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Elon Musk says Tesla has designed a James Bond-inspired submarine car

Published Jun 12th, 2019 4:23PM EDT
Tesla Submarine
Image: Ena/AP/REX/Shutterstock

When it comes to Elon Musk and his penchant for bold statements and ambitious promises, it can sometimes be hard to separate truth from fiction. This shouldn’t be taken to mean that Musk outwardly lies, but rather that many of Musk’s statements are so incredible that they become hard to take at face-value.

Most recently, Musk during a Tesla shareholder meeting was asked about the company’s plans to perhaps develop an aquatic car. Without skipping a beat, Musk replied: “Funny you should mention that… we do have a design for a submarine car like the one from The Spy Who Loved Me.

Musk, of course, is referring to the Lotus Esprit submarine which made an appearance in the aforementioned Bond film. For anyone familiar with Musk, his statement regarding an aquatic prototype shouldn’t come as much of a surprise. Musk has long had an affinity for the submarine in question, so much so that he once spent $866,000 to purchase the Lotus Esprit prop car used in the movie.

At the time of the purchase, Musk said the following:

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.

You might also recall that Tesla in 2015 introduced a Lotus Esprit themed easter egg wherein a photo of the Model S on the dash could be replaced by a Lotus Esprit submarine by bringing up the technician login screen and then typing in the code “007.”

Now is this aquatic vehicle ever going to see the light of day? Let’s be honest: it’s a safe bet that it won’t. Musk is certainly no stranger to making tongue in cheek remarks, though he did add Tesla might manufacture one as something of a show vehicle. All in all, one of the reasons why keeping tabs on Musk and Tesla remains so exciting is precisely because it’s hard to differentiate truth from fiction.

Below is a clip from The Spy Who Loved Me.

Yoni Heisler Contributing Writer

Yoni Heisler has been writing about Apple and the tech industry at large with over 15 years of experience. A life long expert Mac user and Apple expert, his writing has appeared in Edible Apple, Network World, MacLife, Macworld UK, and TUAW.

When not analyzing the latest happenings with Apple, Yoni enjoys catching Improv shows in Chicago, playing soccer, and cultivating new TV show addictions.