Elon Musk has tweeted over the weekend that the “Model S floats well enough to turn it into a boat for short periods of time”, after footage emerged of the flagship vehicle in a flooded tunnel.
Tesla Model S driving through water
The tweet followed a video of a man driving a Model S through a flooded tunnel in Almaty, Kazakhstan. While there is no information about how deep the water was, at its deepest there appears to be almost two feet of water, judging by the other cars. The video shows that vehicles are clearly struggling, but the Model S is able to navigate through the water with what looks like relative ease.
Musk’s tweet goes on to say that the thrust is provided by the rotation of the wheels in the water.
Please kids, don’t try this at home
In what I am sure will be ignored by many, he added that he “*def*” does not recommend you trying this. Like saying ‘do not try this at home’, I’m sure some people will be unable to resist the urge to see if they can emulate the famous scene in James Bond: The Spy Who Loved Me. It is perhaps not a coincidence that it was Elon Musk who actually bought that actual car, the Lotus Espirit, at auction back in 2013.
Despite Musk stating that the Model S cars are “sealed,” meaning water shouldn’t be able to get to into the engine and electronics, there is also the possibility of problems arising, parts stopping working or general complications. It has been noted, just to give you extra motivation not to try, that the Tesla warranty will not cover aquatic adventures.
He was sure to point out in his original tweet that while it waded through perhaps 30 meters of water, it was only able to float like a boat for a limited amount of time.
Most gas cars struggle in larger bodies of water because the exhaust becomes flooded. Luckily that is not something that electric cars have to worry about. It is unknown how the rest of the Tesla car can cope with being in water.
A fascination for Musk?
Musk is clearly interested in submersible cars. As mentioned, he purchased the aquatic car from the James Bond series. He also added a little bonus for Model S drivers. In the car’s on board computer, in the suspension menu, it is possible to swap the image of your car for that of 007’s Lotus Espirit, which he named ‘Wet Nellie.’
Musk has tweeted about the possibility of cars that are actually designed for water, in his words, “[I am] still planning to do a sports sub car that can drive on roads.” While this news will have a lot of people jumping up and down in excitement, he calmed expectations by adding that it was just a side project and he saw minimal commercial potential for a vehicle of that type. A side hobby for the billionaire genius then…
The Tesla Model S
The Model S was first released in June 2012. It is a fully electric, five door luxury car, which has received rave reviews. A fully charged battery should give you a range of around 250 miles, it can achieve 0 – 60mph in three seconds and can pretty much park itself. Not too shabby for the $70,000 it will set you back. Added to that, we have discovered, it can also float like a boat for a shot period of time…