Magazines:  Real Estate Shopping: Adult Costumes  |  Kids Costumes  |  Cars  |  Guitars |  Electronics
This Issue Archived Articles Blog About Us Contact Us
SEARCH


A Sports Car that Floats...

Fast on land and in the water!

Courtesy WaterCar

Click on pics to view larger images


Click for larger image

Over the last 100-odd years of automotive development there have been plenty of amphibious vehicles – cars that can both roll on the road and also plough through the water. But most of them have been small, dorky cars that have been technically and commercially unsuccessful, with the best known being the 43hp Amphicar.

Click for larger image

Others, like the 6-wheel drive World War II military DUKW truck, performed very well in the specific – and unusual - conditions for which they were designed. The DUKW was powered by a 4.4-litre in-line six and weighed 7.5 tons.

But never has there been a sports amphibian – one that can run fast on both roads and water. Until now.

Click for larger image

The WaterCar – developed by American Dave March – can travel at road speeds of up to 125 mph (200 km/h) and still do 45 mph (72 km/h) on the water. Compare that with the Amphicar’s 75 mph on land and just 10-12 mph on water!

Click for larger image

The WaterCar is a fibreglass amphibious vehicle styled after the 2002 Convertible Camaro. The shell is based on a plug developed from a commercially available funny car body. However, the body has had massive modifications, including a 20cm nose extension to improve planing performance. A frame constructed of square section stainless steel tube provides the structural strength. The bottom is a shallow V-shaped fibreglass assembly with glassed-in timber strakes.

Click for larger image

The WaterCar is powered by a turbocharged 2.5 litre ex Impreza WRX 300hp Subaru engine that’s mounted in the boot. Yes, that’s right, this car is rear-engined! The transmission that drives the rear wheels is a Rancho Type I-4 speed manual.

Click for larger image

The four wheel independent suspension and brakes are based around late model C-4 Corvette with stainless steel rotors. Coil-over dampers replace the Corvette’s transverse leaf spring. The suspension incorporates 50mm diameter hydraulic rams that allow the suspension/wheel assemblies to be retracted while in the water. Bottom covers then extend over the wheel-wells.

Click for larger image

A Berkeley 12JE Jet Drive is used to push the WaterCar through the water. Interfacing the jet and the rear-drive gearbox with the engine is a custom designed transfer case that allows the wheels or the pump to be driven – or both at once, as is the case when entering and leaving water.

Click for larger image

The WaterCar has four usable seats and the doors are fully functional. The aircraft style lock assembly ensures the doors are completely water-tight for water operation. The WaterCar has a removable centre mount ski pole that makes it ideal for wake boarding or skiing.

Click for larger image

And if you want something that’s a bit more practical, check out the SUV-styled vehicle which is the latest March creation. Here’s what it looks like on land....

Click for larger image

...and on water where testing has indicated a top speed of 100 km/h!

About US$150,000 will get you a WaterCar – go to www.watercar.com for more details, including video of the car in action.

Did you enjoy this article?

Please consider supporting AutoSpeed with a small contribution. More Info...


Share this Article: 

More of our most popular articles.
Measuring ride quality

Technical Features - 4 May, 2010

Ride Quality, Part 2

A very easy way of comparing spring stiffness between different cars

DIY Tech Features - 17 September, 2013

Measuring wheel suspension rates

The story of the wonderful BMW M1 - a purpose-built racer

Special Features - 7 April, 2009

M1 Magnificence

Designing structures so they won't fail

DIY Tech Features - 21 February, 2006

Making Things, Part 1

The efficiencies of different engines

Technical Features - 8 February, 2006

The Real Way of Comparing Engine Designs

Sand moulds to cast aluminium

Technical Features - 25 November, 2008

Metal Casting, Part 2

Step by step of keeping drill bits sharp

DIY Tech Features - 20 August, 2008

Sharpening Drill Bits

The unique front suspension

DIY Tech Features - 26 May, 2009

Chalky, Part 3

Steps in mixing and matching front brake components

DIY Tech Features - 29 May, 2012

Selecting components for upsized front brakes

Introducing a breakthrough in DIY electronics

DIY Tech Features - 6 October, 2009

eLabtronics EZ System, Part 1

Copyright © 1996-2014 Web Publications Pty Limited. All Rights ReservedRSS|Privacy policy|Advertise
Consulting Services: Magento Experts|Technologies : Magento Extensions|ReadytoShip