Despite the fact that very few make it off the drawing board to prototype stage
, ‘go anywhere’ concept cars are an ever popular subject for budding auto designers and car lovers alike. And why not - they allow us to forget about the pesky practicalities of design and tiresome economics and imagine what could be. The latest to cross our desk - the Amphibious Hybrid concept vehicle - is a case of Bond meets the Transformers with its automatically adjusting tire design that morphs to ensure maximum grip on any given terrain including ice and water, where it becomes a kind of three wheel paddle boat.
Adventurer and Virgin chairman Sir Richard Branson, set a new world record on June 14, 2004, this time for the fastest crossing of the English Channel by an amphibious craft. Using a Gibbs Aquada, Branson eclipsed the previous fastest-recorded crossing time of six hours by more than four hours. Never missing an opportunity to tie his thrill-seeking with his business objectives, Branson immediately announced that Virgin Airlines is planning to offer some of its Upper Class passengers the chance to experience the Gibbs Aquada when travelling to and from London’s Heathrow airport enabling them to beat the traffic by taking to the Thames.
Friday October 3, 2003: The Gibbs aquada high-speed amphibian (HSA) is capable of speeds up to 100mph (160kmh) on land and 30mph (48kmh) over water, taking just six seconds to transform from road-going sportscar to a jet-powered marine vessel. What better vehicle could be conceived for a waterside lifestyle in a place like Sydney?