Josh Marks

Elon Musk to Retrofit James Bond's Submarine Car With a Tesla Engine

by , 10/19/13

Elon Musk, Tesla, James Bond, Lotus Esprit, submarine car, electric vehicles, Tesla electric powertrain, Roger Moore, The Spy Who Loved Me

Elon Musk has already conquered land and space with electric vehicle company Tesla Motors and space transport company SpaceX. So perhaps it should come as no surprise that Musk has set his sights on the oceans next. Musk recently purchased the submarine car prop from the 1977 James Bond classic “The Spy Who Loved Me.” The white Lotus Esprit was sold at a London auction in September for nearly $1 million, and Musk plans to turn the movie prop into a real submarine car by equipping it with a Tesla electric powertrain.


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Having spent $866,000 on the Lotus Esprit, Musk stated he “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.”

Described by film critic Christopher Null as “perhaps the best Bond gadget of all time,” the Lotus Esprit’s transformation from car to submarine is nothing short of spectacular. In The Spy Who Loves Me, Bond drives the Esprit off a pier and into the water, but as the car sinks towards the bottom it smoothly transforms into submarine mode with fins and propellers as Bond pilots the vehicle, and his very suprised passenger, to safety.

This isn’t Musk’s first interaction with a Lotus car: the Tesla Roadster’s design is based on the Elise.

Via Engadget

Lead Image © stuart spicer

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1 Comment

  1. MICHAEL GUNTER January 17, 2014 at 10:13 am

    A mass production amphibious vehicle would probably be a more practical idea to develop at the moment, given the increasing instances of flood events that are occurring around the globe, but I admire the inventiveness, courage and foresight. After all, who knows what may be the long term effect of climate change. We might well end up dining and dancing with the turtles.

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