As humans continue spread across the planet, we’re constantly on the lookout for new ways to move across it. And even outside of it. Right on the heels of Felix Baumgartner’s Sunday afternoon skydive from the oxygen-devoid stratosphere to the hard terrain of eastern New Mexico comes the thrilling news that we mere mortals can now jump from water to land without the need for multiple vehicles.
Gibbs, a company deeply invested in the amphibious car industry, has unveiled their long-rumored creation, the Quadski. The portmanteau leaves little to the imagination: indeed, a four-wheel ATV and jetski-combination vehicle will transport you like a real-life James Bond. Zipping across terrain at 45 miles per hour, the Quadski cuts across a bay as fast as it can dig treadmarks in your backyard.
And just as seamlessly, too: its makers say it can convert in just five seconds from a land-dwelling vehicle to a seafaring one. The thick tires fold up into the wheel wells and the 175-horsepower BMW motorcycle engine spits out a water jet, propelling it through water.
The Quadski was unveiled Monday and set to go on sale in November. Gibbs says the vehicle will cost around $40,000, to be sold at more than a dozen dealerships across the country.
Founded by New Zealand entrepreneur Alan Gibbs, the company has been developing its amphibious technology – and teasing the masses – for more than 15 years. Its best-known production to date is the Aquada, a sports car/watercraft hybrid that never made it to mainstream production. But it did have some high-profile testers, namely Virgin founder Richard Branson, who set the record for the fastest crossing of the English Channel, making the journey in an Aquada in just over 100 minutes.
The Aquada was a record-breaking success but a logistical failure. It didn’t meet U.S. environmental and safety standards, the New York Times reports. Gibbs was unable to sell the 40 or so vehicles the company produced, and the project was shelved in 2004. But after more than a decade of development and $200 million invested, hopefully the Quadski will help buoy Gibbs to a critical success.