Billionaire Elon Musk has plans to eventually sell a Tesla car to appeal to the Inner James Bond in all of us — a car which can transform into a submarine just like the Lotus that Bond drives in the 1977 movie The Spy Who Loved Me.
Well, not just like, as the Lotus in the movie never actually transformed at all. A number of different Lotuses were used to film the movie, each one at a slightly different stage in the transformation process.
He first saw the Bond flick when he was a boy in South Africa. Musk said that later on, when he learned the Lotus Esprit didn’t actually transform, he was “disappointed.”
In the James Bond movie, Roger Moore played Bond. Chased by a helicopter, Bond escapes by driving the Lotus off a pier. Retracting the wheels, Bond then does away with the annoying helicopter by pressing a button which fires a missile at it.
Musk wants the Tesla his company develops to be a working version of the extremely expensive prop Lotus he recently acquired from the movie. The prop Lotus Musk purchased in London from an RM Auction cost him $989,000.
The prop Lotus Esprit which Musk bought “swam” with the aid of a man outfitted in scuba gear underneath it.
Musk has stated that he’d like to use an electric drivetrain, possibly one from the Model S sedan, for the aquatic car he envisions.
If Musk is successful, perhaps one day soon, anyone who can afford to buy the submersible Tesla will get to live out his/her fantasy of being the world’s most famous fictional secret agent.
Besides being known as Tesla’s CEO, Elon Musk amassed much of his initial fortune through PayPal.
He is also the founder and CEO of SpaceX, which has developed a rocket capable of flying straight into the air for over 1,000 feet and landing on a dime back where it was originally launched from.
Musk would like SpaceX to take back the business that the Russians took over from NASA of sending astronauts into space.
Another project that Musk is involved in is a high-speed rail system. Passengers would travel at almost the speed of sound, sent through tubes, between major metropolises like L.A. and San Francisco.
A fan of Lotus cars, Musk used the Lotus Elise as an inspiration and model for the Tesla Roadster.
Perhaps, rather than wanting to be James Bond, Elon Musk would like to be the man-behind-the-man, Q, who designs all sorts of gadgets for Bond.
Soon, thanks to Musk, anyone with enough cash in the bank might be able to…take the plunge, and do a bit of off-road driving in the deep blue sea in a submersible Tesla.
Written by: Douglas Cobb