Off-road vehicles are emblems of excitement, a growing branch of the automotive world that has worked toward perfection since 1906, when Adolphe Kégresse invented the Kégresse track. Now, more than 100 years later, a small California-based company called WaterCar has created a compact, durable, exciting new breed of automobile that brings off-road driving to a new level. They call it the Panther. WaterCar’s Panther has been found in the duPont REGISTRY’s annual Exotic Car Buyers Guide and will most certainly be under the spotlight for years to come.
The company’s goal was to engineer an adaptable amphibious vehicle comprised of components that are identified as the highest quality in the automotive and marine industries. The development of the Panther began in 1999, and it’s taken until 2013 for the company to consider their vehicle as ready for purchase.
The WaterCar team received adamant requests from consumers who wanted to take the jeep-looking amphibian home before 2013. The Team was persistent in refusing to sell a vehicle that they themselves would not buy. And so, research and development continued.
WaterCar forged forward, and by 2010, they had 27 patents and the Python, a vehicle recognized in the Guinness Book of World Records for the Amphibious Speed Record. This incredible, adventurously styled all-terrain vehicle was like no other.
Through various tests, the WaterCar Team established that the best engine to be used in the amphibious vehicle is a 3.7-Liter V6 V-TEC engine from Honda. The V6 is the only viable engine due to its high power, high-rev capabilities and proven durability. The 250 hp engine coasts the Panther along at speeds exceeding 80 mph on land and pairs with the patented Panther jet to take the vehicle up to 38 knots on water.
When it hits the water, hydraulic suspension raises the wheels and allows for the fiberglass hull to take over. The hull was designed by the best naval architects from around the world and is filled with 32 cubic feet of US Coast Guard approved closed cell Styrofoam, which makes the vehicle virtually unsinkable.
The hull is paired with a revolutionized, lightweight, chromoly chassis, which was crafted to merge with the hull via high-grade epoxy adhesion technology. The chassis also pairs with the off-road suspension to create a pure, powerful combination of strength and performance unmatched by any competition.
Regardless of its free spirited nature, the inside of the Panther is actually quite luxurious. Functional and customizable, the interior comes standard with off-road suspension seats for the bumpy waves and trails. Only the best materials are used; marine vinyl and stainless steel frame seats keep the WaterCar’s interior safe from corrosion, as well as its stainless steel trim.
The Panther is easily one of the most exciting products we’ve seen hit the market. Selling at a low $135,000, affluent buyers around the world have rushed to get their own. A number of Panthers have even been ordered to be sent to Dubai, including six to one individual.
See the video below to be astonished with amphibious ability.