Skip to main content

Elon Musk wants to make 007’s Lotus ‘submarine car’ real with a Tesla transplant

elon musk buys 007 submarine car lotus side
I wonder if Musk will use this Teslaized Lotus sub to launch his evil plan to take over the world. Image used with permission by copyright holder

Most of us here at Digital Trends have been convinced for sometime now that co-founder and CEO of Tesla Motors, Elon Musk, must be a secret, Bond-like super villain. I say secret because although he’s not yet unveiled a death-ray, we feel like he could at any time.

Now, however, we’re convinced of it.

News just surfaced that Mr. Musk was in fact the $866,000 auction winner of the Lotus Esprit submarine car that Roger Moore drove, as 007, into the sea in the 1977 Bond film The Spy Who Loved Me.

This alone might be a wacky story – but it gets better. Musk plans to fit the Esprit with a Tesla drivetrain and then to make it both a functional car and submarine – a feat not even the technical wizards behind the original sub build were capable of.

Here’s how Musk put it in his own words, via Jalopnik: “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. 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.”

This will be no small undertaking, making an electric sub that can also drive on land.

Aside from the obvious clash between electrons and water, Musk’s engineers will have to make the car safely transform from land-lover to salty sea dog. Then, and perhaps most difficult of all, designers will have to also overcome the natural downforce created by the Lotus’ bodywork, which sends the sub straight to the sea floor.

We’re quite excited by the prospect of Mr. Musk’s new toy. We hope that it A.) doesn’t end up killing him and B.) keeps him busy long enough to delay his inevitable conquering of the eastern seaboard.

Editors' Recommendations

Nick Jaynes
Former Digital Trends Contributor
Nick Jaynes is the Automotive Editor for Digital Trends. He developed a passion for writing about cars working his way…
Tesla to fix window software on 1M of its U.S. cars
A 2021 Tesla Model S.

Tesla is sending out an over-the-air update to a million of its vehicles in the U.S. to fix faulty window software that could leave occupants with pinched fingers.

According to a document issued by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), Tesla engineers discovered that the affected vehicles may not meet certain automatic window reversal system requirements. It said that in some cases, the window may exert more force before automatically retracting when sensing an obstruction such as a person’s fingers. The condition “may increase the risk of a pinching injury to the occupant,” the NHTSA’s document says.

Read more
Elon Musk issues stark ultimatum to Tesla workers
Elon Musk stands looking to his right.

Tesla chief Elon Musk has told his workers to return to the office or leave the company, according to a memo sent to staff this week.

Some Tesla office employees have been working at home during the pandemic, but Musk now wants them to get out of the house and restart the commute.

Read more
Elon Musk eyes 2024 for Tesla robotaxi sans steering wheel, pedals
Elon Musk - Tesla CEO

Tesla is aiming to mass produce a robotaxi by 2024, CEO Elon Musk revealed during an earnings call with investors on Wednesday as the company reported better-than-expected quarterly figures.

The dedicated robotaxi will feature a “futuristic” design and come without a steering wheel or pedals, Musk said, adding that the vehicle, which would build on the automaker’s current self-driving technology, could be “a massive driver of Tesla’s growth.”

Read more