Amphibious car afloat again on land and sea after nearly 50-year hiatus

James Raia

It’s been nearly 50 years since the amphibious car had its niche heyday. But the Quadski, a one-person all-terrain vehicle that doubles as a personal water craft, will debut in the United States in November with a price of about $40,000.

New Zealand businessman Alan Gibbs, the 73-year-old founder of Gibbs Sports Amphibians, said he hopes the Quadski will be the entree toward full-size amphibious cars to the masses.

Powered by a BMW motorcycle engine that turns the wheels and drives its waterjet propulsion, the Quadski is capable of 45 mph on land and water. It takes five seconds to convert from a water-to-land vehicle or vice versa.Amphibious car afloat again on land and sea after nearly 50-year hiatus 1The Quadski goes on sale next month in Florida and by the end of the year will also be available in Texas, the Great Lakes area, and the New York area. California sales begin in 2013, followed by global sales in 2014, if Gibbs can stick to his plan.

Gibbs Sports Amphibians is targeting sales of 1,000 in its first year, produced at the company’s assembly plant in suburban Detroit.

The German-made Amphicar of the 1960s sold only 4,000 units with modest performance both on land and water. But it eventually failed as did other manufacturers’ effort.

Article Last Updated: October 19, 2012.

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