Tesla cars are famous for shifting the race for the ultimate electric car into the next gear thanks to being packed with innovative tech, but they also have another trick up their sleeve after Elon Musk revealed their design can allow them to double up as a boat.

When a video emerged online of a Tesla Model S owner sailing past floundering road users who were caught in flood water, the Tesla CEO responded on Twitter saying: "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".

The viral video was shot by a Tesla driver in Kazakhstan showing a flooded underpass where several cars were stranded in rain water several feet deep.

Despite being in an electric car, the driver was not dissuaded from ploughing straight into the water. They then proceeded to niftily navigate around stricken vehicles and out the other side on to dry road.

The design of the Model S is the reason why this is possible as its chassis is made of lightweight aluminium monocoque that's flat underneath, a bit like a skateboard.

As it has no gears, air intake or carburettor to become bogged down with water, and its battery is completely sealed, the car was able to glide through the water without suffering the same fate of its combustion engine brothers. It's worth noting that while the battery is sealed that doesn't mean Tesla owners should set off for a sailing holiday in their Model S as it is still susceptible to water damage in other areas just like other cars.

Tesla Model S swimming boat
The YouTube video shows the Model S entering the water with its on-board cameras capturing everything. YouTube/Sanzhar Altayev

It is, however, another rather impressive feat for the car that gave us plenty to rave about when we spent time with one for our review. Being an emergency boat can be added to its other list of life-saving features including being awarded the highest safety rating of any car, ever.

Plus it also comes with its Bioweapon defence mode – a medical grade air filter that claims to be able to keep passengers breathing clean air in the event of a biological attack.

The Model S boat mode might actually give us a glimpse of what's to come from the mad mind of Elon Musk after this story prompted him to reconfirm his plans of building a submarine sports car, along the lines of the Lotus Esprit from the Spy Who Loved Me – which Musk actually bought, by the way.