Gibbs Sports Amphibians launches the QuadskiTue, 16 Oct 2012 00:00:00 -0700
Gibbs Sports Amphibians has unveiled the Quadski, an amphibious all-terrain vehicle that, according to company founder Alan Gibbs, obliterates the distinction between land and water transportation.
The 1,300-pound, 10.5-foot-long Quadski looks a bit like a jet-powered personal watercraft sitting on top of a single-seat ATV, but it's what's underneath the vehicle's molded composite body that separates the high-speed Quadski from larger, slower amphibious predecessors.
The Quadski draws power from a BMW K 1300 Motorrad motorcycle engine capable of producing 175 hp. The engine is mated to a five-speed transmission with an automated clutch; the driver controls upshifts and can drop gears on demand, although downshifting also occurs automatically as vehicle speed decreases.
On land, the engine is throttled to limit the vehicle's top speed to 45 mph. Enter aquatic mode—accomplished by simply driving the vehicle into water and retracting the wheels, a process that takes seconds—and the Quadski makes use of its engine's full potential. It's enough to propel the Quadski to a top speed of 45 mph.
The first Quadskis are expected to hit the market sometime in November, and Gibbs plans on building 1,000 units by the end of 2013. Quadskis will be sold through existing dealerships that cater to powersports enthusiasts. Early adopters can expect to pay roughly $40,000 for the Quadski, although the company says prices should decline as economies of scale come into play.
Autoweek tested the Quadski on both land and water. Stay tuned for a full review of the vehicle and information on other technologies Gibbs has in the pipeline.
Until then, enjoy the Crain's Detroit Business video with Gibbs chairman Alan Jenkins below, and check out the full Quadski press release for more information.
PRESS RELEASE: GIBBS UNVEILS WORLD'S FIRST HIGH-SPEED SPORTS AMPHIBIAN IN DETROIT
GIBBS Quadski represents “entirely new form of transportation”
DETROIT – The world's first high-speed sports amphibian – the GIBBS Quadski -- will go on sale in the United States next month.
The dream of two visionary entrepreneurs, the GIBBS high-speed amphibian is the product of millions of research dollars and years of development work in the United States, New Zealand and the UK. It will be produced at a 54,000-square-foot assembly plant in Auburn Hills, Michigan.
An entirely new form of transportation for U.S. consumers, the Quadski is capable of reaching speeds of 45 mph on both land and water and transitions between both in five seconds or less.
Introduced at a Gibbs Sports Amphibian press conference in Detroit by Alan Gibbs, the company's founder, and Neil Jenkins, its chairman, the Quadski is equipped with a 175-horsepower BMW Motorrad engine and transmission. With the press of a button, its wheels retract when entering the water and deploy when approaching land.
Jenkins told reporters in Detroit that Quadski will retail for about $40,000 when introduced in November. The company expects to have more than 20 dealership locations in place within the next 12 months, primarily in the Midwest, New York, Texas and the southeastern United States.
The GIBBS amphibian weighs 1,300 pounds, is equipped with a 15-gallon fuel tank and will be available in five colors – red, yellow, blue, silver and black. Suggested retail pricing and details about GIBBS' dealer network will be announced prior to public introduction in mid November.
“Quadski represents an investment of more than $200-million and two-million man hours of work over a period of 15 years,” said Alan Gibbs. “With the introduction of Quadski next month, our dream of providing high-speed amphibian transportation to consumers will become a reality.”
GIBBS has more than 300 patents and patents pending on its High Speed Amphibian (HSA) technology for consumer, commercial and first-responder use.
“It's been a long, uphill battle, but clearly worth the effort,” said Gibbs. “Quadski will pave the way for a host of other HSAs for consumers, sports enthusiasts, law enforcement agencies, first responders and other commercial enterprises.”
Jenkins noted that Gibbs Sports Amphibians expects to add a total of more than 200 jobs at its Auburn Hills facilities on Brown Road and its new assembly plant at 50 Corporate Drive in the next 12
By Graham Kozak