sQuba – James Bond Lotus Elise

sQubaThe days are getting longer and warmer and the temptation to pull a bit of a Roger Moore gets harder to resist.

What? You know. 1977. James Bond. Lotus Esprit.

Yeah, you got it. The bit where Bond ‘dips the headlights’ of his Lotus in The Spy Who Loved Me.

The crazeees at Swiss design company Rinspeed have based their newest creation on the newer Lotus Elise and called it sQuba.

The sQuba is an all-electric vehicle with three motors, one to drive the car on land and two to power a pair of screw drives for underwater movement. These are aided by two Seabob jet drives that “breathe” through rotating louvers mounted on the car’s fenders and appear to give the car its maneuverability underwater.

The sharp minded amongst you might think that a submersible convertible sounds like a submarine with a cat-flap but Rinspeed has got a handful of reasons why it didn’t go with a closed cockpit.

Safety is one, because in an emergency, occupants might not be able to exit a closed cockpit vehicle underwater. Buoyancy was another, as the vehicle would’ve needed two tons of extra weight to offset the volume of air inside a cockpit, which would’ve seriously compromised the car’s on-road handling. The small issue of breathing underwater is solved by an onboard breathing system that works like, well, scuba gear.

As it is, the sQuba appears to act just like a normal Elise on land and rides on a stainless coil-over suspension wearing Pirellis wrapped around custom forged lightweight AEZ wheels (17-inches in front, 18 out back).

Other unique features include a salt-water resistant interior, super high-friction diamond abrasive materials so you don’t float out of your seat, and a laser sensor system for driverless motoring that’s been field tested at the DARPA Challenge. Clearly, Rinspeed has thought of everything – Q would be proud.