Bond car gets new lease on life

2012-01-19 10:39

Tokyo, Japan - Japanese engineers put an eco-friendly spin on a classic James Bonda car for a recent auto show. The group remodelled a Toyota 2000GT with solar panels and gadgets to make it battery and solar-powered.

Heralded as Japan's first sports car when it came out in 1967, the vehicle was used in the James Bond movie "You Only Live Twice," as a getaway car for the intrepid spy, played by Sean Connery.

The new eco-friendly version comes with a catch - it takes nearly two weeks for the vehicle to power up completely.

Naohiko Saito, project manager at Toyota: "The engineer's dream for this car is that the battery's efficiency improves to the point that we could charge the car as we drive, and be able to drive without being limited by the need to stop."


The Achilles' heel of electric cars for many sports car enthusiasts is the lack of power, with many aficionados longing for the powerful revving sound of a speed machine.

The new 2000GT has a playful solution; tapping the accelerator brings a variety of sound effects, including meowing cats, clucking chickens and the sound of spaceships.

Saito said: "My personal favourite is the sound of horses' hooves running. I can imagine that if this car approaches a regular vehicle, the passengers will be surprised to hear the sounds coming from it."

Only 337 models of the original automobile, designed by Toyota in collaboration with Yamaha, were made. It is considered a milestone in Japanese automotive history.

There are no plans to mass produce the current vehicle, produced under the title "Crazy Car Project," but designers say it will race in electric vehicle competitions later this year.