One-of-a-kind amphibious camper-trike hits pre-order stage
When you first see the Z-Triton 2.0 you may find yourself wondering whether this strange-looking vehicle is a boat, a trike, or some kind of micro-shelter – and it's a yes to all three. After first being unveiled as a prototype back in 2020, Z-Triton designer Zeltini has now spent time refining its idea and is releasing it as a production model, starting at roughly €14,500 (US$16,300).
The Z-Triton 2.0 has undergone testing since 2020 and some tweaks have been made. To start with, it has become a little more roomy, though its interior, such as it is, is still very snug and offers little more than a place for two adults to sit or lie-down.
It has a length of 3.9 m (12.7 ft), a width of 1.45 m (4.7 ft), and a height of 1.72 m (5.5. ft). Its body consists of a steel frame and fiberglass, with polyester made from recycled plastic bottles and 3D-printed sections made from bioplastic.
The bicycle mode, which seats the rider surprisingly high up, almost like an old-fashioned penny farthing, has undergone a major redesign to offer a more comfortable ride. It now includes rear suspension, an adjustable seat, hydraulic disc brakes, seven gears and a 1,000-W motor for assisted pedaling.
When it's time to hit the waves, it takes roughly five minutes to convert the Z-Triton 2.0 to the boat mode and this involves folding away wheels and adding stability floats. The boat mode has seen some improvements too and, while you still probably won't want to venture out into the open sea with it, it now has a stronger 1,150-W motor which is integrated into the body of the vehicle, plus a manual windscreen wiper and some basic controls like lighting and an N-shaped steering wheel.
"After completing the first prototype in 2020 the product received a massive public interest, the first pre-orders came in and the first world-renowned impact investors joined in to help completing the company’s mission to revolutionize the way people travel and explore the outdoors," explained Zeltini. "Although fully functional, the first prototype demonstrated that improvements needed to be made before the product could hit mass production. Step by step, a team of changemakers and top engineers was formed and within 14 months of hard R&D work, the new iteration was created."
The Z-Triton 2.0 runs a Li-ion battery pack, and though we've no word on its exact capacity, the firm says that it's good for over 50 km (31 miles) overland or over 20 km (12 miles) on water. When the juice does run out, you'll need to pedal or row over to the nearest power point – and given its weight is over 200 kg (440 lb), you'll probably have to be in good shape to move it very far on anything but a downward slope or calm waters. There's an integrated solar panel array on the roof but the designers say it's not sufficient to charge up the batteries on its own. Other minor features include some luggage space, a small folding dining table, a Bluetooth radio, USB charging ports, a GPS system, and even a place to put a small plant.
Pre-orders for the Z-Triton 2.0 are now open, with deliveries expected in Europe in late 2022 and throughout the United States in 2023. A simplified DIY kit is being sold too, plus it's also being made available for rent in Zeltini's home country of Latvia.