An entirely new form of transportation
What travels across land and water with equal aplomb, comes in a choice of five vibrant colours, and occasionally leaves you drenched (yet strangely exhilarated)? Meet the Gibbs Quadski, a revolutionary machine billed as the world’s first high-speed sports amphibian.
The dream of two visionary entrepreneurs, Alan Gibbs and Neil Jenkins, it’s the product of millions of research dollars and years of development work in the United States, New Zealand and the UK. The 590 kg Quadski is capable of reaching speeds of over 70 km/h on both land and water, and transitions between both in five seconds or less. With the press of a button, its wheels retract when entering the water and deploy when approaching land.
Power is provided by a 130 kW BMW engine and transmission. The four-cylinder, water-cooled engine – considered the lightest power plant in its segment – features electronic fuel injection, a double-overhead camshaft and dry-sump lubrication. Gibbs devoted more than 18 months and 75 000 engineering man-hours to pairing the powertrain with its high-tech amphibian system.
In fact, their invention bristles were innovative technology: Michigan-based Gibbs Sports Amphibian has more than 300 patents and patents pending on various technologies for consumer, commercial and first-responder use.
Says company founder Alan Gibbs: “It’s been a long, uphill battle, but clearly worth the effort. Quadski will pave the way for a host of other high-speed amphibians for consumers, sports enthusiasts, law enforcement agencies, first responders and other commercial enterprises.” The Quadski sells in the United States for just under R350 000.