'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]