While the mere mention of flying cars can turn us all a bit starry-eyed, the amphibious ones like tourist favorite Duck boat have a bit of a lovable quality as well — albiet in that bulky, clumsy “look at me, I can float” kind of way. However, that may all change with a newly unveiled twin-turbo aquatic beast called the Phibian.
The latest boat-truck concept built by leading amphibious automaker Gibbs Technology is designed to be as adept on land as an all-terrain vehicle while being as fully capable in the water as patrol and rescue boats. While the the 30-foot long vehicle can carry up to 15 passengers, it only weighs as much as a standard SUV (4500 pounds), thanks to a chassis consisting entirely of carbon fiber. Inside is a 500-horsepower jet propulsion diesel engine that enables it to reach highway speeds and cut across the open ocean at 30 mph.
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And if you’re wondering whether drivers can take it off road and floor it right into the sea, that’s exactly what the company had in mind. When Phibian goes from land to water, the wheels retract so that it can seamlessly transition to boat mode in less than 10 seconds with the simple push of a button. The patented system also reduces hull drag whenever in marine use.
Of course most consumers wouldn’t be able to afford something this snazzy, so the New Zealand-based Gibbs is promoting their latest model as a first responder vehicle and high-tech solution for law enforcement and the military. They recently demonstrated the vehicle’s land-to-water capabilities to members of the American Society of Naval Engineers at site along the Potomac River in Arlington, Va.
But for the rest of us who don’t mind going a little fancy-shmantzy, Gibbs also offers the Aquada amphibious car, which can go 100 mph on land and in excess of 30 mph on water. In 2006, Richard Branson (No surprise) used it to set a new record for crossing the English Channel in an amphibious vehicle.
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