Elon Musk wants to turn your James Bond car fantasies into reality.
Elon Musk is renowned for making bold statements, and Tesla’s recent shareholder meeting was no exception. According to Car and Driver, a shareholder asked Musk if the car manufacturer was working on an electric car capable of traveling both underwater and on land.
While this may seem like a bizarre question to ask the CEO of a car company, Musk revealed that Tesla has been considering developing a submarine car and has even produced designs for such a car. "It’s funny you should mention that… we do actually have a design for a submarine car, like the one from ‘The Spy Who Loved Me‘ – the Lotus that sort of turns into a sub,” he said.
This isn’t the first time Musk has shown interest in amphibious cars. The entrepreneur is a huge fan of the famous Lotus Esprit that transformed into a submarine in the 1977 James Bond film The Spy He Loved Me. In fact, he loves it so much that he bought the car used in the film at an auction back in 2013 for a winning bid of £616,000 ($997,000). At the time, Musk claimed he was going to upgrade it with a Tesla powertrain to make it transform for real, but this has yet to happen.
"It was amazing as a little kid in South Africa to watch James Bond in The Spy Who Loved Me drive his Lotus Esprit off a pier, press a button and have it transform into a submarine underwater," Musk said at the time. "I was disappointed to learn that it can't actually transform. What I'm going to do is upgrade it with a Tesla electric powertrain and try to make it transform for real." Musk confirmed that he still has the car from the movie and added that it’s one of "the coolest things” he has ever seen.
Don’t get your hopes up for an aquatic Tesla car just yet, though. Musk admitted the market for this type of vehicle would be "small, but enthusiastic,” but Tesla may still build one as a show car. An amphibious car also isn’t Tesla’s highest priority right now, since the automaker is currently building the Model 3, Model S, and Model X, preparing to put the Model Y into production, and is about to unveil an all-electric pickup truck.