Do you remember that scene of the movie ‘The Spy Who Loved Me’ in which 007 Roger Moore when he dove below the waves in a submersible Lotus Esprit that moments before seemed to be an ordinary car? Obviously that scene was a fake but now that dream had become reality thanks to Frank M. Rinderknecht, the boss of Rinspeed (a swiss automobile company specialized in futuristic concept cars) who had created sQuba, a car originated by a Lotus Elise that is able to goes on land, to cruise on the surface of the sea and also (incredible!) to dive and fly like a fish in the water down to 10 meters below the surface.
The car is capable of speeds of up to 120 km/h on land, a more sedate 6.4 km/h, cruising in "boat" mode and just 3.2 km/h beneath the surface. Unlike the Bond original, the modern version has an open top. The interior is made from waterproof plastics, which allow water to drain off when the car surfaces.
Occupants have to wear wetsuits to stay dry and breathe air from an integrated tank similar to that used by scuba divers. The vehicle can stay underwater until it runs out of air or battery power, normally about two hours. The main reason for having an open cabin is safety. Mr Rinderknecht explained: "Even at one metre depth, the water pressure would keep the doors closed so you could not get out in an emergency. With an enclosed cabin, opening the door might be impossible."
Three motors are located in the rear. One provides propulsion on land, the other two drive the screws for underwater motoring and if a submersible car is not enough high tech, Squba is also a zero-emission car! It produces no exhaust emissions and the power is a supplied by rechargeable Lithium-Ion batteries.
Sadly, those who would like to say "My name is Pond... James Pond.. pardon Bond!" may never be able to get their hands on this dreamcar as there are no plans to put it into production... but you could see the £750,000 ($1,640,000) prototype at the Geneva Motor Show next month.
sQuba on land is anyway a beautiful car
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