Is the Tesla the modern Amphicar?
Volkswagen used to claim that their Beetles were built so well and sealed so tightly that they would advertise that the car "won't float indefinitely but will definitely float."
Now it appears that the same can be said of the Tesla. Apparently a driver in Kazakhstan drove through a flooded tunnel in his Model S. The batteries are sealed and an electric car doesn't need combustion air, so it makes sense that it would keep going when the conventional cars do not.
It is hard to imagine what possessed the driver to try this with such an expensive car, but it's good to know. Mr. Musk is impressed:
We *def* don't recommended this, but Model S floats well enough to turn it into a boat for short periods of time. Thrust via wheel rotation.— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) June 19, 2016
Now if he really wanted to do it right, Musk would introduce a version with propellers like the Amphicar had, and a few other options:
© Amphicar postcard
In the water, switching from wheel-drive to twin-propeller-drive was as simple as flipping a lever, and both forms of drive could be used for landings. The transmission that drove the propellers had just one forward and one reverse gear, and reverse was used to slow or stop the Amphicar once underway. As on land, steering was provided by the car’s front wheels, which acted as crude rudders to provide convenient, if not necessarily precise, control. The Amphicar used a two-stage door seal (with a second locking mechanism at door bottom) and an electronically welded body made from mild steel to ensure watertightness; if that didn’t work, Amphicars were also equipped with a high-capacity electric bilge pump and were fitted with waterproof seating.
Now that would be useful.