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Volkswagen Aqua

A Beautiful Chinese-designed Hovercraft


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Gorgeous Volkswagen Aqua Hovercraft Is a Hydrogen-Electric Hybrid Dream
This was the car that made the most impact on the opening day of the 2011 North American International Motor Show.

Ever since James Bond drove a Lotus Esprit under water in the 1977 film, The Spy Who Loved Me, motorists have dreamed of amphibious cars.

Now one Chinese inventor has gone further with an affordable, eco-friendly car that will drive on land, water, sand and ice.

Designer Yuhan Zhang, a 21 year old graduate in Industrial Design at Xihua University, China, created the truly all-terrain vehicle for a VW competition to build a Chinese off-roader.

The concept is a finalist submission in the CDN China Car Awards, a competition created to reward the creativity of young designers.

The brief for entrants was to create a "Chinese off-road vehicle" by Volkswagen with "go-anywhere" capabilities to tackle the vast expanse of wild countryside in China.




The Volkswagen Aqua looks like a sporty Scirocco hatch, but works like a hovercraft with four fans and airbags to move it smoothly from surface to surface.

The VW Aqua is powered by two hydrogen fuel cell engines, one which inflates the airbags and the other which propels it forward at speeds up to 100km/h.

The hovercraft is a supported by a cushion of air and capable of crossing a range of surfaces including lakes, rivers, wetlands, dirt roads, snow and ice. It is driven by electric and hydrogen fuel cell motors, including four propellers for the propulsion of the vehicle.

The lines of this concept are "amphibious" clean, linear and simple, with equally minimalist external and internal features. It is designed for two passengers and the doorway is that small round hatch at the rear of the vehicle.

Mr Zhang said he hoped that one day the the Aqua would become "an affordable supercar that is available to the general public''.

It may not be all that cheap to build, but it could alleviate the need to build more bridges and maybe save a few lives during floods.

Unfortunately, this gorgeous hovercraft won't be in production anytime soon.




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