World's first luxury sports hovercraft unveiled

World’s first luxury sports hovercraft unveiled

The concept of hovercraft is not new: Since the 1950s, drivers have moved on land, sand, and water.

But 70 years later, car enthusiasts finally have a reason to celebrate the arrival of this car, as what was billed as the world’s first luxury sports hovercraft will go on sale for $100,000 (£73,400).

It may not be as fast as a supercar, with a top speed of around 60 mph and a range of 190 miles at 40 mph, but it’s the fastest amphibious car around.

And unlike a Ferrari, McLaren or Bugatti, this exciting new roadster rides on a hovercraft seven inches off the ground, allowing drivers to race across the water and giving new meaning to the term “off-road vehicle.”

Designed by Von Mercier, named after British engineer and founder Michael Mercier, the Arosa is said to “combine cutting-edge hovercraft and electric vehicle innovation.”

Groundbreaking: What has been announced as the world's first luxury sports hovercraft will go on sale for $100,000 (£73,400)

Groundbreaking: What has been announced as the world’s first luxury sports hovercraft will go on sale for $100,000 (£73,400)

It may not be as fast as a supercar, with a top speed of around 60 mph and a range of 190 miles at 40 mph, but it's the fastest amphibious car around.

It may not be as fast as a supercar, with a top speed of around 60 mph and a range of 190 miles at 40 mph, but it’s the fastest amphibious car around.

And unlike a Ferrari, McLaren or Bugatti, this exciting new roadster rides on a hovercraft seven inches off the ground, allowing drivers to race across the water and giving new meaning to the term “off-road vehicle.”

And unlike a Ferrari, McLaren or Bugatti, this exciting new roadster rides on a hovercraft seven inches off the ground, allowing drivers to race across the water and giving new meaning to the term “off-road vehicle.”

MAIN CHARACTERISTICS

Max speed

About 60 mph, closer to 50 mph on water

Range

120 miles range at 40 mph

Passengers

Double, in tandem layout

Engine

Hybrid-electric transmission

Price

$100,000 (£73,400)

It has an open cockpit with tandem fighter-like seating, hidden rear wheels and a digital instrument cluster.

The car is also equipped with a hybrid-electric powertrain consisting of a gasoline engine that powers three electric motors, while a buffer battery stores electricity for shorter bursts of speed.

It may look like it has giant rims, but they’re actually rotors for fan ducts – and they’re part of a system that von Mercier says will make the Arosa “the world’s most manoeuvrable personal hovercraft.”

Hovercraft are notorious for their uncontrollability, but von Mercier’s advanced directional control system promises superior manoeuvrability.

This allows the driver to easily stop, turn, reverse and drive forward.

The Arosa also has boat-like side decks so that more people can be brought along on the hovercraft.

For starters, Von Mercier is building 50 models of its Arosa and hopes to have them on sale by the summer.

At the moment, about 180 customers “expressed their willingness to buy Arosa.”

While it starts at $100,000 (£73,400), the cost can rise if custom paint, wood, fabric or infotainment options are needed.

Because hovercraft are generally classified as boats, Arosa cannot legally drive on public roads.

However, for starters, the company sees its creation as more than an attraction for owners of large yachts who can make landfall in their Arosa.

It has an open cockpit with tandem fighter-like seating, hidden rear wheels and a digital instrument cluster.

It has an open cockpit with tandem fighter-like seating, hidden rear wheels and a digital instrument cluster.

Designed by Von Mercier, named after British engineer and founder Michael Mercier, the Arosa is said to

Designed by Von Mercier, named after British engineer and founder Michael Mercier, the Arosa is said to “combine cutting-edge hovercraft technology with electric vehicle innovation.”

The car is also equipped with a hybrid-electric powertrain consisting of a gasoline engine that powers three electric motors, while a buffer battery stores electricity for shorter bursts of speed.

The car is also equipped with a hybrid-electric powertrain consisting of a gasoline engine that powers three electric motors, while a buffer battery stores electricity for shorter bursts of speed.

On his website, he writes: “VonMercier combines cutting-edge hovercraft and electric vehicle engineering with luxurious high-performance technology.

“The result is the world’s first luxury sport hovercraft.”

Von Mercier adds: “The Arosa sport hovercraft is an amphibious vehicle that can travel on land, water and the varied terrain in between.

“It does this by hovercraft and essentially flying right over the surface.

“The airbag is suspended inside a flexible, reinforced fabric skirt that helps compensate for terrain changes and provides clearance for obstacles.”

Takeoff for an air taxi! Virgin Atlantic of Richard Branson and Rolls-Royce commit £3bn

Air travel is likely to cost travelers between £5 and £10 per mile traveled between a helicopter and a private car.  The concept image shows a Virgin aircraft built by Vertical Aerospace flying over London.

Boat trips will likely cost travelers between £5 and £10 per mile traveled – between helicopter and private car. The concept image shows a Virgin aircraft built by Vertical Aerospace flying over London.

By 2024, the UK will have a fleet of Virgin Atlantic flying cars that could cut short-haul travel times by more than two-thirds, it has been learned.

The Bristol-based vertical aerospace firm is working on building a fleet of electrically powered vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) aircraft in a £2.8 billion ($4 billion) project.

Virgin Atlantic will buy up to 150 aircraft, called VA-X4s, to deliver a network of Virgin Atlantic-branded short-haul flights to some of the UK’s busiest cities.

Ship rides are likely to cost travelers between £5 and £10 per mile traveled – between helicopter and private car – which they can book using the app, according to Vertical Aerospace.

Vertical Aerospace and Virgin Atlantic will seek to establish short haul electric aircraft service between UK cities and hubs starting at London Heathrow, Manchester and London Gatwick.

For example, the 56-mile journey from Cambridge to London Heathrow Airport was reduced to 22 minutes compared to 1 hour and 30 minutes by road.

Read more: Virgin Atlantic and Rolls-Royce bring back £3bn flying car

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