Posted by Anthony CarboneFebruary 25, 2008 at 7:50 pm
A self-confessed Bond fanatic has made an up-to-date version of the wondercar using the Esprit’s spiritual successor, the Lotus Elise, as its base.
This “sQuba” prototype cost $1 million (£750,000), and can dive to a depth of 10m, and will be exhibited at the Geneva Motor Show next month.
It was the brainchild of concept car designer, Founder and CEO of Rinspeed Inc. Frank M. Rinderknecht, who said: “For three decades I have tried to imagine how it might be possible to build a car that can fly under water. Now we have made this dream come true.”
His team at Rinspeed replaced the petrol engine with three electric motors, one to power the rear wheels and two for the specially designed propellers. They are capable of taking it to 75mph on land, a more sedate 4mph while cruising in “boat” mode and a positively tranquil 2mph while underwater.
The company also claims that the car is extremely “green” as well, as it is a zero-emission vehicle powered by rechargeable lithium-ion batteries.
Watch the sQuba in action!
Once under water, its occupants breath air coming from an integrated tank of compressed air similar to that used by scuba divers.
The vehicle can stay under water “until you run out of air or battery power,” which is about two hours.
Sadly, those taken by the sQuba may never be able to get their hands on it as there are no plans to put it into production.
“It’s a tradition that we produce a concept car for the Geneva Motor Show,” said the designer, whose firm makes its money making concept cars and parts for the mainstream motor industry, and tuning Porsches.
“We don’t plan to build it, even in a limited capacity,” he admitted.
“But if someone wants to take up the project that would be great. I’m sure there will be people interested in buying one.”
[Source: Telegraph.co.uk, Rinspeed.com]