Wednesday, April 29, 2009

The GIBBS Aquada Car to be sold in USA

  When I was clocking into my real job I saw this little bit on the corp news page about this amphibian car gaining approval for distribution and sales in the United States.  So between taking calls from people who had problems with their phones, I did a web search and found some of these articles about this British car company name GIBBS Technology and that their car - the Aquada, having won approval to began setting up shop here in the US for their products.

I also, in the process, discovered that they had some military designs and were already working with the US Army some some projects (i.e. the Humdinga that looks like a Hummer that can pretend to be a speedboat) and a Quad cycle that can do the same thing (known as the Quadski. hmmm, imagine that).  

To me, this pegs the Geek-o-Meter all the way over into the "That's Totally Fraking Unbelievable its Cool Looking!" zone.

I have heard rumors that they are planning on a sequel to the up coming G.I. Joe movie (in August 2009).  They have GOT to include the Humdinga in the next picture!  There is one version of the Humdinga that is enclosed and it just screams "COBRA" to me. 

Now, going by the pictures on the below websites, it looks like the driver sits right smack in the middle of the vehicle with a passenger seat to either side plus a backseat.  

GIBBS has been working on this design for many, many years.  In fact, over $100 million dollars have been sunk into this company.  But in the process - they have generated over 60 patents that are pending in nearly every aspect of the vehicles' design.  The boat hull, the retracting mechanism for the wheels, internal body design that has do double duty for land or water operations. The loads one has to deal with in boat design are opposite for land/driving ability.

The outer body is modern composites technology.  The vehicles have a NASCAR racer's roolcage that goes into the unibody structure like that of your typical sedan.  

On the highway, the inner steel frame distributes the loads into the outer composite body - while in the water - the opposite is true.  

The Aquada suspension uses a single strut with conventional automotive spring and dampening gear.  There is also a 17 valve hydraulic system with folding joints and needed safety pins to avoid inadvertent retraction.  After entering the water, push the button and 12-seconds later - the wheels have retracted and now you are a boat.

Power for the Aquada is a 2.5 liter, 160-horsepower engine.  (In Europe, this is a 175 hp, 6-cylinder engine).

Sir Richard Branson set a 32.8 mph record speed run across the English Channel in four hours.  

However, when it comes to the cost of these vehciles; even Sir Richard turned it down as being too expensive.  IT originally sold in Europe for $285,000.  When the price came down to a mere $142,000, then Sir Branson bought one for the English channel speed run.

Thats all well and good for the Civilian side of things.  But GIBBS is going ahead with General Dynamics on a project. General Dynamics has been working on the Marine EFV (Expeditionary Fighting Vehicle) since 1996.  The tracked and waterjet powered armor personnel carrier carries a crew of 3 plus 17 combat ready Marines 25 nautical miles to shore at speeds in excess of 20 knots.  Then can go ashore and travel up to 45 mph on land. Turret up on top carries a cannon.  The on board, two-stage turbocharged twin diesels produce over 2000 horses and planes over the water thanks to its adjustable flat steel plate that doubles as armor.

GIBBS is also working with Lockheed Martin on several concept vehicles.  

Now to go one more step and make the Aquada into a submarine like in the James Bond movie "The Spy Who Loved Me."  Damnit, I'm bending that Geek-o-Meter needle past the red zone now!  

Ref. GIBBS Tech website ( ( (
Great Cars (

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