The Lotus Esprit S1 is a British sports car manufactured by automaker Lotus. The S1 (or Series 1) was manufactured between 1976 and 1978 after making its debut at the Paris Auto Show in 1975. While it was originally praised for its superb handling, the S1 was said to have lacked power despite weighing in at less than 1000 kilograms especially in the American market due to American emission standards that required its engine to be substantially down-rated. With a poor 0-60 record of 8 seconds, by no means did the car have a supercar performance.
However, this is where the car’s woes end. It was featured in the James Bond Film The Spy Who Loved Me (1977) and while being another typical exotic, heavily-armed car, it is most remembered for its amphibious capabilities by transforming into a fully functional submarine (at least in the movie). In a chase scene culminating in Roger Moore plunging into the ocean, the S1 transforms into a fully submersible version of itself by having its wheels retract to display fins/tails for navigation, a periscope protrude from the top, and having propellers appear from under the body-kit at its “stern” for propulsion. It was also armed with a posterior cement-spraying nozzle for enemies (which was merely grey oatmeal for filming purposes), SAM missiles, a black ink spraying nozzle akin to an octopus, underwater contact mines, and a frontal torpedo launcher
While for its time, a car that could literally transform into a fully submersible version of itself would have been an engineering marvel, the production crew had to settle for 2 road versions of the S1 and 6 fully-sealed body-shells for the underwater scenes. Scaled down miniatures were also used for creating certain shots.
Now at the Dezer Auto Museum in Fort Lauderdale, you can see the S1 for yourself in all its aquatic glory.