This unusual vehicle is the future my generation has waited for with anticipation for quite awhile. Remember George Jetson ? The Volkswagen Aqua is described by its 21 year old female designer as an off-road vehicle but it’s designed to be a hovercraft which can also be driven on land. Zhang Yuan said,
Aqua is based on the customized subject Chinese off-road vehicle by Volkswagen. The Aqua offers an insight of futuristic vehicle powered by hydrogen and propelled by impeller….function with several engines, the main one drives the fan (or impeller) under the chassis, which is responsible for lifting the vehicle by forcing high pressure air under the craft. The air inflates the skirt under the vehicle, causing it to rise above the surface. Additional engines provide thrust in order to propel the craft. (It) interprets the philosophy of Volkswagen design with no single parting-line or laconic appearance. The door (hatch) (is) locate(d) on the back…(and) features an electric drive train powered by a hydrogen fuel cell with no pollutant emissions.”
While I don’t care that much for its basic overall look this is an exciting development in auto technology bringing us a little closer to dream vehicles which we will come to appreciate more and more in an industry which has been waning for far too long in the area of emissions and fuel efficiency. The young female designer, Ms Yuan, a Chinese student of design, came up with this design for a competition with CDN Car Design (an event which was hosted by former BMW designer and guru, Chris Bangle) and is a finalist in the race for new concepts. In essence, the practical use goes a little beyond the normal concept by combining a modern car with the features of a boat and hovercraft on water. It would help commuters to get through heavy snowfalls, lakes, rivers and just about any inclimate terrain it encounters.
In short, James Bond would love it. Its chief feature is a hydrogen fuel-cell motor which inflates the undercarriage and raises the vehicle off the surface it is riding. Two additional motors extend out from the rear wheel arches to raise the rear part of the vehicle up along with two forward propulsion fans which push it along quickly. All are powered by separate electric motors. The hatch which Yuan speaks of is the entrance and exit to the vehicle which is located at the back. The Aqua comes with a grill and headlights just like a conventional auto.
I wonder if it will come in red ?
The Castle Lady with lots of hover-hugs !