Sometimes You Feel Like a Car, Sometimes You Don’t
Nowadays, it seems, just having a vehicle that can transport a person on land or on the water seems to be not enough. Today’s multitasker wants more.
Which could be the reason behind the Quadski from Gibbs Sports Amphibians, which allows the rider to drive the all-terrain vehicle (this is not a street-legal transporter) into the water, push a button, and have the wheels retract, and then, voila!:
The modified 175-hp four-cylinder, water-cooled (!), DOHC, BMW Motorrad engine and transmission allow speeds of, it is said, up to 45 mph. The Quadski his 10.5-ft long, 4.3-ft high, and has a wheelbase of 5.8 ft.
According to the people at Gibbs, they invested some $200-million and two-million man-hours on the development of this vehicle. It is being produced at the Gibbs 54,000-sq. ft. assembly plant in Auburn Hills, Michigan. According to Neil Jenkins, chairman of Gibbs, when the plant is running at full production they will be able to produce 20 units per hour.
The Quadski will be stickered at approximately $40,000.
Here’s another nautical vehicle, a MINI Convertible boat that was developed by MINI as part of its “Motor-Tober” activities:
No, that MINI is not rolling through a puddle, as it is engineered to handle the Charles River in Boston.
No, it isn’t a car that turns into a boat. It is a boat.
ACI Composites of Lancaster, Pennsylvania, made a mold of a 2004 MINI Hardtop, then created a fiberglass version of the car in the topless form. The molding was then attached to a boat hull, and MINI components—headlights, taillights, grille, steering wheel, badges, wheels, tires—were added to accentuate the MINI-ness of the boat.
No word on the speed produced by the 6-hp outboard motor, but we’re guessing it is well south of that of the Quadski.
BMW brings carbon fiber into mass production: reducing vehicle weight, parts, and production time.
How carbon fiber is utilized is as different as the vehicles on which it is used. From full carbon tubs to partial panels to welded steel tube sandwich structures, the only limitation is imagination.
Material selection is the key factor for making vehicles lighter. Here’s a quick look at the best options that also lend themselves to quick-turn, fully functional prototypes.