You might be pondering upon the car depicted in above picture. What is it? A car caught in the flood waters? Or a crazy fellow trying some adventurous stunts? Don’t get confused with the outnumbering ideas popping up in your head. This car is actually swimming…yes! It is an SUV that is capable of riding on land as well as on water. This is ‘Amphicruiser’. It derived the name from its amphibian characteristic and a Toyota Land Cruiser engine under the hood!
This innovative 4WD SUV is to serve both commercial and recreational purposes. Dutch Amfibious Transport (DAT), a Nederlands based company, designed and manufactured this Amphicruiser. With this, the company successfully ventured into the business of amphibious vehicles.
“We wanted it to be as solid on water as the land cruiser is on land” said Dirk-Jan de Jong, co-founder DAT. In addition, Amphicruiser is a totally hand-built vehicle that uses the 4.2 Lit engine of Toyota Land Cruiser. It uses stainless steel for the chassis, mainly to avoid rusting. While running on the road, it behaves like a normal vehicle. Besides, it can catch highway cruising speeds effortlessly.
Innovation and design of Amphicruiser:
The real innovation comes into play as it enters the water. After entering into the water, the vehicle does not transfer the power developed by the engine to the wheels. Instead, it is given to the water jet under the body of the vehicle. Thus, it enables the cruiser to ride over the water surface. Inflatable door seals avoid water entry into the passenger compartment. However, the vehicle limits itself to only 13 km/h while traveling through water. In both the modes of operation i.e. on land and in water, you can steer the car by using the same steering wheel. So, you don't need any special training to drive this vehicle.
Amphicruiser is not the first vehicle in this category. However, its performance is articulate because it hardly employs any special mechanism to run on water compared to its rivals.
At present, two trims of this SUV are on offer. The basic model costs around USD 1,80,000. However, fully equipped four-door model costs around 2,48,700 USD. The price tag is a bit higher because of customization. According to the company, the demand for this product is more from the middle eastern countries, especially Dubai. The company also wants to promote this vehicle as a ‘rescue vehicle’ so that it could be a part of rescue teams of armed forces.