After existing only in prototype form since at least 2006, the GIBBS Quadski is finally about to become a commercially-available product. The amphibious vehicle can be driven like a regular 4WD quad while on land, but it draws in its wheels and becomes a Jet Ski-like contraption upon entering the water – all within five seconds. At a press conference yesterday in Detroit, GIBBS founder Alan Gibbs and chairman Neil Jenkins announced that the Quadski will be available in select U.S. markets starting next month ... priced at about US$40,000.
The Quadski weighs 1,300 pounds (590 kg), has a 15-gallon (57-liter) fuel tank, and is powered by a 175-horsepower BMW Motorrad four-cylinder water-cooled engine – that engine also features electronic fuel injection, a double-overhead camshaft and dry-sump lubrication.
Both on land and water, the vehicle has a claimed top speed of 45 mph (72 km/h). Users just drive it into the water, then press a button to pull in the wheels and enable its jet propulsion system. Upon returning to land, it is likewise a simple matter to deploy the wheels and switch back to driving mode.
Manufacturing of the Quadski will take place at a plant in Auburn Hills, Michigan. Plans currently call for the opening of over 20 U.S. dealerships within the next year, starting this November. The vehicle will initially be available in a single-person model only, in a choice of five colors.
The company hopes to introduce the Quadski to other markets, such as Europe and Latin America, in 2014. Additionally, it was stated that the vehicle “will pave the way for a host of other HSAs [High Speed Amphibians] for consumers, sports enthusiasts, law enforcement agencies, first responders and other commercial enterprises.”
GIBBS currently also manufactures the Phibian and Humdinga II high-speed “Amphitrucks.”