Water You Know About World Water Day?
From World Water Day to amphibious cars, dive into some eye-opening facts about the current water crisis and join us for a quick discussion on our favourite car-boat hybrids here.
Mar 22, 2019
Did you know 2.1 billion people don’t have access to clean and safe water at home? Due to poor sanitation and the dangerous consumption of dirty water, more than 700 children aged 5 or below die. That’s not taking into account the 800 women who face death due to preventable complications during pregnancy or childbirth.
Where you live and where you were born should not take away from your human right to water. Regardless of race, religion, nationality, age, sex and social status, we all deserve clean and safe access to drinkable water. It’s reported that minority groups such as refugees, people with disabilities and indigenous people are systematically disregarded when it comes to the water crisis, leading them to suffer irrefutable and fatal consequences as a result. So, this World Water Day is all about ‘leaving no-one behind’. Download the World Water Day 2019 Factsheet here and see how you can help!
In line with our obsession for cars, this World Water Day we explored, wait for it, amphibious vehicles! We’ve put together a list of our favourite car-boat hybrids, built for the sea and the motorway. Talk about off-roading!
Let’s start with the most mass-produced of the lot – the Volkswagen Schwimmwagen:
- Built and mass-produced from 1942 to 1944, the Type 166 Schwimmwagen was used as a German military vehicle during World War II.
- Over 14,000 Schwimmwagen’s were made despite less than 200 of the vehicles surviving.
- Heavily inspired by Volkswagen’s Kübelwagen Type 86 and Type 87, the Schwimmwagen uses power from an air cooled 4-cylinder boxer engine with 25hp at 3,000rpm and utilises portal gear ensuring better ground clearance and lower torque strain.
- On-road the vehicle is powered by four-wheel-drive whereas on-water, the Schwimmwagen operates using a lowered screw propeller which always drives forward. Drivers can make use of the oar clipped to the side of the amphibian to paddle in reverse, or by using on-road reverse on the water, you will slowly begin to move in a backwards rotation.
- The Schwimmwagen accelerates up to 50mph on-road and travels up to 6mph on-water.
Next on the list is the Gibbs Aquada:
- Gibbs’ High Speed Amphibian was shaped as a concept car back in 2003 and was manufactured in limited numbers.
- The doorless vehicle requires drivers to climb in over the side and can hold up to 2 passengers. What’s more, the Aquada allows elevated seating for optimal vision whilst cruising on the water as well as an all-round better experience.
- Powered by a Rover K Series 24 Valve V6 engine, the Aquada is capable of reaching 60pmh in 8.5 seconds.
- The Aquada focusses on being a great performer both on-land and off, hitting speeds of up to 99mph on-road and up to 30pmh when riding on-water.
- The amphibian received particular spotlight attention when Virgin Group tycoon, Richard Branson, used the Gibbs Aquada to cross the English Channel in a record-breaking time of 1 hour 40 minutes and 6 seconds!
- Since the Aquada, Gibbs has developed many more amphibious vehicles in a range called HSA (High Speed Amphibians). Some of these include the Gibbs Humdinga and Gibbs Quadski.
Thirdly, but perhaps one of the most exciting – the Rinspeed sQuba:
- Revealed at 2008’s Geneva Motor Show by Swiss company Rinspeed, the Rinspeed sQuba is the submarine hybrid of our collection! That’s right, the appropriately named concept not only floats, it scuba dives to depths of 10 metres!
- Rinspeed’s sQuba takes the chassis of the Lotus Elise and builds on it a revolutionary prototype with influence from the Lotus Esprit as seen in James Bond’s 1977, The Spy Who Loved Me.
- The undersea car uses an electric motor powered by 6 Seabob lithium-ion batteries and can go from 0-50mph in 5.1 seconds on land, ranging up to 75mph.
- On surface water the sQuba can travel up to 3.7mph whereas under water the sQuba operates twin blow jets and propellers to move at a maximum of 1.8mph.
- Rinspeed goes the extra mile with autonomous technology meaning the scuba-diving marvel can ride around by itself through LUX laser scanners!
Flying the flag for Germany again - the Sealander Schwimmcaravan:
- Sealander introduces the world’s first amphibious caravan. The Schwimmcaravan will keep you dry during your water voyages thanks to its sheltered body and trailer environment.
- With the help of an outboard motor, you can turn this travel-trailer into a mini-yacht backed by 230V shore power and an 80AH gel battery.
- The caravan-made-boat does not require an additional driving licence and is approved for a driving speed of up to 100mph whilst on the road.
- The water-friendly trailer can be transformed from a friendly lounge area with benches that seat up to 6 people to a spacious bed that sleeps up to 2… did somebody say boat party?
- You might also be pleased to know that unlike the sQuba, the Schwimmcaravan is on the market and ready to purchase, albeit at a price of approximately £16,000. Though this may seem pricey at first, Sealander’s options of customisation may change your mind. The German manufacturers offer a considerable about of personalisation including colour, interior and other materials which makes going on a boat ride that little bit more exciting!
From caravan to bike, last but not least we have the Gibbs Biski:
- Another number from amphibian enthusiasts, Gibbs, the Biski is part motorcycle part jet-ski!
- The Biski is a 2-cyclinder, petrol-fuelled amphibian that can speed up to 80mph on land and 37mph on water with a ground clearance of 150mm.
- Transform your motorcycle into a jet-ski whizz within 5 seconds during which the rear wheel retracts and twin jets are put into action!
- The Biski operates on a maximum power output of 55hp with a fuel tank capacity of 20 litres, meaning you’ll have a decent amount of time before having to refill.
- At 2.3 metres in length and 1 metre wide, this bike-boat hybrid is the smallest amphibious vehicle that Gibbs has produced although pricing is not yet available. However, with such creations being more of a luxury play-thing rather than something we really need, it wouldn’t surprise us if it was anything above the £30,000 mark.
On that note, if you could take one of these crazy hybrids out for a free spin, which would it be and why? And more importantly, what are you doing this World Water Day? Let us know in our social media comments where we’ll be sure to reply!