When a mid-life crisis strikes, there is really just one question that begs to be answered: Should you get a power boat or a sports car? You may soon be able to get both--in one vehicle.
Gibbs Technologies is a UK-based company that has just announced its intention to bring a variety of amphibious vehicles to the North American market. The first two products that will be released are the Quadski--which will be sold under the Gibbs Sports Amphibians company name--and the Aquada, to be sold under the Gibbs Amphibians moniker.
The Quadski is a combination of a four-wheeled ATV and a jet ski. Besides being hugely entertaining as a recreational vehicle, the Quadski has awesome utilitarian potential as an emergency rescue tool. Gibbs reports that the Quadski is capable of reaching about 50 mph on land as well as sea. Additionally, the transition from one surface to the other takes less than five seconds. It would be tremendously handy to have an ATV that can scoot out into the surf to retrieve a floundering swimmer, and then be able to drive right back up on the beach to an emergency facility located nearby. It would eliminate the transfer of the injured from one mode of transport to the next.
The larger Aquada, which sort of resembles a bloated last-gen Mazda Miata, is equally interesting. It, too, can move from earth to water in about five seconds (apparently just by the touch of a button), but it is much more capable on land. It's fully road-legal and has undergone appropriate crash testing to meet safety regulations. Top speeds on land are in the neighborhood of 90 mph, and water speeds top out around 30 mph.
If the Aquada sounds like the perfect solution to your mid-life tantrum, look for it in showrooms in the first part of 2009, along with the Quadski ATV / water toy.