There's an old saying that goes "boys never grow up, their toys just get bigger".
Tesla Motors CEO Elon Musk certainly has some big toys, as the founder of an electric car company and SpaceX among other things. But it turns out he has one toy that any boy would be envious of: the Lotus Esprit from the James Bond 007 film, The Spy Who Loved Me.
Film buffs will recall that this particular Lotus turned into a submarine in the film, but in reality the underwater scenes were shot using a model. Now, according to Jalopnik (via Motor Authority) Musk wants to turn the Lotus into a real submarine--and one using electric propulsion.
It all started when an anonymous buyer bought the old Lotus blind at a storage auction for a faintly ridiculous $100--only to discover what was inside.
Fast forward a few years and Musk bought the car at auction for nearly $900K, revealing that he'd fallen in love with the car watching the film as a kid in his native South Africa, but was disappointed to find out the real car didn't actually transform.
Fast forward a bunch more years and Musk is in pretty much the perfect position to make the car-submarine come to life. He has the money, for a start--a project like this ain't gonna be cheap--and he has the technological expertise. With Tesla, he also has the powertrain expertise to make it all-electric.
There are hurdles of course. It's difficult keeping water out of a Lotus on dry land, let alone when it's entirely submerged. Nor are cars the most buoyant of objects. Then there's the whole process of making the wheels retract and having them replaced by rudders. Basically, lots of engineering headaches all rolled into one iconic British sports car, but very cool all the same.
Next week: Elon Musk turns a DeLorean DMC-12 into an actual time machine.