5. Lotus Esprit S1 - James Bond: The Spy Who Loved Me

One of two Bond cars to make this list, the Lotus Esprit wasn’t the fastest car Bond had, or the most desirable.

One of two Bond cars to make this list, the Lotus Esprit wasn’t the fastest car Bond had, or the most desirable. It only produced around 160bhp from its 2.0-litre four-cylinder engine and hit 62mph in 8.4 seconds, a time most hot hatches could eclipse today.

However, what the Esprit did have up its sleeve was a huge raft of gadgets. Not only did Bond have a cement sprayer hidden behind the number plate, but the car also had the scene-stealing ability to completely submerge in water and morph into a submarine. Once converted, the underwater Lotus was fully ready for combat, coming armed to the teeth with mines, torpedos and even surface-to-air missiles.

Elon Musk, founder and head of Tesla, bought the movie car for around £600,000. He aims to turn what is basically a movie prop into a proper submersible. He also added an ‘easter egg’ into the Tesla Model S’ operating system, a hidden feature revealed when you type in Bond’s 007 code number. After doing that, the submersible Esprit shows up on Tesla’s screen in the suspension settings and a “depth” drop-down menu appears. 

The Lotus Esprit featured again in For Your Eyes Only, where Roger Moore drove a red Esprit Turbo with gold wheels. That model had 50bhp more than the S1, and launched to 62mph in a much faster 5.4 seconds.

Giorgetto Giugiaro originally designed the Esprit and the car carried on being built by Lotus right up to 2004. The last Esprit models were fitted with a thumping twin-turbo V8.

Top 10 greatest movie cars of all time

Recommended

Lotus reveals LEVA lightweight electric sports car architecture
Lotus teaser
Lotus

Lotus reveals LEVA lightweight electric sports car architecture

The new LEVA architecture will form the basis of three new Lotus electric sports cars – the most powerful of which will have up to 870bhp
21 Sep 2021
Lotus confirms four new electric cars including two SUVs by 2026
Lotus EV news - teaser
Lotus

Lotus confirms four new electric cars including two SUVs by 2026

The new ‘lifestyle’ Lotus models will be built in China, but the UK will remain the home of the brand’s sports cars
31 Aug 2021
Best 60s cars: the 30 greatest cars of the 1960s
Best cars of the 60s - header
Best cars & vans

Best 60s cars: the 30 greatest cars of the 1960s

The swinging sixties brought a vast array of unforgettable cars that would establish the path of the industry for decades to come. We pick our top 30 …
21 Jun 2021
'We’ve finally seen evidence that Lotus really does have an exciting future'
Lotus opinion
Lotus

'We’ve finally seen evidence that Lotus really does have an exciting future'

John McIlroy is looking forward to seeing Lotus branch out into more family-orientated cars
28 Apr 2021

Most Popular

Exclusive: banned 71-reg number plates released
Number plates
News

Exclusive: banned 71-reg number plates released

Latest DVLA list of banned UK registrations reveals which 71-plates are too rude for the road
21 Sep 2021
Genesis G80 vs Mercedes E-Class vs Lexus ES
Genesis G80 vs Mercedes E-Class vs Lexus ES
Genesis G80

Genesis G80 vs Mercedes E-Class vs Lexus ES

The Genesis G80 looks to make an impact in the executive saloon class as we pitch it against the Mercedes E-Class and Lexus ES
18 Sep 2021
'The death of cheap cars will be a travesty for personal mobility'
Opinion cheap cars
Opinion

'The death of cheap cars will be a travesty for personal mobility'

Our appetite for small, cheap cars is as strong as ever - although Mike Rutherford warns they may no longer be profitable
12 Sep 2021