Amphibious vehicles are of pretty limited use in most people's day-to-day lives. Not to mention, cross a car with a boat and you tend to end up with a hugely compromised version of each, a heavy, bloated contraption with multiple bulky powertrains and awkward looks.
But there are certainly use cases. And the idea of multi-modal vehicles, be they road, air or sea based, still strikes some kind of adventurous note in our souls. And the extreme mechanical simplicity of electric drivetrains could end up making these kinds of things much easier to build, better looking and more effective.
The Kite here is a concept vehicle that Hyundai showed off at the Geneva Motor Show. It's a 2-seater dune buggy that allegedly converts into a single-seater jet ski.
It's got no doors, roof or windows. It talks to your smartphone. It rocks four-wheel, brushless electric hub drive on land, and an electric water jet when it's time to hit the drink, and it's a collaboration between Hyundai Design Centre Europe and Italy's Istituto Europeo di Design.
No indication is given about how it converts into a jet ski, what happens to the other seat, or where the water jet drive is. No photos are supplied to show it in aquatic mode, and we're completely stumped looking at the pics we do have.
The only thing we can dream up is that the streamlined white coach section can disconnect from the black chassis and maybe ride backwards through the water, carrying the main battery bank with it. But then do you have to pull the seats out too? Do you just kneel on them backwards? Where are the controls? How do you get the wheeled part back up the boat ramp? By using your smartphone as a remote control?
Let's not think about it too much. It looks cool in a KTM X-Bow kind of way, and it makes us think about the viability of electric powertrains in amphibious applications. And that might be enough of an achievement for a concept like this.
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