Rinspeed boss Frank M. Rinderknecht (52) is known for his extraordinary automotive creations. The acknowledged James Bond enthusiast and Swiss automobile visionary kept revisiting this scene in his mind over and over: “For three decades I have tried to imagine how it might be possible to build a car that can fly under water. Now we have made this dream come true.”
It's about time. It may seem impractical, but how long before drug smugglers figure out how to totally shake the Coast Guard by lowering the stern, hopping into their sQuba and quietly jetting into the mysterious abyss? A nice, movie-like fantasy.
But really, I don't see where it would be much use in most urban waterways. It's a drop top without a top. You'd lose all your cool cred by the time you resurface, covered in plastic six-pack rings, shopping bags, and condoms. You can just hear your hot date shrieking with horror when she flips the visor mirror to reveal fishing lures and seaweed in her $200 coif.
Still, as was mentioned in last month's Forbes magazine, the last 50 years really hasn't brought us much improvement in our transportation realities. No flying cars, no high-speed inter-city rails across the heartland. If anything, we're more comfortable and distracted than ever before as we stay pent-up in the confines of a beautiful vehicle embarking on a brutal commute, whether by land or air.
For as much a vehicle manufacturers are regulated and taxed, precious little is being left over for a complete redesign of our infrastructure. And there's no money to be made in mass transport. If there were, why aren't we all riding around in Disney Monorails? Because we all want to be alone with our DVDs, iPod ear buds, crying children, and Secret Agent flights of fancy. Our vehicles, for good or ill, have become home for our thoughts, work, entertainment, communication, and dining. Soon, the roads will be clogged with newer and larger conastogas. All that's lacking is some guy named Cookie making boiled coffee and slinging hash.
So let's just sink the whole idea of getting anywhere fast and just go for a swim.