Mag­i­cal ride on wa­ter

NT News - Motoring - - CARS GUIDE - By STU­ART MARTIN

SOON there may be no need to stop at the wa­ter’s edge, if the ul­ti­mate toy for the bush and the beach goes on sale here next year.

De­vel­oped by Gibbs Sports Am­phib­ian — founded and owned by Kiwi Alan Gibb — the Quad­ski sin­gle­seater is an all-ter­rain ve­hi­cle that trans­forms into some­thing akin to a jet­ski.

At $40,000 the am­phib­ian amuse­ment is not go­ing to come cheap but when you con­sider it’s two ve­hi­cles in one, per­haps the pric­etag looks a lit­tle less daunt­ing.

While there have been other am­phibi­ous ve­hi­cles, none have been able to achieve speeds of up to 70km/h on land and wa­ter.

‘‘You just drive straight into the wa­ter, quite fast, and keep on go­ing. It’s sort of magic,’’ com­pany founder Alan Gibbs says.

‘‘We’ll re­spond to how the mar­ket de­vel­ops . . . we wouldn’t be do­ing it with­out be­ing very con­fi­dent peo­ple will love them.’’

It’s pow­ered by a 104kW BMW K1300 mo­tor­cy­cle 01en­gine which drives the rear wheels on land; when driven into the wa­ter it takes just four sec­onds to tuck the wheels up.

The Quad­ski then sits on its fi­bre­glass composite hull and uses an in-house water­jet to pro­pel it.

At 3.2m long and 1.6m wide it’s longer and heav­ier than a con­ven­tional ATV; the dry weight— par­don the pun— is 535kg.

The com­pany is also work­ing on larger mod­els that would also have mil­i­tary ap­pli­ca­tions.

Gibbs Sports Am­phib­ians was founded 16 years ago and has since re­port­edly spent more than US$200 mil­lion on the project, build­ing nine pro­to­types and reg­is­ter­ing more than 300 patents. It’s not the first am­phibi­ous ve­hi­cle de­vel­oped by the com­pany.

The Aquada high-speed am­phibi­ous ve­hi­cle claims top speeds of 160km/h on land and 50km/h on wa­ter.

You just drive straight into the wa­ter, quite fast, and keep on go­ing. It’s sort of magic

It was used by Sir Richard Bran­son to set a new record — 1 hour 40 min­utes — for cross­ing the English Chan­nel in an am­phibi­ous ve­hi­cle. The com­pany has also de­vel­oped the 4WD Phib­ian — which can carry up to 12 pas­sen­gers or can carry 1500kg of cargo and is de­signed pri­mar­ily for more mil­i­tary ap­pli­ca­tions.

Also in the de­vel­op­ment pipe­line is the Humdinga II, a su­per­charged V8 4WD ve­hi­cle that can seat up to seven.

It is also a ve­hi­cle de- signed with emer­gency ser­vices in mind.

The Quad­ski am­phibi­ous ve­hi­cle will be made at the com­pany’s Michi­gan fac­tory — for­merly a Dae­woo plant — and the com­pany is aim­ing to sell as many as 1000 a year once full pro­duc­tion (at a rate of 20 ve­hi­cles per day) is un­der­way.

The Quad­ski sin­gle-seater is an all-ter­rain ve­hi­cle that trans­forms into some­thing akin to a jet­ski

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.