It's a bus. It's a boat. No! The Amphicoach is both! According to the Maltese company behind this ambitious tourist vehicle, it's the only fully amphibious passenger vehicle meeting "relevant" EU standards. Whatever those are.
We're not sure what the relevant laws are but the photos seem to indicate its sea-worthiness. However, a look at the vehicle on the road shows four tiny wheels and a general layout not exactly best for road-worthiness. These are for sale worldwide so, if you run a marching band out of Mackinac Island, maybe give them a call.
A traditionally neglected segment of the mass transit market has been the Amphibious Vehicle Segment, which is now about to go mainstream on a global scale. This is due to the huge undertaking by our company. We have reworked and reinvented the amphibious tourist vehicle as everyone knows it. By creating a unique and exciting vehicle that is going to transform the world of city and harbour tours etc. A new vibrant industry will be created offering investors excellent returns for their money. Soon people will no longer be satisfied with just a city coach tour, they will want the complete package, a city coach tour with a water cruise built in. Investors involved in the early stages with these new vehicles, will achieve huge returns for their investment.
The starting point for this undertaking was the setting of criteria and targets that had to be met. The final product had to overcome all the shortcomings of previous attempts, assess where others had failed, and improve on previous successes. It also had to be very safe and easy to operate with minimal training and maintenance. The final hurdle was the one that thwarts most new projects; basically that it is relatively easy to build a one off prototype as a showcase or concept vehicle. However, the final production model has to be buildable on an industrial scale, whilst keeping within a realistic budget. It also has to be very saleable, and it has to comply with all relevant legislation worldwide to be truly considered a success.
The Amphicoach is a fifty seat road coach, which is also a true amphibious vehicle which has been developed over six years under professional supervision. It can compete with any luxury standard road coach on the basis of performance, level of finish, passenger safety and comfort, ride comfort, stability and manoeuvrability. On the other hand its sailing capabilities are accepted by marine experts involved in the project as being astonishing. This feature consequently makes the vehicle suitable for extended water tours. Its stunning good looks also grant it the opportunity to operate tours from five star hotels whilst fitting in with the opulent surroundings. The Amphicoach is able to operate day and night, in both fresh and salt water, which is highly unusual. All this amazingly enough has been achieved with full compliance to all relevant E.U. Legislation for Passenger Vehicles and Passenger Vessels. This legislation is widely known to be the most extensive in the world, and is achieved without any need for exemptions for the vehicles dual purpose capability.
Whilst boasting of all the amenities associated with a traditional tourist coach, such as A.B.S. Ventilated Disc Brakes all round, Pulse Electric Wiring, a Complex Electronic Engine Management. It also has a state of the art Communication System to keep the pilot informed on all aspects of the vechicle's performance in real time, Air Conditioning & Heating can also be incorporated. Excellent all round vision is aided with a Reversing Camera to assist the driver and all necessary Navigational Equipment from Navigation Light's to VHF and Depth Sounder. LCD Screens, DVD players and PA Systems are now standard equipment; furthermore the vehicle can be specified to include extras such as GPS, Autopilot, Toilets and Luggage Compartments. All electronic equioment on our vehicle is backed up by an additional power suppy to eliminate electronic failure, our vehicles are also supplied with the world famous Seago life jackets which are excellent. Naturally a full Medical Kit, Flares, Boat Hooks, Life Belts etc are also supplied.
Furthermore, reliability issues are minimised due to the use of the well proven Iveco Tector common rail turbo diesel power plant. These are available in outputs varying from 250HP TO 300HP in both two and four wheel drive versions, to suit each and every individual application. All engines conform to EURO 5 standards, making the vehicle "future proof" as EURO 5 will not become compulsory till 2016 and ensure a lucrative long term investment opportunity. This produces impressive green credentials due to its low emission and consumption figures. Our vehicles are supplied with a twelve month warranty for parts and labour. We also supply a customer service regime second to none, to provide clients with technical support should they require it.
The Coaches hulls are built using 6mm Marine Grade Aluminium (Hydro 5083). This is the best suited material for this application, due to its lightweight and superior strength qualities. The uniquely designed watertight compartmented hull design includes collision bulkheads which help to make the coach relatively unsinkable. In the unlikely event that the hull is breached or swamped, the vehicle will remain completely upright and afloat, making it in our opinion and of our experts surveyors, the safest amphibious passenger vehicle in the world.
The Amphicoach utilises a marine jet drive unit specifically designed for the amphicoach by one of the worlds leading manufacturer in jet propulsion, this is driven by the vehicles main power plant. An electric propulsion system is also available, and is the ultimate in green power for areas which would benefit from the silence and zero emission levels achieved from this technology. This would still provide equal performance to the standard marine propulsion. An onboard whisper quiet generator is incorporated into the drive train, so that the vehicle can be used as long as required without any loss of power. The system is then recharged by a high powered alternator system whilst on the road segment of the journey.
The final but possibly most important innovation to the drive train is a one-off wheel retraction system that retracts the rear wheels into the hull when under sail, dramatically reducing drag. This permits speeds in excess of eight knots whilst fully laden in the water, truly exceptional for an amphibious vehicle with full EU Certification. This feature can be supplied as an extra to clients wishing to have this fitted.
Standard safety equipment includes: self inflating lifejackets, safety belts, the latest Pyrogen Patented Automatic - Manual Fire Suppressant Systems for instant eradication of danger in the event of fire in the machinery area. (This includes electronic temperature sensors strategically located and calibrated for their working environment. Electronic air density monitoring equipment which are linked to a digital control panel situated on the dashboard). Automatic Bilge Pumps are fitted in every compartment, including manual back up pumps. Banks of sensors which include visual and audible warnings constantly monitor every aspect of the vehicle to ensure smooth, problem free running and ensure complete passenger safety at all times. The passenger area is also sealed from the from the engine and machinery compartment for ultimate safety.
The Amphicoach is the one and only fully Amphibious Passenger Vehicle to fully meet all relevant E.U Legislation and is certified meet UN/ECE R66 Roll-Over Protection legislation, which was achieved by a physical test and not by calculation. Every single Amphicoach that rolls out of the factory is independently assessed and inspected by Professional Surveyors and Engineers and they are delivered with full TUV Classification Society certification for road use in Europe. It is possible however to also have a vehicle built to comply with all the relevant legislation in other countries throughout the world including certification as above, should this be required; there is no extra charge for this service.
The high level of customisation, finish and legislative compliance is only possible due to the highly skilled and experienced craftsmen used throughout construction and design. These include a unit that has previously been commissioned to affect modification to various US Naval Units in the Mediterranean fleet. This is the ultimate accolade possible for naval engineers as it requires an unparalleled standard of work, with impeccable attention to detail. They have Lloyd's certification for welding and all other qualifications required to build our vehicles.
Vehicles can be finished in any colour specified by the client, with a level of finish that is normally only seen in automobiles; custom one-off, artistic paint jobs are also possible. Interior trim options are varied, and range from industry standard touristic levels to the height of VIP and diplomatic luxury. Whatever the trim and finish chosen it is certain that it will surpass any expectations as it is hand assembled using latest techniques, equipment and technology.
All exterior components are treated with the latest corrosion barrier products which can withstand up to 3500 hours of constant immersion in the highest concentration of salt water without any adverse effects. The amphicoach can be serviced at any truck or bus service station which shows that this product has been designed and built with ease of maintenance and limited down time in mind, clients will also have full access to all components and tooling to ensure years of uninterrupted service.
Meanwhile as the first consignment is ready for service, Our Search and Rescue Vehicle concept is complete. This has been designed using some of the technology of the Amphicoach, but they are 4 Wheel Drive All-Terrain Trucks that can carry 10 tons of cargo or in excess 50 whilst travelling at 20+ knots in the water and 70mph on the road. The uses for a vehicle like this are endless, Search and Rescue, Armed Forces, Amphibious Troop Carrier, Navy Ship Tenders, for collecting supplies from normally inaccessible areas, Remote Island Emergency Fire Tender, Customs Intervention Vehicles, Flood Rescue Vehicles etc. etc. These vehicles can be armoured built for use by the armed forces. We are confident this vehicle will become a permanent fixture fixture with several Government and Military Agencies throughout the world.