The last time we checked in with what TVR was doing, the Scamander was the rough prototype of recently deceased designer Peter Wheeler's dream amphibious lunar rover thingie car. It was weird and had blade paddles sticking out from its wheels.
The engineers who succeeded Wheeler kept the Scamander's strange spaceship shape, but seem to have smoothed out most of the project car's wrinkles. For starters, they replaced the ridiculous wheel paddles with a rear mounted, turbine-esque propeller worthy of the Batmobile.
As Evo's Harry Metcalfe will show you, once you clamber into the Scamander's plane-like cockpit and close the electric hatch (which to me would be scary — I'd want a quick, non-electric way to get out, just in case the thing sank while I was in it) — it performs pretty well on the dreary, rutted landscape of Lancashire's fells. With about 11 inches of ground clearance and 15 inches of suspension travel, it delivered a relatively soft ride on bumpy ground.
It didn't seem to do to badly on road either, although the driver noted that the Scamader's forward control cab made steering (which is controlled with a weird, folding spaceship wheel) a little weird. I can relate.
But the real test was when it came time to try out the Scamader's seagoing capabilities. Like the original, it didn't sink, and the new propeller seemed to work pretty well. I'm no engineer, but the open bed (read: low gunwales) and open, top-mounted intake seemed like they could be liabilities if the wind picked up and chop exceeded a foot or so. Have you ever been in a small boat in rough water? We hope the Scamander has a bilge pump, or better yet two.
We're not sure what exactly you'd use this vehicle for. TVR suggested that it could be useful to military customers, but that would assume they were absolutely comfortable relying upon electronic systems to keep from dying. Let's see, there's the electric canopy that could trap you inside, and also the constantly whining cooling fans that keep the engine from overheating inside its watertight compartment. At the very least, it would make a great accessory for the Bond villain lair that's for sale in Norway.
I wouldn't want to drive one through a war zone, but given the opportunity to blast through a mud bog and into a river, I couldn't say no. (Hat tip to Zelig!)
Photo credit: Evo Diaries