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A New Brand for Bond

The world of top-level espionage never stands still. Maverick MI6 agent, James Bond, may have become inextricably linked with Aston Martins, the DB5 especially, but things changed in the 1970s and ’80s. The very latest in British motoring excitement was required, and Lotus stepped into the limelight. Roger Moore, in the James Bond title role, first used an Esprit in the 1977 film The Spy Who Loved Me, plunging it into the sea after a spectacular car chase. In the water it transformed into a submarine, its wheels retracting to reveal fins, propellers shooting from the rear, and a periscope rising from the roof.


The 1981 Bond film, For Your Eyes Only, had a harder edge and more realism than the previous big-screen outings for Ian Fleming’s hero. Two turbocharged Lotus Esprits featured in the film—a white model, blown up when Bond was forced to activate the car’s self-destruct system, and a copper-coloured replacement that came with bespoke ski racks. The Bond production team made Lotus work hard for its few moments of screen time. But the rewards for the small British sports car company were huge, as its mid-engined, Giugiaro-designed, flagship model was publicized on cinema screens all over the world, with sales figures increasing as a result.

Roger Moore in February 1981 on the set of For Your Eyes Only, in which he starred with a pair of Lotus Esprit turbos. The producers chose a copper color for the second car so it would contrast with the snowy landscape.


It is a quote. The Classic Car Book – The Definitive Visual History 2016

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