Three decades ago James Bond (then enacted by British star Roger Moore) wowed the world with a car that could ‘fly’ under water in the movie The Spy Who Loved Me. Only, it was animation and not an actual scene. But Frank M Rinderknecht, the 52-year-old automobile visionary and boss of Swiss automaker Rinspeed, has turned a dream into reality with his ‘sQuba.’ Rinspeed sQuba is the most exciting thing at this year’s Geneva Motor Show and is creating many a ripple.
sQuba is the world’s first real submersible car that can ‘move like a fish underwater’.
It can dive up to 32.8 feet (10 mt) below the surface of the water and can move at a sedate 1.8 miles per hour.
The sQuba has an open cockpit for ‘safety reasons’ (so that people can get out easily anytime in case of an emergency). The occupants of the car have to breathe compressed air through built-in scuba masks.
sQuba is an electric car that uses rechargeable lithium-ion batteries and 3 electric motors for propulsion. It is a zero-emission car as documented by the rotating license plate in the rear. It produces no exhaust emissions.
The ‘sQuba’s’ filling station is the water reservoir.? It is no surprise that the vehicle features powerful yet energy-saving LED lighting technology.
The first car that could drive underwater was Quandt’s Amphibicar, built in 1968. Only 3,878 were produced but many are still being driven on roads.
Then Gibbs Technologies came up with Gibbs Aquada in 2004 which Virgin boss Richard Branson used to break the speed record for crossing the English Channel. However, the sQuba seems to be the most exciting of them all.
To drive on the roads, the sQuba ‘relies on a stainless coil-over suspension from KW automotive and large Pirelli tires mounted on custom-made forged light-weight wheels from AEZ with 17- and 18-inch diameters.’
Length —– 3’785 mm Width —– 1”940 mm Height —– 1’117 mm Wheelbase —– 2?300 mm Track front —– 1?470 mm Track rear —– 1?520 mm Ground clearance —– 130 mm Empty weight —– approx. 920kg
Top speed —– > 120 km/h Acceleration 0-80 km/h —– 7.1 sec Water speed —– > 6 km/h Under water speed —– > 3 km/h Dive depth —– 10 m
Street —– Electric Power output —– max. 54 kW at 4’500 /min Torque —– 160 NM at 1’500 /min Water – Stern propellers —– Electric Power output —– 2 x 800 W Diving – bow jet drives —– Electric Power output —– 2 x 3.6 kW Rotinor Batteries —– Lithium-Ionen Voltage —– 6 x 48 Volt
Power train —– Rear wheel drive Gearbox —– R – N – F Suspension Chassis —– Steel Body panels —– Carbon Nano Tubes Seating capacity —– 2 Front suspension —– Double wishbone Rear suspension —– Double wishbone Dampers/springs —– KW automotive Steering —– Rack & pinion
Front tyres —– Pirelli P Zero 205/40 R17 Front wheels —– AEZ 7.5 x 17″ Rear tyres —– Pirelli P Zero 225/40 R18 Rear wheels —– AEZ 8 x 18″ Miscellaneous Air supply —– 1 x 15 liter + 1 x 18 liter ScubaPro Laser scanner —– Ibeo Lubricants —– Motorex