There's a consumer version if you don't need to put out fires.
Firefighters have an incredibly stressful job, but WaterCar’s new Fire Rescue Vehicle looks like an incredibly fun way to blow off some steam when not saving lives. This amphibious Jeep look-alike can hit 105 kilometres per hour on land and reach 72 km/h in the water. Plus, it can put out fires thanks to an on-board pump for delivering 3,975 litres of water per minute.
WaterCar’s video (above) of the Fire Rescue Vehicle at work shows off its impressive capabilities. This SUV can really scoot across the water, and the water pumps can support multiple hoses at once.
WaterCar also offers a consumer amphibious vehicle called the Panther (below), which shares a look in common with the Fire Rescue Vehicle but without features like sirens or the water pumps. The company fits its vehicles with a 3.7-liter Honda-sourced V6 that produces 250 horsepower. On the road, the Panther uses a four-speed manual gearbox, and WaterCar’s patented transfer case harnesses the engine’s power to shoot a jet of water out the back when the vehicle transforms into a boat.
The complete transformation from road to water takes about 15 seconds. Drivers just need to put the transmission in neutral, pull a knob that engages the jet, and push a button to raise the wheels hydraulically. WaterCar recommends embarking via a launch ramp, but drivers can also use the shoreline as long as there are no obstacles higher than 203 millimetres.
The Panther features a a chromoly chassis with a fibreglass hull and body. It can work in salt water, but WaterCar recommends washing the vehicle thoroughly with fresh water after use in the sea. Inside, there are off-road suspension seats with marine vinyl upholstery so there’s no worry about soaking up bumps on the land or in the waves.
WaterCar sells the customer-oriented Panther for $155,000 USD. The company doesn’t disclose the price for the Fire Rescue Vehicle, but the extra equipment likely increases the cost.