When we first spotted this vehicle we thought a new Mahindra, then a cheap Chinese Jeep copy, but after a little research we found the Water-Car … although not technically a 4×4 (its rear wheel drive) it has long suspension travel and is quite capable off the black top as 4×2’s go.
In 1999, Water-Car started as a personal challenge to build the world’s fastest amphibious vehicle. Their early Water-Cars were purpose built vehicles, to be quick on both land and water.
After January, 2010, when Water-Car established the Guinness amphibious speed record with their Python model, their attention turned to reliability and so began designing a vehicle they could offer to the public. F14 years, countless successes and failures, 27 patents and untold labor hours later, the personal challenge has been achieved.
The Panther is the first Water-Car to be offered to the general public. Created by the Water-Car team, made up from top designers and technicians from Fountain Valley Bodyworks, one of the largest, state-of-the-art collision repair shops in the USA.
Throughout the Panther’s development, the commitment was to engineer a versatile amphibious vehicle built with proven off-the-shelf components that are recognizable throughout the automotive and marine industry. The Water-Car team has achieved that goal.
During our development years, the team were continuously approached by people around the world who wished to purchase a Water-Car. Whilst flattered by the apparent market acceptance, the team did not feel they had attained a level of reliability and maintainability consistent with the company’s standards and those of our prospective buyers. It was difficult to say no for all those years, but the team was adamant that they would not sell a product that they would not purchase themselves.
Each Panther is a custom vehicle built by an incredible team of professionals who take great pride in what they build and how it ultimately performs. Each one is unique.
The Panther’s adventurous appearance incorporates a durable light weight fiberglass body/ hull, and is a next generation off road chromoly chassis built to hold up to extreme pounding abuse on land or in water. Not only is the body/hull extraordinarily strong, it is filled with 32 cubic feet of US Coast Guard approved closed cell styrofoam making it virtually unsinkable.
After many years of testing multiple engine combinations, the clear winner was the reliable Honda V6 V-Tec.
It has a proven ten year track record with its 250 HP outboard motor lasting over 5000 hours between rebuilds in some of the harshest environments in the world. The same motor has proven it’s excellence in the Honda and Acura SUV’s exceeding 200,000 miles between overhauls. Its power to weight ratio along with its torque curve combined with its incredible fuel efficiency make it the perfect combination for the Panther. The World-renowned Honda quality combines proven reliability and superior fuel efficiency. The powerful V6 V-Tec engine is compact 24 valve SOHC design, without the bulk and weight of long intake runners and multi-camshafts. The narrow V6 design offers top performance and durability as well as great fuel economy. Honda’s Variable Valve Timing & Lift Electronic Control (VTEC®) system provides power where and when you need it. VTEC gives you a broader, flatter torque curve and smooth power delivery throughout the engine’s operating range. The result is a superior combination of power, torque and fuel economy. V-TEC is the modern replacement for displacement.
Height: 69″ windshield up
: 51″ windshield down
: 44″ windshield down, wheels retracted
Water Speed: 44 mph
Land Speed: 80+ mph
Engine: Honda 3.7 liter VTEC
Transmission: 4 speed manual
Marine Propulsion: Panther Jet
Tire Size: 30X9.50R15
Brakes: Four wheel disc
Wheel Retraction: Hydraulic
Cooling System: Closed with marine heat exchanger.
Each buyer is encouraged to actively participation in the final appearance of their vehicle, as the range of interior and exterior fabrics, colors, and graphics is virtually unlimited.
Water-Car’s ultimate goal is to build a vehicle that is a source of complete enjoyment to you and an ongoing source of pride to them.
The Panther is currently offered in two states of completion;
a, Turnkey Minus @ $126,000 or £ 89,399
b, Complete Custom @ $155,000 or £ 109,975
If you wish to know more visit WaterCar
Image & text credits WaterCar