Confession time: In addition to being a car nut, I'm also an ardent fan of Ian Fleming's James Bond 007.
And so tonight, as the first US screenings of Quantum of Solace get underway, we have a feature on the cars appearing in the latest Bond film.
Daniel Craig returns to his role as the famed British secret agent, taking the wheel of the heart-achingly gorgeous Aston Martin DBS in the process.
Even before Q works his armored wizardry, the Aston is a force to be reckoned with, packing a 6.0-liter V-12 good for 510 horsepower and 420 pound-feet of torque.
Olga Kurylenko makes her Bond film debut as Camille Montes. As in Die Another Day, Ford has once again signed a deal to get their cars on screen; Kurylenko drives the plebeian but Euro-chic 2009 Ford Ka subcompact.
With a meager 1.2-liter four, the Ka is more adept at being miserly with fuel than outrunning henchmen, but nonetheless, it's appearance is more so a feature of Madison Avenue than of Fleming himself.
As for the aforementioned henchmen, the Alfa Romeo 159 is their car of choice in Quantum of Solace.
On paper, the 253-horsepower V-6 powered Alfas should be utterly humiliated by the Aston Martin, but toss in a dusty, switchback laden road conspicuous for it's lack of guard rails and the vehicular drama and mayhem nearly writes itself.
Speaking of mayhem, it's worth noting that one of seven Bond-spec Astons drew its dying breath in a plunge into Lake Garda in the Italian Alps while on the way to shooting a chase scene nearby. While driver Fraser Dunn suffered only minor injuries, the $266,000 Aston was declared a total loss.
For more on Quantum of Solace and James Bond's creator, Ian Fleming:
* Quantum Of Solace - Official Movie Site
* Quantum Of Solace on IMdB
* A brief biography of Ian Fleming