The “hit parade” of the most famous amphibious vehicles on the Planet: latest auto news, short tips for motorists
Credit: / USautoportal
The “hit parade” of the most famous amphibious vehicles on the Planet

1. Amphicar 770

Amphicar 770 is the world's first exclusive civilian amphibious vehicle. It was created by German self-taught engineer Hans Trippel, who began constructing amphibious vehicles even before the Second World War. By the way, it was he who designed famous gullwing doors for Mercedes-Benz 300SL. The production of Amphicar 770 was started in 1961 at the German plant Quandt Group, but almost all the cars were exported to the United States, because they were intended for the U.S buyers. Besides, one such car was even bought by the then American president Lyndon Johnson.

2. Terra Wind

An unusual car by the name of Terra Wind is in the model line-up of the American company Cool Amphibious Manufacturers International. The company was founded in 1999 by the couple John and Julia Giljam, which were literally addicted to travels. So they decided to build corresponding vehicles. In fact, initially they made a 43-feet long luxury floating motor coach Terra Wind for themselves. Inside the recreational vehicle has a full set of kitchen equipment, luxury furniture, leather, wood, marble, home theater and even a spa tub! On the land the motorhome with a 330-horsepower diesel engine in pair with an automatic transmission accelerates to 80 mph, and up to 7 knots on the water. Do you like it? Sure enough you do, so you can pay just $ 1.2 million - and you will get such a custom-made motor coach! The model range of the company also includes such vehicle as four-seater open-top amphicar called Hydra Spyder. The bottom of the vehicle is made as glider swimming aluminium “boat”, on which a fiberglass drop-head body is put on top. The amphicar has a front-wheel drive on the land and a water propeller in the water. On the road Hydra Spyder accelerates to 120 mph, at that the car makers promise a good “drive” thanks to suspension settings and manual transmission.

3. Aquada

Gibbs Technologies is a British private company, founded in 1999 and today it's the best known developer of amphibious vehicles and ATVs. In 2003, the British introduced a sensational three-seater model of high-speed amphibious vehicle - Aquada, which at that time was the fastest amphibian in the world. It set a new world speed record for amphibians, speeding up on the water to 32 mph. And in 2004, Richard Branson, a businessman, crossed the Channel on this vehicle in 1 hour 40 minutes, making another record for amphibians. On the land the Aquada is also quite fast,thanks to 175-horsepower V6 Rover engine which in pair with a 5-speed automatic transmission allows to accelerate to 100 mph. Now the company switched from the production of amphibian passenger cars to development of amphibian trucks with the help of which, the Gibbs wants to interest both the private bidders and army, police and rescue services. They already have all-wheel drive model Humdinga, designed for 6 passengers, with diesel or gasoline engine and with swimming speed up to 30 mph. And the flagship model Phibian - is already the most full-scale amphibian carrier, seating up to 15 people and holding up to 2 tons of cargo. Moreover, it has not one, but two diesel engines, two water propellers and multi-option between rear, front and four-wheel drive on the go!

4. WaterCar Python

Dave March is an American who so much liked the German Amphicar 770 that in 1999, being inspired by this car, he decided to found his own company WaterCar and try to construct something like that. In January 2010 the WaterCar Python prototype was created, which was officially listed in the Guinness Book of Records as the fastest amphibious vehicle in the world! The car was assembled of different parts of American pickup trucks and sports cars, and under the hood there was a V8 engine from the Chevrolet Corvette. It drives out pretty well: of 80mph-plus on land and up to 45mph in the water. However, Python has remained a prototype. But their other model - “Panther” was more commercialized. It debuted in 2013. Panther model is a sort of hybrid between a boat and Jeep Wrangler. It consists of a fiberglass hull, a lightweight chromoly steel chassis and a hydraulic off-road suspension. The 4-seater car weighs just 1.3 tons. It's equipped with Honda's 3.7-litre V6 engine producing 250 hp in pair with a 4-speed manual transmission. The Panther costs $ 155,000 and the company say that the Arabs took a shine to this “amphibious toy”, because the Panther equally impressively drives both in the water and on the sand dunes.

5. Dobbertin HydroCar

Amphibians-fashion is gradually taking over the world. After all, people need their vehicle to givie them maximum flexibility. And this can't be achieved without the ability to move in more than one environment. So various amphibious vehicles such as amphibious buses, amphibious motorcycles and even amphibious motor coaches have appeared. But all of them are just terrestrial vehicles which able to drive on the water. But the amphibious vehicle Dobbertin HydroCar, created by the engineer Rick Dobbertin - it's a boat, after all. But the boat that is able to drive on a paved surface thanks to its four wheels under the underbody. This extraordinary vehicle has under the hood a 9.4-litre engine with 762 hp, allowing it to reach a speed up to 60 mph on the water. However, it isn't known how far the Dobbertin HydroCar can swim in with such consumptive engine. Well, Rick Dobbertin himself states that he has covered on his car almost 3000 miles and he has passed about 30000 miles on the land since the vehicle's creation. So, despite the outside appearance, it's still more a car than a boat. At least, its much more economically to travel on the land than on the water.