Tesla has blueprints for a submarine car it isn't making

Photo of a sunset sky above the ocean
Image Credit: CC0 Creative Commons (Image credit: CC0 Creative Commons)

Tired of driving your car on land like everyone else? It turns out Tesla's engineers have designed a submarine car that would be capable of travelling underwater as well as on the roads.

Tesla's CEO, Elon Musk, spoke of the designs in the company's annual shareholder meeting this week (via TechCrunch). One of the shareholders asked whether an aquatic car was in the pipeline, and Musk confirmed that plans existed, but that they weren't really a priority amongst Tesla's current production targets.

The car designs were apparently inspired by 1977's The Spy Who Loved Me, in which Roger Moore's James Bond drives and dives in an pimped-out car able to convert to a submarine. 

Musk revealed that he owns the Lotus Esprit used in the movie, calling it "the coolest thing" – and saying the market for such a vehicle would likely be "small, but enthusiastic".

Under the sea...

This isn't the first time we've heard of Tesla's aquatic ambitions either: back in July 2018, we heard of plans to manufacture a kid-sized submarine to assist with the high-profile rescue operation of 12 young boys trapped in a cave in Thailand. 

While the vehicle wasn't needed – and may have been more of a PR boost to Tesla than anything else – it seems that Musk is confident in Tesla's ability to make vehicles for sea as well as land.

It's unclear how advanced the designs for a submarine car are, though: it could realistically be anything from a detailed 3D model to a crayon sketch on Elon Musk's fridge. But when rising sea levels finally catch up with us, it'll be good to know we have a backup form of transportation to hand.

Henry St Leger

Henry is a freelance technology journalist, and former News & Features Editor for TechRadar, where he specialized in home entertainment gadgets such as TVs, projectors, soundbars, and smart speakers. Other bylines include Edge, T3, iMore, GamesRadar, NBC News, Healthline, and The Times.