the concept of amphibious vehicle does not quite turn out like James Bond’s submersible Lotus Espirit, does it? they are either too impractical or way too military (which means, you probably can’t buy it). however, a new entrant to this unable-to-age segment known as the WaterCar Panther Amphibious Vehicle is looking pretty promising. first off, it does look like a car, albeit one that look too Jeep Wrangler-like and when it hits the water (which it can do at a pretty fast speed), it looks good being a boat too. under the hood of the Panther is a Honda-sourced 3.7-liter V6 V-Tec motor that drives the wheels (no mention of drive type though), as well as a marine propulsion system known as Panther Jet. mated to a four-speed manual gearbox, the WaterCar Panther stakes a claim of 44 mph (equivalent to 70 km/h on land or 38 knots in marine jargon) on water and a modest 80+ mph land speed.
this four-seater amphibious vehicle’s resemblance to a Jeep is by no accident; according to WaterCar, it is inspired by the iconic CJ8 with “many of the body parts interchangeable” (presumably with the real-deal CJ8). but the similarity is pretty much skin deep. as far body/hull and chassis are concerned, it features a lightweight fiberglass construction over a next generation off-road chromyl chassis to take on the “extreme pounding abuse on land or in water.” and in order not to end up with a boat-like car, it employs 32 square feet (3 square meters) of US Coast Guard approved closed cell styrofoam for buoyancy as opposed to using a boat-like hull. we got to give it to the WaterCar team for coming up with such ingenious solution. check out a rather cheesy but effective promotional video below to learn more.