The mishap happened at a boat launching area by the river in Eglisau in Canton Zürich. Both men could swim to the riverbank, NZZ newspaper reported.
According to the police, a 24-year old man drove his car to the pier at about 9pm on Sunday. There he handed over the steering wheel to his friend (29). When the friend wanted to drive away, he put the car into first gear instead of reverse. The sports car jumped straight into the Rhine. Both men escaped from the car and managed to save themselves on the riverbank.
"The car creaked loudly, then I heard a similar noise to when someone dives into the water", a witness told 20 Minuten.
The waiter who watched from the nearby Hirschen restaurant said: "both of them were very lucky that they could save themselves through the window."
Both men watched helplessly as the strong current took the car into the middle of the river, where it sank into the depths. As it was already dark and the Rhine is flowing heavily because of recent rain, the car could not be salvaged that evening.
The cantonal lake police could only begin to locate the car on Monday with sonar and divers, but at the time of reporting there is still no sign of it.