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Commercial Amphibious Vehicle Is Part ATV Part Jet Ski

Unknown Lamer posted about 2 years ago | from the what-won't-americans-buy-on-credit dept.

Transportation 76

Hugh Pickens writes "The Washington Post reports that a new vehicle could soon be zooming out of James Bond's garage — or pond — as the Quadski, a one-person all-terrain vehicle that doubles as a personal watercraft, is being billed by its makers as the first high-speed, commercially available amphibious vehicle. Scheduled to go on sale in the U.S. by the end of this year for around $40,000, the four-cylinder, BMW-supplied engine can drive up to 45 miles per hour on land and do a brisk 45 miles per hour in the water (video). 'You just drive straight into the water, quite fast, and keep on going. It's sort of magic,' says Alan Gibbs, the founder of Gibbs Sports Amphibians. The company is also preparing to introduce the Phibian, a 30-foot long, 6.5-ton model, and the Humdinga, a 22-foot, 3.5-ton model, which are both intended for the military and first responders. The company plans to produce 20 Quadskis per day with 150 employees when the plant is in full operation and expects to sell around 1,000 Quadskis in the first year. 'We'll respond to how the market develops,' says Gibbs. 'We wouldn't be doing it without being very confident people will love them.'"

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76 comments

Greetings (-1, Troll)

For a Free Internet (1594621) | about 2 years ago | (#41667517)

Hello, my name is Nario, Laura from the Campaign for a Free Internet is letting me post to Slashdort from her boyfriend's account. Hi Slashdort! I hear you are the Facebook of the Internet, cool! I have a question: food prices are so high that my family is starving and we have not good water to drink. Can eat this machine, and if so can yougive me one, I am hungry.

Re:Greetings (0, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41667595)

You could always try this

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Self-cannibalism [wikipedia.org]

I want (2)

mikeskup (1337) | about 2 years ago | (#41667519)

man I saw the videos yesterday...

looks like it would be great for out in the bush up here in Alaska!!!

Re:I want (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41667661)

looks like it would be great for out in the bush up here in Alaska!!!

You're sleeping with Sarah Palin?

Re:I want (1)

azav (469988) | about 2 years ago | (#41669673)

I just want dual Mattracks on a huge motorcycle/snow mobile.

Re:I want (1)

ColdWetDog (752185) | about 2 years ago | (#41673247)

Yeah. Now, how to get it past the wife. If only it had a snowplow attachment.

It would be seriously useful around SE Alaska IF it were reliable but I think I'll wait a bit. Lots of pieces parts and wheel bearings, etc. tend to dislike salt water.

links to videos (3, Informative)

mikeskup (1337) | about 2 years ago | (#41667529)

Re:links to videos (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41672013)

Which is nice and all, but it's hardly the first high speed amphibious vehicle.

They've had hovercraft for years, commercially available, that will do 45mph. Plus the hovercraft will cover mudflats,etc, a lot better than this thing in either mode.

http://www.hovercraftalaska.com/mainpages/hhpages/hhsubs/perform.html

Why can't they make a car like that? (4, Insightful)

HangingChad (677530) | about 2 years ago | (#41667531)

Enclose the cockpit, add some seat belts and safety features and that would be a heck of a commuter car for people who live someplace like Seattle. No more ferry lines!

Re:Why can't they make a car like that? (3, Interesting)

JustOK (667959) | about 2 years ago | (#41667543)

Add blackjack and hookers and a Starbucks.

Re:Why can't they make a car like that? (2)

nschubach (922175) | about 2 years ago | (#41668179)

It doesn't already have a Starbucks? I thought all BMW powered vehicles came with one.

Re:Why can't they make a car like that? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41669823)

Perfect for guys with tiny tools.

Re:Why can't they make a car like that? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41667555)

They do - it's called the Aquada. It would save me crazy amounts of time driving through rather than around all the lakes around here. Unfortunately it looks like they have run into regulatory issues with it - http://www.autoblog.com/2010/07/06/report-gibbs-aquada-amphibious-car-hobbled-by-federal-requireme/

Re:Why can't they make a car like that? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41667593)

They did. Check out the Gibbs Aquada: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gibbs_Aquada
There are videos all over the place of the vehicle in action.

Re:Why can't they make a car like that? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41667713)

And don't forget the old Amphicar: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amphicar [wikipedia.org]

It's really not a new idea, and it never REALLY takes the world by storm, but it's always kind of neat to see another generation trying it.

I still wish the old "LandShark" had gotten beyond dreams and prototyping: http://www.3wheelers.com/lshark.html [3wheelers.com]
(Or using the old Wayback Machine: http://web.archive.org/web/20060615180435/http://www.landshark.co.uk/ [archive.org] )

For a slightly more complete list of amphibious vehicles (including the Aquada): http://www.amphicars.com/acother.htm [amphicars.com]

Re:Why can't they make a car like that? (1)

JoeMerchant (803320) | about 2 years ago | (#41667891)

Amphicar was just silly, it couldn't motor in water against a stiff breeze.

When I lived on one side of Biscayne Bay near a boat ramp, and worked on the other side of the bay near another boat ramp, I looked into the amphi-cars of the time... they're always expensive, never very good cars, and often quite terrible boats. $40K for a jet-ski/ATV is not too bad, if you have a place to use both... it's not for the daily commute.

Re:Why can't they make a car like that? (1)

spasm (79260) | about 2 years ago | (#41672905)

Although keep in mind even the most fuel efficient jetskis barely do 6-7 mpg.

Re:Why can't they make a car like that? (1)

Bigby (659157) | about 2 years ago | (#41673059)

Or NYC

Re:Why can't they make a car like that? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41675833)

Yes, or you just consider where you're going to be working when you move. It never ceases to amaze me where people will live when they don't think about the commute.

Been there, nearly done that ... (4, Funny)

Turminder Xuss (2726733) | about 2 years ago | (#41667577)

Pffft, I had a car that had half that functionality 20 years ago. Driving OUT of the water though, that would be new for me.

Re:Been there, nearly done that ... (1)

140Mandak262Jamuna (970587) | about 2 years ago | (#41668343)

Senator Ted Kennedy, Thanks for calling from the beyond. How are things there sir?

Re:Been there, nearly done that ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41670337)

Senator Ted Kennedy, Thanks for calling from the beyond. How are things there sir?

Hot, very hot.

Meh (3, Informative)

coinreturn (617535) | about 2 years ago | (#41667589)

Limited use, really. Sure, the video makes it look great, but it has a much wider wheelbase than your typical ATV (more like one of those utility side-by-side vehicles) and looks like it doesn't have great ground clearance.

Re:Meh (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41667719)

I completely agree. Look at how successful the Polaris RZR is just because it is standard ATV trail width. Plus from the website the max payload is only 260lbs/120kg, which is about 60% of what the smallest entry level ATVs are rated.

Re:Meh (5, Funny)

Idbar (1034346) | about 2 years ago | (#41667961)

How is this vehicle limited use? This vehicle comes with a perfect timing after the release of Apple maps. That's how innovation is motivated!

Re:Meh (1)

Provocateur (133110) | about 2 years ago | (#41668801)

I'd want to use both hands to drive that thing; but I can't if I have to hold the iphone5 above the water...

Re:Meh (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41667995)

Unless you own a large parcel of open land that happens to have a large body of open water there is no place you could legally ride it. Bad enough when idiots buy an ATV and realize the only place to ride is trespassing on someone else's property.

Agreed (1)

Weezul (52464) | about 2 years ago | (#41668741)

You can buy a new jet ski for around $8000 and a new ATV for around $2000, meaning you could buy both for 1/4th the price.

There is another issue that jet skis probably suck at dragging huge wheels through the water, meaning that even if this guy isn't nearly as cool at that jet ski for doing jet ski stuff. I'd imagine it's not quite as cool for doing ATV stuff either

If you must travel on both land and water, then you should look into hovercraft instead. I believe most hovercrafts cost more than $40k, but this personal hovercraft [hovercraft.com] costs $22000.

You could therefore buy a jet ski, an ATV, and a hovercraft, all brand new, and save $8k off this critter's price tag.

Also, there are hovercraft kits [hovercraft.com] that cost maybe only $7k, not exactly sure, but not much worse than a jet ski.

Re:Agreed (2)

Lashat (1041424) | about 2 years ago | (#41669901)

This is the most overwhelming problem of all COST!!! Maybe there is a Search and Rescue market, but this is a tough sell for consumers.

Re:Agreed (2)

Dare nMc (468959) | about 2 years ago | (#41670023)

The price may be steep for many tasks, but I would think for california Lifegaurds, for example, this could be enough better, IE they don't need to offroad much, but need to be able to cruise the beech, and rescue surfers, this could significantly improve their performance if they can strap a backboard to the back.

Re:Agreed (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41676107)

But, the maximum payload is also an issue, it's only 260lbs., which means that it may or may not be usable in the event of an emergency. OTOH, if you're that fat, I'm not sure there would have been much they could have done previously.

Re:Agreed (2)

ColdWetDog (752185) | about 2 years ago | (#41673267)

Hovercrafts don't do well over rough terrain. This thing might be a bit better. It's hard to get a hovercraft to climb a steep hill whereas this thing could do it (if there was a road - remember this is America - we're gonna put roads everywhere before we're done).

Re:Agreed (1)

badboy_tw2002 (524611) | about 2 years ago | (#41674723)

Don't forget the cost of the truck to haul all three of them around with you.

The wheels fold in on this thing, and they claim 45 miles an hour on the water which is plenty fast for a jet ski.

I agree it seems like a pretty frivolous toy, but I'm guessing your homebuilt hobby kit hovercraft won't get the mileage and speed this thing does.

Re:Meh (1)

Sulphur (1548251) | about 2 years ago | (#41668923)

Limited use, really. Sure, the video makes it look great, but it has a much wider wheelbase than your typical ATV (more like one of those utility side-by-side vehicles) and looks like it doesn't have great ground clearance.

Or water clearance.

Production Capacity (2)

Talderas (1212466) | about 2 years ago | (#41667599)

It only takes 50 days for them to hit the quote they're expecting to sell. That's roughly 20% of their capacity. What are they using the other 80% on? Otherwise they'll see some massive layoffs.

Re:Production Capacity (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41667843)

"20 Quadskis per day with 150 employees when the plant is in full operation"

They do not expect to be making 20/day from day one.

So what does it do that a hovercraft doesn't? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41667679)

... apart from get stuck on a muddy shore?

Re:So what does it do that a hovercraft doesn't? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41667797)

actually take a corner at high speed

Re:So what does it do that a hovercraft doesn't? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41668881)

That said good luck getting a hovercraft up a mountain.

Re:So what does it do that a hovercraft doesn't? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41668839)

or be as fast

Uhhhh.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41667705)

This is NOT new. I had a 3wheeler that was setup for water use. enclosed electronics, foam float parts, sand type paddle tires, vane on the front forks..
It would cruse right from the beach out across the water. Maybe not quite as fast. But a lake was no problem to drive across.

And that was back in the 80's.... Before they banned 3wheelers in the usa. You're tellin me theres no quad that's done it in the last 30 years until now? bullshit...

Re:Uhhhh.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41679069)

Before they banned 3wheelers in the usa.

You Americans can be pretty funny sometimes.

Slashvertisement? (2)

cmseagle (1195671) | about 2 years ago | (#41667711)

This seems like little more than an ad for a product. It's a cool recreational vehicle, but is it really "New For Nerds"?

Target audience (3, Insightful)

Overzeetop (214511) | about 2 years ago | (#41667781)

Well, rednecks don't make enough money to afford one, and real rich people don't do actual outdoors stuff where you get wet/dirty, which means the only other people who will buy it are geeks.

Re:Target audience (2)

oneiros27 (46144) | about 2 years ago | (#41668463)

Sure they get dirty ... all that polo and dressage. And then there's the the 'new rich' (ie, those people who weren't born into it); they need something to do as they relax after having made their millions ... don't forget that Vanilla Ice is (was?) a professional jet ski racer.

I could also see it appealing to the people who live in the back woods where there happen to be deep enough streams to make them navigable.

I could see it opening up large tracks of land for the 'off the grid' people where it's not so easy to get to right now. Of course, that also mean poachers, people drilling for oil, prospecting, etc would have better access. For example, there was an episode of Gold Rush on the discovery channel, where they couldn't get in by boat because of waterfalls, and they couldn't get in by ATV because of the water ... this would solve that problem (assuming they got someone smaller to ferry the equipment in ... I'm guessing most of those folks were near or over the max weight for a jet ski)

Of course, we could also be optimistic and say it could be used by search & rescue groups. ... and yes, it'll also be bought by geeks to go along side their Segway and whatever other toys they have.

Re:Target audience (1)

kraut (2788) | about 2 years ago | (#41668737)

If you get dirty doing dressage, you're not doing it right.

And by the looks of it those things don't have the ground clearance for serious off roading.

Re:Target audience (1)

tehcyder (746570) | about 2 years ago | (#41679225)

If you get dirty doing dressage, you're not doing it right.

It's not so much the dressage as the rough horse-sex afterwards in the stalls that gets most horsemen and women dirty. Apparently.

Re:Target audience (1)

Overzeetop (214511) | about 2 years ago | (#41669079)

It's more likely to be like my mountain bike and my golf clubs - used maybe half a dozen times a year combined. But they look nice in my garage, and if I wanted to, I could go out and play any time. The difference is that my bike and clubs cost less than 1% of what a pair of these will run you. And, to be honest, if I were making $20M/yr - sure, I might get a pair.

Re:Target audience (1)

tehcyder (746570) | about 2 years ago | (#41679081)

don't forget that Vanilla Ice is (was?) a professional jet ski racer

Further proof that no one apart from complete and utter wankers ever used a jet ski.

Re:Target audience (1)

radtea (464814) | about 2 years ago | (#41672057)

which means the only other people who will buy it are geeks.

More likely some kind of "eco-tour for urbanites" outfit that will buy them and rent them to people whose idea of getting out into nature is to tear as much of it up as possible while being loud, obnoxious, and dangerous to themselves and others.

Re:Target audience (1)

ColdWetDog (752185) | about 2 years ago | (#41673315)

That might work. Around here (SE Alaska) there are a couple of outfits that take regular ATVs, stick them on a boat and dump the bear bait^Htourists on a logging road and let them explore. I doubt the economics would work out well as it's likely cheaper to ferry a half dozen regular ATVs in a boat then purchase a batch of them, but it's a thought.

Re:Target audience (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41679543)

I didn't realise that people actually lived in Alaska. Are you serious?

Re:Target audience (1)

Bigby (659157) | about 2 years ago | (#41673105)

I would love to drive myself to NYC from Jersey City by driving to Liberty State Park and right into the Hudson, and then pull right up on some ramp in Manhattan. The problem right now would be ramps. If you fall into the Hudson, there is practically no way to get out as a swimmer, let alone a vehicle.

Re:Target audience (1)

rotor (82928) | about 2 years ago | (#41673175)

Have you met any rednecks? They may not make much money, but they will blow all their credit on something like this. And their kids credit, neighbor's credit, and the cash from that liquor store they knocked over.

Re:Target audience (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41675295)

Well, rednecks don't make enough money to afford one...

Says the person who must have never been around the oil industry, defense contractors, or motorsports. Maybe you don't know them personally, but there actually are a lot of down and dirty rednecks that actually do have too much money to spend.

Best way to market it would be to get it some floor space at Bass Pro or Cabela's. Just put a deer rack on the back of the thing, and you'd likely be surprised how fast it'd sell. And good hunting or fishing gear isn't exactly cheap, I've browsed that section out of curiosity before going to the camping supplies. That expensive amphib-ATV would fit right in there.

Nice try (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41667775)

There is no way it does both 45 MPH on land AND water. I can run upto 15MPH, but I sure as hell can't swim anywhere near as fast.

Re:Nice try (4, Insightful)

JoeMerchant (803320) | about 2 years ago | (#41667935)

If it gets up on a plane, 45mph on water is entirely believable - 45mph limit on land is likely for safety, not lack of power to go faster. I took an ATV up to 50mph on a backwoods trail once - was great fun as a branch whizzed past my head... decided that was enough fun for one lifetime and I keep the ATVs under 30 in the woods now.

He's making a small fortune in amphibious vehicles (3, Interesting)

PerMolestiasEruditio (1118269) | about 2 years ago | (#41667803)

... Out of a large one.

Alan Gibbs is a kiwi rich-lister who is monomaniacal about amphibious vehicles - typical for otherwise uncreative people who think they have had a good idea. Most engineers I know probably have a more viable commercial idea every month or two.

He has squandered probably in the region of $100 million on developing amphibious vehicles, but to date the world has yawned, because there is almost no one who could or would actually have a use for such an expensive and high maintenance folly with compromised performance on both land and water.

Re:He's making a small fortune in amphibious vehic (2)

JoeMerchant (803320) | about 2 years ago | (#41667963)

At least he's having fun, and spending his money instead of using it for insulation in his mansion.

Re:He's making a small fortune in amphibious vehic (1)

Bigby (659157) | about 2 years ago | (#41673131)

And he's created $100 million in jobs (and materials) over that time and he didn't waste anyone else's money. More (or less) power to him. At least he is not the government...

Re:He's making a small fortune in amphibious vehic (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41679557)

And he's created $100 million in jobs (and materials) over that time and he didn't waste anyone else's money. More (or less) power to him. At least he is not the government...

I'd rather he had been forced to pay 100% tax on his wealth over a million or so and let people who know what they're doing spend the money on behalf of society rather than one rich tossjob.

Same with Bill Gates, Steve Jobs and all the rest of the rich fuck-widgets. Let them earn a bit more than average, then tax them at 100%. Cunts the lot of them.

Re:He's making a small fortune in amphibious vehic (1)

dargaud (518470) | about 2 years ago | (#41668111)

Hit a rock or two in ATV mode and you precious water propulsion is probably busted. And those retractable wheels probably have lots of small fragile mechanical parts...

Don't hold your breath waiting (5, Informative)

RPGonAS400 (956583) | about 2 years ago | (#41667855)

I saw this in the news yesterday and contacted a friend who worked there for a while. He said the company is a billionaire's toy shop and nothing has ever come to final production. He thought this project was shelved and told me to not hold my breath.

Re:Don't hold your breath waiting (1)

TheLink (130905) | about 2 years ago | (#41670159)

Has he started going around in a mask and cape yet?

Re:Don't hold your breath waiting (1)

tehcyder (746570) | about 2 years ago | (#41679561)

What is the point of billionaires?

No, I don't know either.

Looks cool but not the first amphibious ATV. (2)

JimieRaeWinchester (2372070) | about 2 years ago | (#41667901)

Very cool, but not the first of it's type. Ever hear of an Argo? Check out: http://www.argoatv.com/ [argoatv.com] although they are not fast, they sure are fun in the bush.

Re:Looks cool but not the first amphibious ATV. (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | about 2 years ago | (#41676569)

Those are slow as shit. Still cool, though. However, the guy is still a liar. "Gibbs, a former diplomat and entrepreneur from New Zealand, says the Quadski is the first land vehicle for sale that can go more than 10 mph in water." But that is a lot of cockery [camillc.com] . I don't think you can actually buy either of these vehicles right now, but the Hydra Spyder was offered first.

But what a getaway vehicle! (1)

rmdingler (1955220) | about 2 years ago | (#41667911)

They"ll probably need one for The Italian Job remake.

It looks ugly (1)

140Mandak262Jamuna (970587) | about 2 years ago | (#41668333)

The four tired wheels are sticking out of the sides when it is in water. Looks like Wile E Coyote after it has hit the ground after walking off a cliff and made the mistake of looking down. On land, ok, it looks like a regular ATV with some weirdly acceptable running boards. And this costs 40K? They are better off selling it as rescue vehicle rather than a recreational vehicle.

Quadski? (1)

Ol Biscuitbarrel (1859702) | about 2 years ago | (#41669007)

I went to high school with that guy. Engraves bowling trophies for a living. What a mook.

It's gonna be made in the US (1)

Rexdude (747457) | about 2 years ago | (#41671289)

Given how everything's being outsourced to China these days, I'm sure the fact that this is US built also adds to the price tag. Maybe they can also play up the patriotism factor a bit - 'buy an innovative honest to goodness American built ATV!'

Breaking news... uploaded to YouTube 6 years ago! (1)

Thurmont (712483) | about 2 years ago | (#41671319)

So this is "something new" when the YouTube video shows it was uploaded 6 years ago? I don't seem to recall James Bond driving used vehicles.

Great News!!! (1)

0xG (712423) | about 2 years ago | (#41672541)

Now you can harass waterfowl as well as land animals without having to change equipment!

Horrors (1)

pubwvj (1045960) | about 2 years ago | (#41675255)

How awful. We already have too many ATVs, Snowmobiles and Jetskis zipping around, destroying the environment and making it harder to enjoy the natural world. We don't need the noise, toxic pollution and other destruction.

Cost Effective? (1)

sociocapitalist (2471722) | about 2 years ago | (#41679633)

How many non-amphibious jet-skis and quads could you buy with that same 40,000 USD?

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