Pushing the boundaries was never easy.
It needs a wast knowledge. It also requires an insane stubbornness.
Most of all, it’s never accomplished without tons of good fortune and hard work.
Countless attempts will be made. Of them, majority will become failures not worth mentioning. However, few will find their place on the pages of history books. Or maybe in the Guinness book of world records.
Whatever the obstacles might be, people will always be able to find a way to achieve their goals in pursue of their dreams.
Who can possibly know where’s the next frontier on our path to perfection? Nevertheless, you should be smart enough to recognize one step on that path when you see it.
WaterCar Panther seems to be one such step. At least when our means of transportation are concerned.
Why Would You Need an Amphibian?
For a long time already, it’s being implemented more or less successfully in military applications. Primary role of amphibious vehicles was troop beach landing along with providing inland support and troop carrying. Last major usage of them was recorded during the WWII.
After the war, the concept was still utilized by armies, but it had found little to none followers among manufacturers of commercial transport vehicles. However, there were always people who found that the whole idea of being able to travel on the water as well as on dry land was something great. Something worth your time, money and working hours.
And so, several independent enthusiastic producers started their work on projects. Goal was to create a sort of all-terrain vehicle or the ATV, but with as much affordable price as it could be. One of the first successful examples was made by Ontario Drive and Gear Limited (ODG). Their model Argo was introduced in 1967, named in resemblance to Argonauts from ancient Greek mythology to point to amphibian’s stamina on land and water.
Throughout the years up until today, Argo was constantly upgraded and modernized to answer to customers’ demands in terms of functionality, durability and efficiency. It’s a pretty solid little vehicle up to the tasks put in front of it. But to me, it’s underpowered, too small and to be honest – a bit ugly. It looks like an enlarged toy buggy or maybe a scaled down military transporter. In the end it’s neither. I could probably imagine myself going alone in it along a coastline or something similar, just for fun. Otherwise, I don’t think I’ll need one. Ever.
In spite of the obvious quality of some of the solutions that are offered on the market, there’s something missing from all of them. There’s just no sense of familiarity with them, except if you drove the Moon Rover. There’s not enough power, except if you’re eleven years old. But even eleven year olds have high standards these days. There’s nothing awesome about them, not even the design.
All that, peppered with a certain amount of competitive minds gave the guys from the WaterCar inc the idea what are they going to give to the world. That’s how the dream of the world fastest amphibious car started turning to reality.
WaterCar Inc: Perfecting the Art of Car Making
The company has a 14 years old experience in building worlds fastest amphibians.
The first brainchild of the California based company was their model Python. That model was powered by a V8 Chevrolet Corvette engine of almost dangerous capabilities. Needless to say that it was easily capable of developing highway speeds (up to 100 mph) with acceleration of 0-60 mph in 4.5 sec. But what earned them a place in the Guinness book of world records was Python’s speed in the water. With weight of around 3,800 pounds it was able to travel at impressive 60 mph or 52 knots provided by the Dorminator Jet.
Unfortunately, with base price of $200k, it’s all but affordable. However, it continues in holding the prestigious place in history by busting that record, although sometimes it can be seen as an overkill. More importantly, the concept of high performance all-terrain vehicle was proven to be possible if the team of dedicated people is assembled. Python was only a starting point anyway.
This team wasn’t ready for retirement yet after the initial load of glory and fame. So they started working on their next project addressing the most problematic feature of their previous machine – the price. Overall improvements of reliability were also on the list.
Coping with costs of production was never an easy task, especially if you’re trying to retain the quality and prestige of your earlier works. According to their testimony, they’ve put a lot of effort in delivering the right stuff. After “fourteen years, countless successes and failures, 27 patents and untold labor hours later” it all had to pay off.
Their team was comprised of tech stuff and designers from Fountain Valley Bodyworks with a reputation of one of the best and largest collision repair shops in the nation. This year the company finally concluded that it’s time to offer their beast amphibian to customers.
Panther – The Way the Amphibious Car Should Look Like
I will tell you about the price later, now pay attention to some of the details why is this vehicle worth considering.
I have doubts that you would ask any question if you have a look on that video that went viral on YouTube, but first things first.
So, my first appraisal goes to its overall design. You probably already have some clue that we from Neotrucks simply love all rides regardless of their size and type, but it’s a special pleasure to see anything that even faintly resembles truck or an off-roader. From that point of view, Panther looks like an old friend – the Jeep Wrangler. So it gets first points for the sense of familiarity. And for the absence of that Lunar Rover geeky look.
Now, the powertrain. Instead of Corvette V8, WaterCar Panther is equipped with Japanese Honda V6 V-Tec engine. Yeah, it has less power but it performs as vigorously as it is expected, since that 3.7-liter engine gives over 300 hp of pure masculine energy. That power combined with the weight of 2,950 pounds (with all of the composite materials used in its production) enables it to travel over 80 mph on land and 44 mph of water speed. For water propulsion it is provided with Panther Jet.
Full specs are available on this link to their official Website.
One more thing, it’s good to know that if you are already paying a price of $76,000 for the basic model of WaterCar Panther, you’re getting a unique car. Not only because it can run across water, but because every vehicle is assembled to meet individual requests from a buyer. And right there we find that scent of awesomeness in owning one of these wild cats.
I almost forgot! The link to the video. Enjoy! I surely did.