Aeroboat cruises in style with a 1,100-HP V12 Rolls-Royce engine from a WWII fighter plane

Boats inspired by cars aren’t unheard of, but this luxury watercraft features an unusual trifecta of car, boat, and aviation influences.

Set for unveiling at the Salute to Style in London July 16, the Aeroboat is a futuristic-looking water craft with a very old-school powertrain.

The boat has a Rolls-Royce engine, but not the kind you’re likely to find in any of the hallowed carmaker’s products.

For decades, Rolls was both a car company and a manufacturer of airplane engines (the two businesses exist today as separate corporate entities), and during that time it produced one of the most legendary powerplants in aviation history: The Merlin V12.

This mighty engine powered the Supermarine Spitfire and Hawker Hurricane fighters that defended Britain against Axis air attacks during World War II. Built under license by Packard, it also powered later versions of the most famous U.S. fighter of the war, the North American P-51 Mustang.

The engine to be installed in the Aeroboat has documented provenance proving it to be a genuine Merlin, according to Claydon Reeves, the firm that designed the boat.

Rebuilt and converted to fuel injection, the Merlin will be detuned, producing “only” 1,100 horsepower. This will still be enough to get the Aeroboat to speeds of 75 to 95 knots, or around 86 to 109 mph.

The Aeroboat’s styling was inspired by the Spitfire fighter, but rendered in carbon fiber, Kevlar, and a lightweight wood veneer. The blend of WWII fighter-plane lines and modern materials gives it an almost Steampunk, retro-futuristic look.

Production details will be revealed closer to the Aeroboat’s official unveiling, but Claydon Reeves said it will customize individual boats to meet buyer specifications. How about one with an RAF roundel on the side?


Florida allows autonomous cars to drive on its roads without human supervision

Florida governor Ron DeSantis passed a law that establishes a legal framework for self-driving cars to operate within the state. It allows car and tech companies to test self-driving cars without a human operator behind the wheel.
Movies & TV

Prime-time TV: Here are the best shows on Amazon Prime right now

There's more to Amazon Prime than free two-day shipping, including access to a number of phenomenal shows at no extra cost. To make the sifting easier, here are our favorite TV series currently streaming on Amazon Prime.

E3 2019: All the games we expected to see, and some we didn’t

E3 2019 is the biggest gaming event of the year. It will be loaded with new game announcements and details. These are the games we expect to see at E3 2019, and the games we won't see.

Keanu in Cyberpunk 2077 and the other big surprises from E3 2019

E3 2019 had several of its biggest game announcements leak ahead of time, but that didn't stop the event from still having plenty of surprises for fans. These are the biggest shockers of E3 2019.

From Cyberpunk 2077 to Watch Dogs Legion, these are the best trailers of E3 2019

E3 2019 is packed full of game trailers showing off upcoming titles' stories and worlds, as well as full gameplay demonstrations. These are the best trailers of E3 2019, including Cyberpunk 2077.

New Toyota tech will automatically shut off engines, apply parking brakes

Toyota is launching two new safety features for the 2020 model year. One will automatically shut off a car's engine when stationary, and the other will automatically shift into park and apply the parking brake to prevent rollaways.

It’s not easy being green. Why EVs have a long road to replace gas vehicles

Electric vehicles are all the rage right now, but are they really better than your average gas-powered car? We take a look at the advantages and disadvantages of the technology, and whether or not they're ready for mass adoption.

Aston Martin will put its Valkyrie hybrid hypercar to the ultimate test

The Aston Martin Valkyrie will race at the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 2021. Aston Martin is taking advantage of new rules that encourage automakers to bring their fastest hypercars to the legendary French race.
Digital Trends Live

Digital Trends Live: Florida’s autonomous vehicle law, E3 updates, and more

On this episode of DT Live, we take a look at the biggest trending stories in tech, including Florida allowing fully autonomous vehicles on the road, Atari’s new gaming system, E3 updates, high-speed rail, and more.

The best smart helmets are full of cool tech, and totally worth the messy hair

Helmets might be a haircut's worst nightmare, but they're constantly evolving, and have undergone a 21st-century makeover. No matter your sport, here are the best smart helmets currently on the market.

Kia draws inspiration from Greek mythology to create a crossover for millennials

Kia will expand its global portfolio of crossovers and SUVs when it unveils a model named Seltos on June 20, 2019. Developed for milennials, the Seltos is a small, high-tech model named after the son of Hercules.
Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: Plant-based shoes and a ukulele learning aid

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the web this week. You may not be able to buy this stuff yet, but it sure is fun to gawk!

Don’t let the SUV bodies fool you, BMW’s X3 M and X4 M are bona fide M cars

BMW is launching the first M versions of its X3 and X4. The 2020 X3 M and X4 M Competition pack a new 503-horsepower 3.0-liter twin-turbocharged inline-six and BMW’s usual array of performance tech.

After years of Le Mans misfortune, Toyota becomes impossible to beat

Toyota scored a one-two finish at the 2019 24 Hours of Le Mans, its second win a row at the legendary French race. Toyota is the first Japanese automaker to win Le Mans twice, but its wins came without any real competition.