Aqua fu­ture of land travel

NT News - Motoring - - CARS GUIDE - By MARK HINCHLIFFE

IT can han­dle road, sand, ice and even water — and won’t even make a mark on the environment.

The all-ter­rain ve­hi­cle, which has a top speed of 100km/h and works like a hov­er­craft, can move seam­lessly be­tween the range of dif­fer­ent sur­faces.

Chi­nese de­signer Yuhan Zhang, aged just 21, cre­ated the spec­tac­u­lar car— called the Volk­swa­gen Aqua — for a com­pe­ti­tion that was spon­sored by the Ger­man car man­u­fac­turer.

It fea­tures a shiny, sleek de­sign with four fans and in­te­grated airbags that in­flate to make the ve­hi­cle hover.

It’s also to­tally en­vi­ron­men­tally friendly — the car’s two mo­tors are pow­ered by a hy­dro­gen fuel cell which also boasts zero car­bon emis­sions.

One of the mo­tors in­flates a ‘‘skirt’’ around the ve­hi­cle to lift it off the ground, while the other drives it for­ward and then con­trols the ve­hi­cle’s di­rec­tion.

Mr Zhang says of his de­sign: ‘‘There is no bet­ter form of trans­port than an air cush­ion ve­hi­cle be­cause it can travel equally well over land, ice and water.

I hope Aqua will one day be­come an af­ford­able su­per­car that is widely avail­able to the gen­eral pub­lic

‘‘I hope that the Aqua will one day be­come an af­ford­able su­per­car that is also widely avail­able to the gen­eral pub­lic.’’

The com­pe­ti­tion asked de­sign­ers to come up with a ‘‘Chi­nese off-road ve­hi­cle’’.

The Volk­swa­gen Aqua is based on tech­nol­ogy that is now avail­able.

The Volk­swa­gen Aqua can travel over land, ice or water and is en­vi­ron­men­tally friendly

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