December 20, 2007 Never shy of venturing into unchartered territory, Swiss automotive design company Rinspeed’s latest Concept takes the aquatic theme showcased in its 2004 Splash Amphibious Hydrofoil Sportscar to the next level with its latest creation - the sQuba diving Concept Car. Thirty years after the release of the film The Spy Who Loved Me, where James Bond took to the deep in a subaquatic Lotus Espirit, Rinspeed aim to turn the famous cinematic sequence into reality with an amphibious, zero-emission Concept designed to dive to depths of up to 33 feet (10 meters) using two propellers in the stern and two jet drives in the bow.
To be unveiled at the Geneva Motor Show in March, 2008, the rear-wheel drive sQuba is powered by an electric motor putting out 37 kW at 4,500 /min with torque of 160 NM at 1,500 /min according to the the specs released to date by Rinspeed. The rear jet drives for underwater cruising rely on two seperate 3.6 kW Rotinor (a name behind Seabob) electric engines and the body panels of the 920kg two-seater are made from carbon nano tubes with a steel chassis underneath.
Driver and passenger obtain fresh breathing air via 1 x 15 liter and 1 x 18 liter ScubaPro air supplies in a self-contained on-board system and back on dry land the sQuba is designed to drive itself autonomously at the push of a button.
Rinspeed boss Frank M. Rinderknecht also remembers The Spy Who Loved Me, acknowledging the inspiration gained from the the spectacular big-screen experience: "This amazing - yet at the time animated - film sequence materializes and becomes reality, in today's world", says Rinderknecht.
In the market? Unfortunately sQuba is destined to remain as a unique one-off concept vehicle, but stay tuned to Gizmag for more details as they emerge ahead of the Geneva Motor Show.