Remember Elon Musk’s tweets about the amphibious Lotus from James Bond?

The Tesla Cybertruck might be one of the weirdest production vehicles when it comes to exterior design, but it doesn’t look that strange when compared to concept or movie cars. I mean, I could definitely see Dr. Brown drive one in a new instalment of the Back to the Future film. I could also see James Bond drive under water into a Cybertruck, but that’s mostly because Elon Musk said that the truck’s design was influenced by the amphibious Lotus Esprit built specially for the James Bond: The Spy Who Loved Me movie. And Tesla might actually build one.

Elon Musk is a big fan of the James Bond Esprit

You’re probably familiar with the amphibious Lotus Esprit built for the Spy Who Loved Me film of 1977. The movie car is a conversion of the iconic, first-generation Esprit, with notable modifications including side and rear fins, a closed-off bottom, and covered windows.

While the modified Esprit can't be used as a submarine -- that was just a movie stunt -- it has become a cult vehicle among fans of the James Bond Series, Elon Musk included.
Tesla CEO Buys 007's Lotus-Based Submarine and Has Big Plans for it High Resolution Exterior
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Musk actually purchased the car a few years ago and parked it in Tesla’s Design Studio in California. In 2016, he also announced that he wants to build a "sub car that can drive on roads." He called it a side project though, so it’s not surprising that we haven’t heard about it since.

But upon the unveiling of the Cybertruck, Musk tweeted that the truck’s design was "influenced party" by this movie car. Right before that, Musk tweeted that a pressurized edition of the vehicle "will be the official truck of Mars." Granted, the latter statement seems like a joke, but it could be an important hint. A vehicle that can be driven underwater needs to be pressurized and we already know that SpaceX and Musk want to send a rocket to Mars. So would it be far fetched to use technology designed for a Mars rover to develop an amphibious vehicle? Definitely not!

The Cybertruck seems perfect for a project like this

Is Tesla building an amphibious version of the Cybertruck? Exterior
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Modifying a regular production model into a submarine is practically impossible. Most car designs simply aren’t suitable for such a mission. The windows are too big to handle the underwater pressure, while boxy designs don’t help either. I’m pretty sure than any existing production model wouldn’t be tough enough to handle underwater pressure without a serious redesign. But the Cybertruck could. Its polygonal exterior isn’t just unconventional. It’s heavily linked to its cold-rolled stainless steel construction. It’s a functional shape that contributes to unprecedented resistance, beyond the ability to take a beating with a sledgehammer, as demonstrated during the official unveiling.

And if Musk actually considered the Cybertruck for a Mars rover project, he probably made sure that it could handle the extra pressure of a hostile environment - and that includes water pressure.

A sealed undercarriage, smart sealing materials and techniques, and proper pressurization might just turn this angular pickup truck into a road-going submarine.
Is Tesla building an amphibious version of the Cybertruck? Exterior
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Yes, it’s a crazy idea and we don’t know if or when it will happen, but it would be a cool contraption and a much deserved revival of the James Bond Lotus Esprit.

Ciprian Florea
Senior Editor and Supercar Expert - ciprian@topspeed.com
Ciprian's passion for everything with four wheels (and more) started back when he was just a little boy, and the Lamborghini Countach was still the coolest car poster you could hang on your wall. Ciprian's career as a journalist began long before earning a Bachelor's degree, but it was only after graduating that his love for cars became a profession.  Read More
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