NEW YORK (TIP): Amphibious car! Two men in the US claim to have developed a hybrid vehicle that can be driven on land as well as the sea. Called the Panther, the amphibious car’s co-founders Fred Selby and Dave March have been working on amphibious vehicle projects for more than a decade. The genesis of their work came about after March purchased an Amphicar — a German-designed amphibious convertible from the 1960s. But, he desired a vehicle faster than the Amphicar’s 40-somehorsepower engine could muster.
The duo dabbled with engines from Subaru and Chevrolet, but settled on the Honda engine because of its strength and its copious horsepower — around 250. “It’ll never be the world’s best car, and it’ll never be the world’s best boat,” Selby said. “But it sure as hell is the fastest amphibious vehicle on this globe.” The ‘WaterCar’ resembles a Jeep pickup truck, down to the flatfaced front and its signature taillights. Panther’s grille is only six slots, instead of the Jeep’s signature, trademarked seven-slot grille.
The Panther’s body is constructed of fibreglass, rather than steel, for the sake of lightness, and is coated in anti-corrosion sprays to ward off the effects of salt water. To keep the Panther afloat, a hull is also lined with foam, ‘New York Daily News’ reported. The Panther’s spare interior bears little similarity to the Jeep’s , allowing owners room for customization and individuality .
The hull sticks out slightly from underneath the front of the Panther in order to ensure smooth sailing as well as seamless integration into the vehicle’s design . Panther effortlessly transition from car to boat, the report said. Unlike operating a traditional boat, driver and passengers are all seated, making it somewhat difficult to see through and over the windshield when the boat is on plane, essentially with the nose pointed up and the accelerator floored.