David Richards has ambitious plans to make an amphibious production vehicle. His Prodrive engineering company is proceeding with plans for production of this vehicle which is inspired by the Watercar Panther, a vehicle that was developed in the United States. He was highly impressed by the quality of the vehicle when he bought one and now want to make his very own amphibious vehicle. The Panther cannot be imported or marketed easily in Europe as the standards for emissions and crash testing are quite different. Prodrive has a team of young engineers who are working on the design and development of the company’s own amphibious vehicle. Their brief is to come up with a vehicle that can go as fast as 30 knots of water and yet has sufficient ground clearance to be driven on the road.
According to Richards, the vehicle is likely to be powered by a diesel engine as it would need torque. The price tag of the vhicle is likely to be in the region of GBP 150,000.
Some compromises would need to be made in terms of performance on both land and sea. According to Richards, just like so called flying vehicles can neither be ideal planes nor ideal cars, amphibious car will be neither great cars nor great boats. While a good boat needs to be quite long, a good car needs to be shot. The challenge for the designers would have to come up with a vehicle that is just as comfortable for use on the road as on the water.
Richards has used his Panther extensively over all kinds of terrain including beach, road and water. He is convinced that with proper effort, it would be possible to make a production vehicle that can be transformed from a car into a boat just by pressing a few buttons and can be driven easily from the road into the water.
Manju Mathew, an MBA in marketing, completed publisher training courses from the Oxford Brookes University and New York University. She started with marketing and PR roles before moving on to her current position as a full time writer. Currently living in Dubai, her life as an expat has sharpened her observation skills and flair for writing. She enjoys writing about luxury cars like Ferrari, Lamborghini, etc even if she can only dream of owning them.
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