DEARBORN, Mich., Nov. 4, 2002; Ford Motor Company vehicles have been featured in James Bond films more than any other automaker's, making the association the longest one in cinematic history. So when the script for the new James Bond film, MGM Pictures and Eon Productions' "Die Another Day," called for characters who jet set across the globe with high style and purpose -- MGM and Eon called on their long-time associate Ford to outfit these characters with the right vehicles. Ford is displaying its "Die Another Day" vehicles together for the first time in the U.S., starting in New York City on Nov. 3.
James Bond, played again by Pierce Brosnan, is back in Ford's crown jewel brand, Aston Martin, for the new film -- and drives the Aston Martin Vanquish V12. Jinx, played by Academy AwardŽ-winner Halle Berry, will drive the Ford Thunderbird -- which Ford is making available in limited edition to customers. The villainous Zao, played by Rick Yune, drives a Jaguar XKR. Other Ford Motor Company vehicles appearing in the film include Land Rover Range Rover, Volvo S60 and S80, Ford StreetKa, and two classic cars, the Ford Fairlane and the Ford GT.
"Not only are we excited to give the public a chance to see these special cars, but we're thrilled that consumers can actually go out and purchase production vehicles like these from their local dealerships, without the Gatling guns and rockets, of course," said Jan Valentic, vice president, Global Marketing, Ford Motor Company. "We are producing 700 units of the Limited Edition '007' Ford Thunderbird, and are in the process of launching the new 2003 Jaguar XKR. The Aston Martin V12 Vanquish is available to customers, although apparently there are enough real-life James Bond types to fill an 18-month waiting list for this car."
Following the debut in New York City, the cars will go on a tour of events into 2003. A tour list follows. "Die Another Day" is produced by Michael G. Wilson and Barbara Broccoli and directed by Lee Tamahori.
"I think viewers will immediately feel there is a perfect pairing of the characters with the vehicles in this film," said Valentic. "James Bond is back in Aston Martin, and all is right with the world. But this time around, Ford is giving the Bond girl persona equal attention. "
Just as the prestige and British heritage of Ford's Aston Martin brand are integral to James Bond's allure, Berry's Bond girl character, Jinx, and her Ford Thunderbird are the epitome of American spirit -- a pairing that mixes sex appeal and high style with tough-as-nails power and performance. One of the film's villains, Zao, played by Rick Yune, also receives an appropriate match for his nature in the Jaguar XKR -- with its sleek exterior and heart of power and ferocity.
About the Cars
The Aston Martin V12 Vanquish in the film is equipped with 9mm machine guns, five heat-seeking missiles, two shotguns and an ejector seat. The V12 Vanquish is the most advanced car Aston Martin has ever made, due to the way it is engineered and the materials used. Aston Martin used a special bonded aluminum, and the car is hand-assembled akin to a light aircraft manufacturing system. Vanquish is powered by a V12 engine, offering 460 horsepower and maximum speed in excess of 190 mph. The car can go from 0-60 miles per hour in 4.5 seconds, or 0-100 mph in under 10 seconds. Gear changes can happen in less than a blink of the eye -- as the car uses fingertip-controlled Formula 1 style paddles, which enable almost imperceptible gear changes to be completed in less than 250 milliseconds.
The Jaguar XKR, featuring special vehicle modifications for the film, is a 400-horsepower convertible equipped with a Gatling gun centered behind the driver and passenger seats, missiles emerging from the front grille, concealed door-mounted rocket launchers and a trunk full of mortar bombs. The car's unique color is the same as the current Jaguar Racing Formula One racing car.
The Limited Edition "007" Ford Thunderbird has a distinctive Coral paint scheme and a unique white leather interior to match the car driven by Berry. The Coral paint -- similar to the Sunset Coral hue offered on the 1956 Thunderbird -- also matches the bikini Berry wears in her role as Jinx.
Like all 2003 Thunderbirds, the "007" edition also will feature a number of performance enhancements, including:
New variable intake camshaft timing for the 3.9-liter DOHC V-8, which helps boost horsepower from 252 to 280 while simultaneously improving fuel economy. Electronic throttle control for improved powertrain response and refinement. A SelectShift five-speed automatic transmission that can be shifted like a manual transmission but without a clutch. About "Die Another Day"
MGM Pictures and Eon Productions' "Die Another Day" is produced by Michael G. Wilson and Barbara Broccoli and is the 20th film in the James Bond franchise, the most successful film series of all time. Starring Brosnan, Berry, Toby Stephens, Rosamund Pike, Yune, John Cleese and Judi Dench, the film was directed by Lee Tamahori from a script by Neal Purvis and Robert Wade. The film opens Nov. 22.
About Eon Productions/Danjaq, LLC
Eon Productions/Danjaq, LLC is owned by the Broccoli family and has produced nineteen James Bond films since 1962. The Bond films make up the most successful franchise in film history and include the recent blockbuster films, "GOLDENEYE," "TOMORROW NEVER DIES," and "THE WORLD IS NOT ENOUGH" produced by Michael G. Wilson and Barbara Broccoli. EON Productions is currently in production of the twentieth James Bond Film, "DIE ANOTHER DAY," which is due for release in the UK in November 2002. Eon Productions and Danjaq, LLC are affiliate companies and control all worldwide merchandising of the James Bond franchise.
MGM Pictures is a unit of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Inc. Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Inc. , through its Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios Inc. subsidiary, is actively engaged in the worldwide production and distribution of entertainment product, including motion pictures, television programming, home video, interactive media, music, and licensed merchandise. Its operating units include MGM Pictures, United Artists Films, MGM Television Entertainment, MGM Networks, MGM Distribution Co., MGM Worldwide Television Distribution, MGM Home Entertainment, MGM Consumer Products, MGM Music, MGM Interactive, and MGM.com . In addition, MGM has acquired a 20 percent ownership interest in four of Rainbow Media's successful national cable networks -- American Movie Classics (AMC), Bravo, The Independent Film Channel (IFC) and WE: Women's Entertainment (formerly Romance Classics), and holds equity interests in 14 television channels internationally. For more information on MGM, visit MGM online at http://www.mgm.com
Ford's Bond Car Tour Schedule
October 1, 2002 through April 30, 2003 Car display at the Science Museum in London, UK
October 31 through December 30, 2002 Car display at Harrods Window in London, UK
November 3, 2002 Car display in New York City, from 2:00 to 5:00 p.m. EST
November 4, 2002 Car display at Manhattan Ford Dealership in New York City, from 1:30 to 6:00 p.m.
November 8, 2002 Car display at the Four Seasons Hotel, Beverly Hills, CA, from Noon to 5:00 p.m.
November 9 & 10, 2002 Car display at the Four Seasons Hotel, from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.
November 15 & 16, 2002 Car display at the "Big Smoke" event in Las Vegas
November 26 & 27, 2002 Car display at the Big Smoke event in New York
January 2 through 12, 2003 Car display at the LA Auto Show
February 7 through 26, 2003 Car display at the Toronto Auto Show
June 1 through December 30, 2003 Car display at the Henry Ford Museum, Dearborn, MI
NOTE: dates and locations subject to change.
For more information, please call Theresa Junkunc, Global Marketing, Ford Motor Company, at 313-845-0264.