New amphibious vehicle makes a splash

GIBBS employs composites in the manufacture of the Quadski high-speed amphibian, which converts in just five seconds from land craft to water craft.


GIBBS (Detroit, Mich.) reported on Oct. 15 that it will release the first high-speed sports amphibian, dubbed the GIBBS Quadski, for sale in the U.S. The seaworthy all-terrain vehicle (ATV) — or is it a roadworthy jet ski? — is reportedly the product of millions of research dollars and years of development work in the U.S., New Zealand and the U.K. Featuring a hull made with composite materials, the Quadski is 10.5 ft long, 5.2 ft wide and 4.3 ft tall (3.2m by 1.6m by 1.3m), with a wheelbase of 5.8 ft/1.77m. It will be offered, initially, for use by one rider (no passengers). Quadski production is gearing up at a 54,000-ft2 (5,017m2) assembly plant in Auburn Hills, Mich.

Touted by GIBBS as an entirely new form of transportation for U.S. consumers, the Quadski is capable of reaching speeds of 45 mph/72.4 km on both land and water. The Quadski is equipped with a 175-hp BMW Motorrad engine and transmission. With the press of a button, its wheels retract when entering the water and deploy when approaching land. Reportedly, the amphibian transitions from water to land operation (and vice versa) in five seconds or less. The Quadski retailed for about $40,000 at its debut in November. The company expects to have more than 20 dealership locations in place within the next 11 months, primarily in the Midwest, New York, Texas and the southeastern U.S. GIBBS has more than 300 patents, and patents pending, on its High Speed Amphibian (HSA) technology and expects to find buyers not only in the consumer recreation category but also in the commercial and first-responder sectors as well.