Unfortunately, when it comes to credible amphibious vehicles, the futuristic concepts that only score high on their ostentatious nature appease us most of the times. But now, we have come across the 'real deal' in the form of the aptly named Phibian. Designed by Detroit based Gibbs Technologies, this high-speed Amphitruck has been tailor-made for those robust romps through difficult terrains.
The company unveiled the vehicle yesterday, just before the commencement of the annual conference of the American Society of Naval Engineers. Fueled by a state-of-the-art technology (which, according to reports, easily runs into a multi-million dollar price), the craft can naturally maneuver on both land and water, as its amphibian nature suggests.
However, before delving into its hefty mechanisms, the nigh-unadorned essence of overall visual treatment ironically caught our attention. This straightforward, rugged aesthetics avoids any pretentious demeanor. Therefore, in a way, the austere look insinuates the core functionality for which the designers have envisaged the vehicle. According to them, the craft has been purpose built for emergency response establishments (around the world), military needs and law enforcement agencies. As an apt example, the company describes the utilization of Phibian in traveling across various terrains for emergency aids and supplies, in calamitous situations like earthquakes, tsunamis and hurricanes.
Now, coming to its structural attributes, the vehicle has been constructed from lightweight yet sturdy carbon fiber material. The impact of this uniquely flexible bearing not only accentuates upon Phibian's volumetric accessibility, but also improves upon its overall transportable nature. But, beyond the spatial-volume character, the craft also boasts of a robust power-train, complimented by advanced maneuvering capabilities. According to Gibbs Technologies, a single button switches between the land based turbo diesel engines (driven by fully retractable wheels) and twin water-propulsion jet engines, in less than 10 seconds. The rich driving experience is also extended to rough land surfaces, with a more than adequate ground clearance of 16 inches.
When it boils down to solid specs, the Phibian has good figures to show for it. The craft can supposedly achieve top speeds of around 30 mph (48 km/h).on water, while its land speeds can maintain the breezy velocity of highway cruising. As for the passenger-oriented capacity, the vehicle can hold three crewmembers, along with 12 other people. The cargo configuration of the vehicle has a substantial payload capacity marked at 3,307 lbs (about 1500 kg).
Finally, it should be duly noted that Gibbs Technologies have developed another sister project along with Phibian. Christened as the Humdinga II, this smaller craft in turn is infused with a supercharged 350hp V8 gasoline engine, and comes with a payload capacity of 1,653 pounds (750 kg). In fact, the overall investment in the ambitiously amphibious endeavor can very well cross $200 million and more than two million hours of engineering.