I like James Bond movies as much as anyone, and I especially love the cars. So, I was excited to see the newly-announced Bond car, the Aston Martin DB10. It's very striking looking, powerful, glamorous, and about sixteen other adjectives that should never, ever be used if your goal is to actually, you know, be a fucking spy.
If we're absolutely honest with ourselves and the idea that James Bond's job is to be a secret agent, then the DB10 is possibly the stupidest secret agent car you can have. Aston is building ten of these cars. So I guess when Q got James his car, he told him "here you go, old boy. There's only ten of these in the world, so whoever sees you in it will only have a 10% chance of immediately knowing who you are! It'd take them a solid 30 minutes or so to really figure it out."
I mean, I know Bond movies are movies and they're fun and it's an escapist, somewhat sexist fantasy with watches that shoot lasers and underpants that convert into bathyscaphes, but, just as a little thought experiment, let's figure out what a more rational Bond car would be. I think I have an idea.
If you're actually a secret agent, then I have to assume that 'secret' part is important. You roll up in that DB10, everyone knows and you cover is blown and no Persian-cat-petting scarface is going to do or say anything while you're around. But if you roll up to the employee parking lot in the back in a battered 2002 Toyota Corolla with a slightly mismatched door, nobody's going to even know you showed up.
A real spy's car needs to be deliriously boring and anonymous. You could drive it right past the guy planning to sink Paris into a subterranean vat of acid if his demands aren't met, and he wouldn't even remember a car going by at all.
The ideal spy car needs to look like absolutely nothing, but under the skin should be potent enough to get the job done. We can assume the driver is incredibly well-trained, so the car needs to be a tool that can be put to effective use. It needs to be fast when needed, but not sound like a massive throbbing V8 — I'm thinking some sort of turbo V6 that makes around 350HP would be more than enough to get the job done.
The suspension should be completely upgraded to handle very spirited driving, and be rugged enough to get over curbs, go off-road (ride height adjustable?) and take whatever else may come up. The tires should resist puncturing, perhaps even having a tweel-like interior to be able to be a truly run-flat design.
The body needs to be armored, of course, as does the glass, and the inside of the trunk should be designed to be a sort of holding cell for a captive. There would be binding straps, some sort of anesthetic gas system, and protection so the spy can get potential informants/prisoners to interrogation facilities with ease.
The only really direct thing I'd take from movie Bond cars is the license plate flipper thing, which people have even built on their own, and there are commercial kits to do this, too. So why not? Seems useful for a spy.
The only offensive weapon needed, I'd think, is maybe a pair of small, steerable guns in the front, primarily used to take out tires and radiators to end a prolonged car chase. These could probably also be used for outdoor (or in parking decks) assassinations as well.
Of course, the car would also be loaded with hidden cameras and surveillance and communication equipment, too.
No spy is going to get laid in this car. In fact, the kind of effective spy that would use this car probably isn't someone who people would be lining up to bone, anyway. This is the car of a secret agent who gets the job done, saves the world anonymously, gets the briefest of thanks and maybe a drink bought for him or her, then goes home to read an old John Grisham novel before falling asleep on the couch.
He or she then goes back to work the next day.
This would probably make for a really shitty, tedious movie, but a very effective secret agent.