Steve takes a look at 4 mass produced amphibious cars
Usually when you imagine an amphibious car you think of James Bond or in military use. We often forget that there are a limited selection of mass produced amphibious cars which you can buy and use daily if you wished.
Tim Dutton is currently the world's leading manufacturer of amphibious cars and gas been building them for over 30 years. It's therefore no surprise two of his vehicles have made the list. The Surf has the sensible, utilitarian mechanicals of the Suzuki Jimny including it's 1.3 petrol engine, 4 wheel drive system and even the interior. The Surf can accommodate four passengers in SWB or 6 with the LWB. The top speed for the Surf is 6mph but that won't stop you having fun. On the road the Surf will drive similar to a Jimny and with 4 wheel drive it makes it easier to enter/exit the water.
Easily, the most expensive, yet most pretty car on this list the Gibbs Aquada certainly isn't cheap. But it is the only fast amphibious sports car which is powered by a 125bhp Rover engine that can go over 100mph on the road and 30mph in the water, fast enough to pull a water skier behind. Compared to the others on this list the Aquada has a high top speed in water thanks to it's deep V hull and employing water jet propulsion rather than a propeller.
No amphibious car list is complete without an Amphicar! The Amphicar is really the world's first mass produced amphibious car and still the most successful selling 4000 cars but a rare sight today thanks to it's tendency to rust. The top speed of the Amphicar in water was 6mph, definitely built more for cruising inland water ways than speeding along. They proved more popular in the USA than in Europe but they do have a loyal following. Despite having the same top speeds as the Reef and Surf on the water, the Amphicar unfortunately doesn't drive as well on the roads like it's modern counterparts. However it certainly looks prettier!
Unlike the Surf, the Reef is 2 wheel drive only and shares it's underpinnings from the humble mk7 Ford Fiesta, including the headlights and interior. The body is bonded fibreglass making it a monocoque design. Just like the Amphicar and the Surf the Reefs top speed is also 6mph, but you don't need speed to have fun on the water. On the road the Reef will drive very similar to a conventional Ford Fiesta and could be used on a daily basis.