June 15, 2004

James Bond, Eat Your Heart Out

Time for a fun post about a different kind of "mobile technology", and just in time for Father's Day:

What is it about convertible cars that we find so cool? I'm not talking about putting the top down. For amphibious gadget car fans everywhere (which arguably includes fans of the James Bond Lotus Esprit submarine and Ian Fleming's kiddie version, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang), this real-life amphibious sports car just broke the Guiness World Record for the fastest crossing of the English Channel by an amphibious vehicle.

The Gibbs Aquada takes about 10 seconds for the car's wheels to retract, the power to switch, and the boat to take off. The accelerator can then be used as a throttle in the water. The makers claim the Aquada can reach speeds of more than 100mph on land and 30mph on water. All for the low bargain price of 75,000 ($115,000 US). If nothing else, it's fun to look at the movie and photos of a true convertible that isn't just a Hollywood mock-up.

That thinking inspired the Swiss-made Splash vehicle, which attempts to kick it up a notch by being able to "drive on land, sail on water and fly through the air" (the latter two look to be hydrofoil and ground effect driven, respectively). Personally, I think it's bit over the top, while the Aquada is more refined. Although, the Aquada's V-hull could be murder over speed bumps!

[Update 7.18.04: While perusing DiscoveryResources.org today, I realized I was completely remiss in not mentioning the WaterCar, which boasts better speed performance over the Aquada and looks more like a street-ready sports car (inspired by the Camaro). Boating Life has a side-by-side comparison of the WaterCar vs. Aquada. Previously, this post had absolutely no relevance to legal technology, but all work and no play makes Jack/Janet a dull lawyer. Then I go surfing over to DiscoveryResources, and it all ties together!]

Topic(s):   Mobile Tech & Gadgets
Posted by Jeff Beard