WaterCar, a Southern California amphibian company, was founded in 1999. However, her name was loudly heard quite recently in connection with the release of the first successful commercial product – the Panther amphibious jeep (from English – Panther), which is now known throughout the world.
Amphibian (or Amphibian Machine) is an all-terrain vehicle equipped with a propulsion unit, capable of independently moving both on land (land) and on water.
Take a Jeep CJ-8, add a 3,7-liter Honda Acura V6 with 305 hp, a fiberglass underbody and teach the resulting outlandish "beast" to retract the chassis – it will turn into a panther. This is how the developers from WaterCar imagine the panther, who called their amphibian the name "Panther" and claim that this is the fastest car-boat in the world. Well, 70 km/h on the water and more than 200 km/h on land is a good reason to claim the title of “the best”.
The amphibian was based on the Jeep CJ-8 Scrambler, whose extended wheelbase was supposed to provide additional space in the cabin. However, the Jeep chassis proved to be too heavy, so the Panther was constructed using lighter chromium-molybdenum steel instead of conventional carbon steel. The bottom hides the cells filled with polystyrene foam, which provides the Panther with sufficient buoyancy.
The 3,7-liter Panther engine is a modified version of the 3,5-liter Honda Acura. Its cylinder liners are made of high-silicon aluminum alloy instead of conventional cast iron, which improves heat dissipation and ensures tighter piston rings. The engine provides a maximum shaft speed of 6300 rpm and a maximum torque of 371 Nm at 4500 rpm. Its compression ratio is 11.1:1. The Panther's diet is based on 91-octane high-quality gasoline.
WaterCar used a proprietary transfer case designed for up to 1000 hp engines and a 091 VW Vanagon four-speed manual transmission used in minibuses.
Panther can enter the water at speeds up to 24 km/h (if the shore does not rise above the water level by more than 15 cm, and the bottom is sufficiently even and solid). Once in the water, the pilot puts the gear selector in neutral and switches the transfer case to the water jets. The hydraulic system retracts the wheels – and the car turns into a boat. The whole operation takes no more than 15 seconds.
On the water, the amphibian is quite stable, it can pull a water skier or a wakeboarder along with it. The Panther is designed to get to a fairly steep bank if necessary and can be used as an SUV, but rear-wheel drive somewhat limits its cross-country ability.
The total weight of the Panther amphibian is 1340 kg. Length – 4572 mm, width – 1830 mm and height – from 1752 mm (when the windshield is up) to 1176 mm (when the windshield is removed and the wheels are folded).
Interior of the Water Car Panther
The interior decoration corresponds to the yacht design. The salon is finished in high style. The driver's seat rises and locks in the desired steering position. For passengers, the seats are comfortable and soft.
The color range is wide: 60,000 color tones for painting the body and 4000 tones for the interior. Seats, pedals, upholstery panels acquire color at the request of the client.
Each model is assembled individually. Here is an excerpt from the official WaterCar website:
Each Panther amphibian is a unique vehicle built by a team of professionals who take pride in what they have designed and how the amphibian performs on and off the water. We encourage the active participation of each buyer in the final form of his car. The range of indoor and outdoor trim fabrics, colors and graphics is unlimited. The ultimate goal of WaterCar is to create a vehicle that is a source of enjoyment for you and a constant source of pride for us.
And as usual, a few videos from YouTube about the amphibian WaterCar Panther
One of the first official videos from WaterCar
The world's first amphibious fire truck
One of the latest official videos titled "Add WaterCar 2018 to your Christmas list!"
Test drive WaterCar Panther in Russia
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