Amphibious Passenger Vehicle to be sold in U.S.
By Brendan Moore
Here’s something a little different: Gibbs Technologies of the U.K. says it will start selling its amphibious vehicles to consumers in the U.S. in 2009. I’ve been following the development of these vehicles for a couple of years now, and it appears as if the company finally intends to sell their cars to the retail public.
Gibbs developed the Aquada in 1997, and has been doing development testing ever since. The company now has 10 models, spread across consumer, commercial and military categories, including the Aquada, and is now poised to enter the market via a yet-unknown distribution network. A company spokesman said the response so far in customer clinics has been extremely strong. The Aquada, the consumer model, will travel in excess of 110 mph on land and 33 mph on water, and cost approximately $85,000 USD.
The only other amphibious vehicle sold to the U.S. public was the odd-looking Amphicar, made in Berlin, Germany in the 1960’s. Few cars were sold in the U.S., and are somewhat prized by collectors today, even though it’s an awful (and slow!) car and a worse (even slower!) boat. I have been in an Amphicar on the road and the water, and it is a somewhat unnerving experience in both environments. You’re in constant peril of being swamped while in the water, and in danger of being run over by any other car while you’re on the road. I will say, however, that the two Amphicar owners I’ve met were inordinately cheerful, nice guys and extremely proud of their unusual vehicles.
Humdinga – commercial model
By all accounts, the products by Gibbs are cutting-edge, modern, attractive and quite fast. Which, BTW, would make them the polar opposites of the Amphicar. Gibbs states that they not only intend to start sales in 2009, but they want to set up R&D facilities and manufacturing plants in the United States for the amphibious vehicles as soon as possible.
I, for one, cannot wait for a combined land/sea test drive.
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