Gibbs Technologies Aquada – Click above for high-res image gallery

The Man is back to his old tricks again: this time doing his best to keep down a fledgling amphibious car manufacturer. Gibbs Technologies is reportedly running into a tangle of regulation when it comes to bringing its Aquada to market – an amphibious vehicle that's said to be just as home on the lake as it is motoring around your neighborhood. According to TheDetroitBureau.com, the main issue seems to be that regulatory bodies want the car to conform to safety and emissions standards for both cars and boats. Unfortunately, those two worlds aren't exactly compatible. For starters, the EPA wants the Aquada to use a standard catalytic converter. Unfortunately, the emissions equipment needs to operate at close to 1,500 degrees Fahrenheit – nearly 1,200 degrees more than what the U.S. Coast Guard allows on a typical watercraft.

Things get even more complicated on the safety front. The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration wants the Aquada to come equipped with airbags, only Gibbs Technologies worries that pounding from waves will set the devices off accidentally – a scenario that we'd rather not encounter.

In order to help put some of the worries surrounding the Aquada aside, the company is planning to release an amphibious ATV called the Quadski. With a top speed of around 45 mph on both land and water, the craft should be the Aquada's high-strung younger brother without many of the same thorny legal issues. So far, Gibbs hasn't released any photos or information on the Quadski, but the company plans to begin selling the craft next year.


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[Source: The Detroit Bureau]