BMW just might be back in Bond. Only this time, it’s behind the scenes. According to this new article from Car and Driver, the engines powering the Aston Martin DB5 stunt cars used in the new Bond film, “No Time to Die“, could actually be S54 3.2 liter inline-six engines from the E46 BMW M3. While there’s no official word, it seems to make some sense.

For stunt-duty, the producers of No Time to Die obviously didn’t want to use real Aston Martin DB5s, considering they’re worth about seven-figures a pop and very rare. So they had replicas made by getting Aston Martin to create space frame chassis with independent suspension all the way around. Those chassis were then covered by carbon fiber bodies, with 3D-printed accessories, such as grilles.

From the outside, it takes very close inspection to realize that the stunt replicas are not real DB5s. However, when it came to powering the stunt cars, there was no real reason to get historically accurate. So Aston Martin and the No Time to Die production crew got a bit creative.

Photo by Aston Martin Media Room for editorial purposes

The original straight-six that powered the Aston Martin DB5 is weak by modern standards, tough to maintain and a bit too expensive and rare to beat on. Plus, it’s hard to do big powerslides and incredible stunts with its level of power. So because the engine bay is designed for inline-six engines, the stunt team and Aston Martin fitted a more modern one with more power.

While Aston Martin wouldn’t disclose exactly which engine powered the stunt cars, it did say that it’s a naturally-aspirated straight-six with about 300 hp and sourced from a third party. Using the art of deduction, C&D claims that the engine powering the No Time to Die DB5s is actually the same 3.2 liter I6 as the E46 M3.

It actually makes some sense when you think about it. It’s a similarly sized I6 with enough power to do bit skids and isfar more easily accessible. Rather than having DB5 straight-sixes made, they could have just sourced E46 M3 engines from crashed cars or cheap used ones. They’re also far more reliable, as well as easier and cheaper to maintain, than vintage Aston Martin engines.

So while we can’t know for sure, it seems as if BMW might be back into Bond. No Time to Die hits theaters April 10.

[Source: Car and Driver]