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'Tis the season for channel crossings... Driven (piloted?) by Rinspeed chief executive Frank Rinderknecht, the custom "Splash" amphibious car zipped across the English Channel Wednesday, covering 36 km in 3 hours 14 minutes, setting a new Guinness Book of Records mark for a hydrofoil car on the world's busiest waterway.

The record-setting version of the Splash was extensively modified from the original version, which debuted at the 2004 Geneva Motor Show. The structure was considerably strengthened for offshore use, and a new powerplant was provided by Weber Motor. The lightweight 750 cc, two-cylinder engine puts out 140 hp at 7,000 rpm, good enough for a top speed of 80 kph on smooth water.

More pics after the jump

[Source: Rinspeed]

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 8 Years Ago
      I still prefer Jeremy Clarkson's "Toybota". Not sure if I would attempt a Channel crossing with it though.
      • 8 Years Ago
      I think these things are very cool if you live in a lake town. You'll never have to put your boat on a trailer.

      Here is a really cool car-boat video with a guy skiing

      • 8 Years Ago
      Gotta love Rinspeed and their crazy creations..

      And 140 horsepower from a 750cc engine at only 7000rpm?! That is impressive. Must be a two-stroke.
      • 8 Years Ago
      Bond, James Bond. Remember his underwater car?
      I think the long time is due water chop of the channel you would not want to go over 20 MPH to avoid getting swamped by the chop and the larger waves from the channel traffic. Based on time distance they went only 10 kph.
      I agree with other person, lake travel would be great for it around Seattle. Also in the Mid-West area where there are millions of lakes. Avoid having to buy a boat when fishing.
      • 8 Years Ago
      Now, I just don't get how a car that can do 80km/h on the water would take over 3 hrs to cover 36km...
      • 8 Years Ago
      this thing is so cool it must be a blast to drive.but the idea is not new some company made boat car's for a short time back in the early 60's i belive but the tecnology is so much better now mabey they will be more popular this time around good luck guy's.
      • 8 Years Ago
      Just cuz its bugging me: Its 'kmh' not 'kph'. Hope you don't mind my anal-ness. :-)

      But that thing is really cool.
      • 8 Years Ago
      But Chuck, the 520 commute would be so much easier if you could bypass the traffic jams at rush hour. Going into the water at Kirkland and roaring out at Madison Park would be fun...
      • 8 Years Ago
      Many ares in the USA have transportation problems. The use of water ways has always been a challenge. Rinspeed with a good looking car that can perform giving a seamless transport from home to work is a real possibility. The problem is being in Detroit and finding a way to contact Mr. Rinderknecht. Any help would be appreciated. Thank you
      • 7 Years Ago
      Picture shows vehicle with the roof open underwater! Uhhh, SCUBA gear optional or comes with the carboat?
      • 8 Years Ago
      "'kmh' not 'kph'"

      No, it's not. It would be km/h, which is read as "kilometers per hour", which is commonly abbreviated as kph. You know, kinda like mph, only with the metric system.

      Kmh would be kilometer hours, which would be a unit of, well, something pretty useless. I guess it could be rocket impulse times distance, which doesn't seem very helpful...

      This exercise in dimensional analysis brought to you by your friendly neighborhood rocket scientist.
      • 8 Years Ago
      "2. I don't understand the desire, much less the NEED for these goofy car/boat hybrids. I have never looked out a lake or ocean and said to myself "Self, I'd like to DRIVE across that!"... and I live in Seattle where this sort of thing is possible without such a goofy tool."

      Well, for someone who lives in the sticks, it's not a surprising comment. Being a Londoner, there would be many [obvious] applications for a car like this. Commuters could use them to travel to and from work on the river Thames, emergency services could cut down response times and also get to areas of the city more quickly and there would also be scope to create a new motor sport that involved water and land racing.
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