Gibbs Quadski: Redefining the meaning of “all-terrain vehicle”

Gibbs Quadski amphibious ATVOff-road vehicles claim to be able to go anywhere, but they can’t. Cars, dirt bikes, and ATVs can’t fly, nor can they swim. The FAA might have something to say about the former, but Michigan’s Gibbs Sports Amphibians hopes to achieve the latter. The Gibbs Quadski is the mutant offspring of an ATV and a jet ski.

On land, the Quadski behaves like a normal ATV, but at the push of a button the wheels retract and power is transferred from the rear differential to a propeller. That power (175 horsepower and 103 pound-feet of torque, 140 hp on water) comes from a 1.3-liter four cylinder engine from a BMW K1300 motorcycle.

As with any vehicle that is neither one thing or another, there are compromises. Despite its considerable size, the Quadski can only carry one rider. It’s also rear-wheel drive, which may limit its performance on tough trails.

Amphibious motoring also doesn’t come cheap. Gibbs has not finalized the price, but company representatives say the Quadski will cost around $40,000. That is a lot of money for a quad, even if it can drive on water.

The Quadski may be flawed, but that’s not surprising given how difficult its development has been. Gibbs has been developing amphibious vehicle technology since 1996, spending $200 million and accumulating over 300 patents. Until now, the result of all that work has been nothing.

Gibbs spent years trying to bring the Aquada, an amphibious car, to market, but it was torpedoed (no pun intended) by supplier issues and regulations. That’s not surprising given the checkered history of amphibious vehicles. The German Amphicar was a sales failure, and even the World War II DUKWs that delivered supplies in support of Allied invasions (and now carry tourists on “Duck tours”) were said to drive “like trucks in the water and boats on land.”

When it goes on sale in November, the Quadski could be the first amphibious vehicle to sell in significant quantities. Gibbs has dealers lined up in Florida, Texas, New York, and the Midwest.

Technical issues aside, why would anyone want an ATV-jet ski hybrid? It would certainly allow outdoors adventurers to travel as the crow flies, but on another level, its just plain cool. Now if only Gibbs could add some wings…

Product Review

BMW’s smallest M car is its biggest performance statement

The BMW M2 Competition is frighteningly quick in a straight line, and its short wheelbase lends itself to some hilarious power slides, but it’s the curvy roads and tight tracks where this coupe comes alive.
Cars

The best hybrid cars save on fuel without sacrificing fun

The best hybrid cars are fuel-efficient and all the rage, but which one should you buy? We’ve broken through the noise to let you know the best hybrid, and a few interesting alternatives from different categories.
Cars

Ambitious but not rubbish: The best Top Gear episodes

Since its relaunch in 2002, Top Gear has become required viewing for any serious gearhead. The great moments from this show may seem too numerous to count, but we've managed to pick some of the highlights from the first 26 seasons.
Cars

Bored with stock? The best tuner cars are begging to be modified

Modification has been around almost as long as the automobile itself. Here are 25 of the best tuner cars you can find, ranging from American muscle standouts to Japanese drift cars.
Cars

Tesla Model S and Model X charge faster and go farther with the same battery

An all-new drivetrain for the Tesla Model S and X enables the EVs to travel farther per charge than the previous design. Tesla Model S Long Range sedans have a 370-mile range and Model X Long Range SUVs can travel 325 miles per EPA cycle.
Cars

2019 Ford F-150 RTR gets a light dose of off-road, style upgrades

Vaughn Gittin Jr.'s RTR Vehicles is turning its attention to the 2019 Ford F-150 pickup truck. RTR gave Ford's bestseller new suspension components and tires, as well as more extroverted exterior styling.
Cars

Electric truck maker Rivian scores $500 million investment from Ford

Alongside Amazon, Rivian can now count Ford as one of its backers. The Blue Oval will invest $500 million in Rivian, and will use the company's "skateboard" chassis as the basis for a future electric vehicle.
Cars

The best diagnostic adapters monitor your car so you don't have to

Sometimes called dongles, the best car adapters will tell you what's wrong under the hood while help you keep tabs on your family and routine maintenance.
Emerging Tech

Japanese taxis will use facial recognition to target you with ads as you ride

A Japanese startup is trying to reinvent in-taxi advertising by using facial recognition technology to identify the key characteristics of riders and then presenting them with appropriate ads.
Cars

Nvidia agrees with Tesla’s take on self-driving cars, but corrects specifics

Nvidia vice president Rob Csongor agreed with broad statements by Elon Musk at Tesla's April 22 Autonomy Investor Day. Csongor then took exception to what he termed were inaccuracies about Nvidia's self-driving car chip.
Cars

Stop backing into your neighbor's car with the best backup cameras

The right backup camera will allow you to better avoid vehicles and other obstacles without taking your eyes off the road, rendering "sorry, I hit your car!" notes a thing of the past. Here are our current favorites.
Mobile

Waze vs. Google Maps: Which map app should you be using?

Waze and Google Maps are two of the most popular apps for those looking for turn-by-turn navigation, yet there are some notable differences to point out. Here, we examine both to decide which offers the best feature set.
Business

Tesla posts $702M Q1 loss as deliveries fall sharply; Musk promises turnaround

Tesla lost $702 million during the first quarter of 2019 as deliveries fell sharply, and demand for the Model X and the Model S flattened. The company predicts it will again lose money in the second quarter.
Cars

Qiantu K50 electric sports car was designed in China, will be built in the U.S.

The Qiantu K50 is a Chinese electric sports car that will be marketed in the United States by California-based Mullen Technologies. The carbon-fiber bodied, 402-horsepower K50 is expected to go on sale in 2020.