-themed Lotus cars produced?

Yes, in some instances, the collaboration between the Bond franchise and Lotus resulted in the production of limited-edition Bond-themed Lotus cars. These special editions featured unique design elements and exclusive branding inspired by the Bond films. They often incorporated specific color schemes, badging, and interior details that paid homage to the iconic Bond cars seen on the silver screen. These limited-edition models became highly sought after by collectors and enthusiasts, further cementing the bond between the Bond franchise and Lotus.

7. Which other famous cars have been featured in the Bond films?

Apart from Lotus, the Bond films have showcased a range of other famous cars that have become synonymous with the franchise. Some notable examples include the Aston Martin DB5, which made its debut in “Goldfinger” and has since become one of Bond’s most iconic vehicles. Other notable cars include the Aston Martin V8 Vantage, BMW Z8, and the Aston Martin DBS. Each car brings its own unique style and performance to the Bond universe, creating an eclectic and diverse lineup of legendary automobiles.

8. Has any other actor who played James Bond owned a Lotus car?

While the association between Roger Moore and Lotus is well-known, other actors who portrayed James Bond have also expressed their admiration for Lotus cars. For instance, Timothy Dalton, who played Bond in the late 1980s, owned a personal Lotus Esprit Turbo. His ownership of the iconic vehicle showcased the deep connection between the actors and the character they portrayed. This personal affinity for Lotus further solidified the brand’s association with the world’s favorite secret agent.

9. Are there any real-life gadgets in the Lotus cars featured in Bond films?

While the Lotus cars in Bond films didn’t feature the fantastical gadgets often seen in other vehicles, they did incorporate some unique features. For example, the Lotus Esprit S1 in “The Spy Who Loved Me” showcased a retractable fins and a periscope, allowing it to transform into a submarine. Additionally, the Lotus Esprit Turbo featured in “For Your Eyes Only” had advanced onboard computer systems, which were considered cutting-edge technology at the time. While not as elaborate as the Q-branch gadgets, these features added an element of intrigue and innovation to the Lotus cars.

10. Are there any plans for future collaborations between Lotus and the Bond franchise?

As of now, there haven’t been any official announcements regarding future collaborations between Lotus and the Bond franchise. However, given the successful history and the strong association between the two, it wouldn’t be surprising to see Lotus vehicles making their way back into the Bond films. The Bond franchise has always been known for its ability to incorporate cutting-edge technology and stylish automobiles, making Lotus a natural fit for future adventures of the iconic spy.


Lotus cars have left an indelible mark on the Bond franchise, becoming synonymous with style, speed, and sophistication. From the unforgettable submarine transformation of the Lotus Esprit S1 to the turbocharged prowess of the Lotus Esprit Turbo, these vehicles have captured the imagination of Bond fans worldwide. The association between Lotus and Bond extends beyond the silver screen, with actors themselves owning and appreciating these remarkable automobiles. As the Bond franchise continues to evolve, fans eagerly await the next extraordinary vehicle that will accompany the world’s favorite spy on his thrilling escapades. The legacy of Lotus in the Bond universe stands as a testament to the enduring allure of exceptional cars in the world of espionage.

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