Tesla Model S Can Double as Power Boat
The Model S floats well enough "to turn it into a boat for short periods of time," Tesla's CEO, Elon Musk, acknowledges.
After video appeared over the weekend of a man powering his Model S past cars swamped in a flooded tunnel in Almaty, Kazakhstan, Tesla Motors CEO Elon Musk confirmed that the iconic electric car can, indeed, double as a power boat.
"We *def* don't recommend this," Musk posted to his Twitter page, "but the Model S floats well enough to turn it into a boat for short periods of time. Thrust via wheel rotation."
Like other battery-powered cars, the Model S is inherently more watertight than a conventional gasoline-powered vehicle because it lacks a tailpipe. Too, the car features a "bio hazard mode" that locks down the ventilation system, which suggests the cabin is unusually well-sealed, Ars Technica speculated.
Musk has previously shown interest in cars that not only float, but are submersible.
In 2013, following a protracted bidding war, Musk paid $969,000 for the Lotus Esprit used in the underwater sequence in the 1977 James Bond classic The Spy Who Loved Me. In the film, Roger Moore, as 007, drives the Lotus off a pier into the sea where it retracts its wheels, sprouts stabilizers and rudders and turns into a submarine.
"I was disappointed to learn that it can't actually transform," Musk said after purchasing the car. "What I'm going to do is upgrade; it was a Tesla electric power train and try to make it transform for real."
Last year, an Easter egg was discovered in the Model S's suspension settings that turned the picture of the car depicted on the infotainment screen into the submersible Lotus from the movie.