Impressive amphibious vehicles you might not have heard of

NTD Newsroom
By NTD Newsroom
February 17, 2017Latest
Impressive amphibious vehicles you might not have heard of

Whether you enjoy surfing, or just hanging out with your friends at the lake, or perhaps both, this collection of amphibious vehicles is perfect for you. With some of these you can easily drive to the lake, drive into the water, go fishing or even race  like jet skies, and probably win.

While flying cars are still part of the future, these amphibious vehicles are already available. Although, you might need quite  a large amount of money to purchase one. Let’s start with the” unlikely-to-buy”


1.  Howe & Howe RipTide


Engineered and developed for the military, this is a real beast. Although it does look quite intimidating and military, — well, it certainly is — there’s a civil version available as well.

The original Howe & Howe Riptide is capable of 80 miles per hour on land, and is the fastest tank ever built. It’s equipped with a marine radar system, installed in a box on the roof, and a remote controlled machine gun.

The civil version is called “Ripsaw Tank” or “EV2”, standing for Extreme Vehicle 2 and it will cost you “well into the 100x’s of thousands of dollars.”

Production will take up to six month but you’ll get a fully handcrafted, 600+ horsepower, high end, luxury tank, able to drive on public roads and built for extreme off road recreation.

2.  UHAC (Ultra Heavyweight Amphibious Connector)

Most people won’t be able to purchase one of these beasts either, but there’s a similar less-military version as well; we will talk about that later.

The UHAC could be the replacement of classic landing hovercraft — but currently it is still only a half-scale prototype. Because the US Navy does operate in rough seas and hovercrafts can only get over a 4-foot-high sea wall, they started the UHAC-project.

The full size vehicle will be able to get over sea walls as high as up to 16 feet while carrying “at least three tanks and a HMMVW.” Performance-wise it’ll reach 25 mph on most surfaces normally driven on.

Towering at 18 foot high, the full size version will most likely stand more than 30 feet high, and have a length of 80 feet. While the Landing Hovercraft is a few mph faster, the UHAC will exceed the hovercraft’s weight capacity by three times (190 tons) and have a range of travel up to 230 miles.

The more civil “FastTrackAmpibian LLC” may remind you of the RipTide but it’s more like the “funny little brother”. And it can start, stop and cruise on water like a normal boat using its floating hull and the tracks to maneuver.

Its 300 hp-engine will accelerate the car to an impressive 60 mph on water, similar to the Riptide’s 80 mph on land. But when it comes to the price it’ll quote a more decent $250,000 dollars and up.


3. Floating Buses — Splash Tours, the Floating Dutchman or RiverBus


When it comes to these amphibious vehicles, you could get away with asking  whether it’s a bus or a boat, without people giving you a funny look. The answer should be “Definitely the coolest bus we have ever seen!

While visiting several European cities you may encounter such vehicles, and observe them driving straight down a boat ramp, but don’t panic, it’s all very purposeful. They really do float and offer amazing city tours through Amsterdam or Hamburg for example.

These riverbuses have a bus chassis underneath and drive like a normal bus on the road. In the water, powerful water jets will provide thrust and the fiberglass body will keep the passengers dry.

We don’t know if you necessarily wanted to have a floating bus in your fleet, but what about a floating motor home? The Terra Wind RV is a first class motor coach, but it’ll feel just as comfortable in the water, as on the road.

The standard equipment offers internet access, GPS, moving maps, and navigational charts in the cockpit and a fully customizable living area. With such a luxury the Terra will even top the Riptide and cost you approximately $1.2 million dollars.


4.  Sherp ATV


There is no military version of this one, but the Russians already have twenty years experience with serious all terrain vehicles. It obviously not child’s play toy, but with tires as tall as most  teenagers the Sherp ATV will conquer any terrain with ease.

This incredible easy vehicle is designed to travel over any terrain at its maximum speed of 28 mph, although on water it’ll reach only 4 mph.

Similar to other, amphibious vehicles it has an enormous ground clearance-over two feet, and can easily pass through snow, mud or deep forest — sounds like the perfect vehicle for Russia…

Its engine will crank out only 44 horsepower, but it has much better fuel economy than the Ripsaw luxury tank. The on board fuel tank will provide 22 miles rangem but four additional fuel canisters will boost this to an impressive 115 miles.

Asking a mere $50,000 dollars for its base model, the Sherp is the cheapest amphibious vehicle yet. Dimensions are 11,1 ft long, 8,3 ft wide and just as high. — Want one yourself? The company’s website will offer you more pics and information.


5 through 9 — Gibbs Amphibian Vehicles

Gibbs Amphibians was probably the first company to successfully create amphibious vehicles that can exceed 30 mph on water, and still achieve typical speeds on land. The transition between land and water happens at the push of a button — in under 5 seconds.

Because their High Speed Amphibian-concept is so successful, they created a complete range of vehicles from the amphibious motorcycle “Biski” to the Search-and-Rescue-vehicle “Phibian”

Starting with the fun vehicles, there are the Biski, Triski, Quadski (XL) and the Terraquad. All of them use the HSA-technology and will float like a boat, due to their lightweight hull.


The Biski for instance is something even James Bond would try — and probably destroy in minutes — but if not, it is capable of 37 mph on water and 80 mph on land.

 It’s a bit slower on the water than the Quadski, topping out a limited 45 mph — in either environment.


Like the Biski, the wheels of the Quadski retract with the push of a button when entering in the water. When approaching land, same procedure works in reverse. This model comes in both one-seat and two-seat version.

If you don’t want either of these, and want something in between, check out the Triski. As its name says it has three wheels, two in the front, one in the back, and will switch to jet ski-mode in the same way.

At the upper end of the fun-range, is the Terraquad. Offering four wheel drive and two seats side by side it’s nothing else than a normal utility vehicle — except it’s as amphibious like the other Gibbs Vehicles.

Besides these smaller amphibious ATVs, Gibbs has amphibious cars as well. The Aquada is capable of 100 mph on land and 30 mph on water. We have to say it does look like a real car, with conventional drive system and windscreen found in conventional cars.

But again, this will change drastically when you hit the water. When the wheels are retracted you have a boat, powerful enough to tow a water skier, or race a yacht to the harbor.

On a larger scale are the Gibbs Humdinga and the Phibian, which both offer 4×4 and off-road capabilities,  and were  originally developed by the military.These vehicles are commonly used in disaster relief operations.

The Humdinga was the very first to use Gibbs’ HSA-technology and boasts five seats, and two powerful water jets propelling it up to a  top speed of 30 mph on the water, while the Phibian will offer seating for up to 15 people.

You can find the complete range of Gibbs Amphibian Vehicles here, unfortunately the company wont provide prices but price ranges probably will start around $15,000 to $20,000 dollars for the Biski , upwards of $100.000 to several thousand for a custom built Humdinga or Phibian.


10. WaterCar Panther


The final amphibious vehicle we are featuring, the Panther WaterCar is one of the more usual looking amphibian vehicles… But with a serious speed on both water and land, this vehicle is perfect for those who  love sports — either on the water and on land.

Based on a CJ8 Jeep, and featuring a fiberglass hull and retracting wheels it’s very similar to the Gibbs vehicles. The powerful jet boat drive will push the Panther to speeds of 45 mph on the water.

In contrast to Gibbs, this company will provide prices for their cars — starting at $126,000 dollars for a turn-key model. But  if you wanted a different car chassis or even a Corvette engine, that price will quickly jump up to $200,000 at least.

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