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Amphicruiser: Amphibious 4WD based on Toyota Land Cruiser


April 14, 2014

The Amphibicruiser 4-door amphibious SUV takes to the water

The Amphibicruiser 4-door amphibious SUV takes to the water

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"We wanted it to be as solid on water as the Land Cruiser is on land." That's Dutch Amfibious Transport co-founder Dirk-Jan de Jong talking about his company's heavy duty amphibious 4WD, the Amphibicruiser. Built around a Toyota Land Cruiser engine, it's a fully fledged on and offroad cruiser that can be driven up a river or out to sea with next to no training.

The idea of a vehicle that’s as useful on water as it is on land is hundreds of years old, and as relevant today in many parts of the world as it ever was. There’s a staggering number of modern amphibious vehicles on the market – keep an eye out for Mike Hanlon’s upcoming roundup to see just how many different approaches there are to this one problem.

The Amphibicruiser doesn’t go for James Bond-style sporty glamor like the Gibbs Aquada that Richard Branson broke the English Channel crossing record in. And it doesn’t go for outright top speed like the Watercar Panther, which belts along at a frankly scary 45 mph (72 km/h) on the water.

Instead, the Amphibicruiser is focused on rock-solid reliability and down to earth practicality as a leisure or commercial vehicle. Built around a 4.2-liter Toyota Land Cruiser engine, it drives like a regular 4x4 on land, easily holding freeway speeds, but proceeds at a modest 8 mph (13 km/h) in the water after a press of a button sends power to the water jet instead of the wheels.

Built by Dutch Amfibious Transport (DAT), who is also responsible for the Amfibus that’s currently running “splashtours” around Rotterdam, the Amphibicruiser was originally designed and built to form a fleet of self-drive go-anywhere tourist vehicles for a safari park in Asia. Recognizing the rugged practicality of the platform, DAT then developed it into a series of production models which started delivery in October 2013.

"The Amphicruiser is not only the most popular vehicle we make, but it’s the easiest to implement in any situation,” DAT co-founder Dirk-Jan de Jong told us. "The big buses that we build are 25,000 kilo (55,000 lb) vehicles, so you need a little bit of infrastructure to run them. The Amphicruiser is something that you can run anywhere, it has a lot of purposes, not only recreationally. We have a lot of enquiries for it, there’s a lot going to Dubai. They like it because it’s based on the Land Cruiser and they like the Toyota spec vehicles. It’s an easy market for us.”

To look at it, the Amphibicruiser doesn’t give much away. It looks like… well, like a brick outhouse 4WD, the kind that soccer moms don’t drive. The doors are at a regular height, kept waterproof by inflatable seals, and the stainless steel body shape is all business.

It’s also designed to be extremely easy to get along with – the steering and controls work more or less the same on water as they do on land, so with minimal instruction just about anybody can take the wheel and get the Amphibicruiser in and out of the water. All you need is a sloped bank that’s not too steep…and a trust fund.

The starting price for this hand-built machine is €130,000 (US$180,000) for a 2-door soft top, and goes all the way up to €180,000 (US$248,700) for a 4-door, fully equipped SUV.

DAT sees this as primarily a professional, heavy duty fleet vehicle, albeit one with some great recreational possibilities. The ability to cross most bodies of water would open up vast possibilities to campers and fishermen, even if they’d need deep pockets.

De Jong feels that the market for these unique multi-mode vehicles is just about to mature, saying, “the complexity of the technologies made it difficult to combine them 10 years ago. I think the time for the amphibious vehicle is now."

Source: Amphibicruiser

About the Author
Loz Blain Loz has been one of Gizmag's most versatile contributors since 2007. Joining the team as a motorcycle specialist, he has since covered everything from medical and military technology to aeronautics, music gear and historical artefacts. Since 2010 he's branched out into photography, video and audio production, and he remains the only Gizmag contributor willing to put his name to a sex toy review. A singer by night, he's often on the road with his a cappella band Suade. All articles by Loz Blain

Looks a lot like the Amphi-ranger... as seen on "Baywatch".... some 25 years ago.

I'd have to go with Gibbs' designs- being able to plane across the top of the water is FAR better than being barely able to handle any strong currents and just dog-paddle around.


As a lover of tech, I wouldn't mind having one of these babies, but as a bigger lover of mother nature, this is just another toy/gadget/vehicule that kills unseen critters in the water like ATV's that rip up the countryside when they go off road.

If we want to be green, let's not pretend to be.



" doesn’t go for outright top speed like the Watercar Panther, which belts along at a frankly scary 45 mph on the water."

45mph is scary? Try getting carried away by serious currents and barely able to get out of the way of larger,faster vessels moving along at maybe 8mph.

I'll take the 45, hold the escargot...


They did this on Top Gear...and a whole lot cheaper too!


@owlbeyou, this article said NOTHING about it being green, so who is pretending? You're just an ATV hater. I ride my ATV up the mountains, and the mountains and the wildlife are still there. While we get outdoors and experience the mountains, the liberal ATV haters are supporting urban infrastructure development for the cities. I never actually see these overly-opinionated, so-called "mother nature loving people" up the mountains (thank goodness for that)! Who's tearing up nature more? Me on my ATV or urbanites who require asphalt, bridges, and tunnels to get their Priuses around? Like you said, if you want to be "green," don't pretend to be, but don't expect everyone else to buy into what YOU consider is green. If we had more vehicles like this one, we wouldn't need to build so many concrete jungles.


A good attempt, but it has been done before with (also) varying success. Definitely needs some fibreglass(?) streamline structure at the front, and perhaps bolt-on discs or something to enable extra steering input.

The Skud

Building your own amphibious vehicle has got to be cheaper and I definitely want something open topped.


Just checked in again to see any more comments, noticed the "Humdinger" pointer on this page, from memory, does more for the money.

The Skud
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