Last Updated 19 | 01 | 2014 at 18:00

Business & Technology

Amphibious vehicle can go from car to boat in just 15 seconds

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di-ve.com news
editorial@di-ve.com

David March has designed the world's fastest Jeep-style vehicle that can be driven straight from the land into the water and goes from a car to a boat in just 15 seconds.

Called the Panther, the vehicle can reach water speeds of up to 45mph - almost as fast as an average speedboat - and is fitted with a custom-made 3.7 litre V6 engine, fibreglass hull and lightweight chromoly steel chassis.

It is also capable of reaching speeds of 80mph on land.

James Bond, played by Sir Roger Moore, famously drove an amphibious Lotus Esprit from the land into the sea during the 1976 film The Spy Who Loved Me.

WaterCar partner Fred Selby, 66, from Newport Beach, California spent 11 years fine-turning the machine before he felt ready to put it on the market.

The Panther's design is based on a Jeep CJ8 Scrambler, however, because the chassis of the Jeep was too heavy for the water, the Panther's lightweight chassis is made of chromoly steel.

Once in the water, the Panther is remarkably stable for a boat that is only 15 ft (4.6 m) in length.

'We've been working for years and years to be able to get these to perform like a boat on the water and like a car on the street,' March told CBS.

March has done his best to test out the vehicle and made his first trip to the Catalina Islands last Saturday.

'Going on the road for 15 miles and then being able to hit the water and go 30 miles across with nothing breaking and just cruising across … made it in an hour and 10 minutes on 10 gallons of gas,' said March.

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