Like all Rinspeed designs, the sQuba wasn't built from scratch. It's actually based on a Lotus Elise sports car, a lightweight, agile car that has a distinctive look. Swiss automotive engineering firm Esoro worked on the design while Hornschuch created visual details such as embossed shark shapes. The rear light assemblies have integrated storage compartments for storing items like a cell phone or wallet.
Rinspeed wasn't content to design the world's first submarine sports car -- the company wanted to push technology even further. To that end, the sQuba utilizes an Ibeo laser-guided autonomous driving system. A laser scanner at the front of the car can follow the road, identify lanes and see obstacles, including humans. The car will drive automatically along a road and stop if someone steps into its path.
If that wasn't enough, the car even has a fancy license plate. Flipping louvers switch the words on the plate from "sQuba" to "ZeroEmission" and back again. Why build a car that goes underwater if you can't have some bling?
While on land, the sQuba rolls on Pirelli tires (205/40 R17 front, 225/40 R18 rear) mounted to AEZ-designed forged alloy wheels, specially crafted to be lightweight and offer low aquatic resistance.
So will you be able to test drive a sQuba at your local dealer? Probably not. Rinspeed has no immediate plans to offer production model sQubas. The only existing car cost $1.5 million. However, Rinderknecht can see the sQuba being marketed to the very rich (the Richard Bransons of the world, in other words) at a cost "cheaper than a Rolls-Royce" [source: CNN].
For more information on unusual cars and related stuff, try the next page.
Related HowStuffWorks Articles
More Great Links
- Amphicars.com. "Amphicar Backgrounder."http://www.amphicars.com/acfaq.htm
- Associated Press. "James Bond-style amphibious car launched." Feb. 15, 2008.http://www.cnn.com/2008/WORLD/europe/02/15/underwater.car.ap/
- Macdonald, Carina. "The Gibbs Aquada - an Aquatic Sports Car."http://www.associatedcontent.com/article/4402/the_gibbs_aquada_an_aquatic_sports.html
- QV500.com. "James Bond 007 Part 3: Lotus Esprit."http://www.qv500.com/bondlotusesprit.php
- Rinspeed. "Rinspeed's Zero-Emission World Debut at the Geneva Motor Show - a Green "Fish" with Q-Factor."http://www.rinspeed.com/pages/cars/squba/pre-squba.htm
- Rinspeed. "Rinspeed History."http://www.rinspeed.com/pages/rag/pre-geschichte.htm