Rinspeed Squba:Underwater Fun for the Motor Enthusiast
Leave it to an avid James Bond fan to create something to please both a motor enthusiast and a SCUBA Diver. The Rinspeed Squba is fully functional on land and underwater.
Using a Lotus Elise as a starting point, Rinspeed took it apart and rebuilt it making sure to look for any small gaps and areas where water could come in. After sealing the bottom of the vehicle, they needed a propulsion system for use in water. They removed the combustion engine and installed 3 electric motors. The larger motor drives the wheels for pavement use. The other 2 are used to spin 2 propellers in the rear of the vehicle. To help when submerged, 2 Seabob Jets set in front of the doors also provide thrust. The combination makes the Squba 100% emissions-free.
Since the Elise is a sports car, Rinspeed was careful not to remove the snappy performance while on land. Top speed has been reduced to an acceptable 75mph. When submerged the Elise can reach roughly 10mph, while on top of the water only 2mph can be achieved. The interior is made of salt-water resistant material and the seats are made of high friction materials so you don't float off.
Self contained tanks provide air to breath while submerged. The reason a closed cabin wasn't used it two-fold. Safety dictates a quick escape is needed and an open top is hard to beat. Secondly, the air pocket would increase the weight needed to submerge by 2 full tons.
No production plans have been released, but they will be showing the Squba the the Geneva Motor Show this week.
From : Jalopnik