A composite image of Tesla's new Cybertruck and the 1977 Lotus Espirit (inset) in "The Spy Who Loves Me."

  • Tesla's new Cybertruck is inspired by a 1977 James Bond car that Elon Musk loved so much he bought at auction in 2013.
  • Musk tweeted on Thursday that the R600,0000 truck was "influenced partly" by the white Lotus Espirit used in "The Spy Who Loved Me."
  • "It was amazing as a little kid in South Africa to watch James Bond in The Spy Who Loved Me drive his Lotus Esprit off a pier," he said.
  • In the film, the Lotus Espirit transforms into a submarine, allowing Roger Moore's Bond and his female companion, Anya Amasova, to escape from villains who are chasing them in a helicopter.
  • Musk bought the car used in the film for £616,000 (R15 million) joking after that he was "disappointed to learn that it can't actually transform."
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Tesla's new Cybertruck is inspired by a 1977 James Bond spy car that Elon Musk loved so much he bought it at auction in 2013.

The Cybertruck was unveiled in Los Angeles on Thursday night, with Musk tweeting afterwards its design was "influenced partly" by the film "The Spy Who Loved Me."

Musk added a clip from the film in which Bond, played by Roger Moore, and Bond-girl Anya Amasova, played by Barbara Bach, escape pursuing villains in a Lotus Espirit, which transforms into a submarine when Bond drives it into the ocean.

In October 2013, Musk was outed as the anonymous bidder who bought the Lotus Espirit at auction in London for £616,000 (R15 million, at current exchange rates) the month before.

"It was amazing as a little kid in South Africa to watch James Bond in The Spy Who Loved Me drive his Lotus Esprit off a pier, press a button and have it transform into a submarine underwater," Musk said at the time.

"I was disappointed to learn that it can't actually transform. What I'm going to do is upgrade it with a Tesla electric powertrain and try to make it transform for real."

The Lotus Espirit after it has transformed into a submarine in "The Spy Who Loved Me."

It is not known if Musk has actually made any alterations to the car.

The lauch of Musk's new Cybertruck went off the rails somewhat on Thursday night when its "armor glass" windows were easily smashed during a demonstration.

The car's blocky and angular design has resulted in a slew of memes posted to social media, with many comparing it to the bad graphics of early 2000s video games.

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