The Rinspeed Splash Amphibious Hydrofoil Sportscar the Splash is capable of 80 kmh (approx. 45 knots) on the water and 200 kmh on land.
The design is yet another concept from Swiss creative studio Rinspeed, whose concept designs have graced the pages of Gizmo several times in our short history.
Under the ultra-light carbon-composite skin lies much more than just an agile and lively sports car. At the push of a button an hydraulic mechanism transforms the sports car into an amphibious vehicle and an integrated hydrofoil system enables the Splash to fly at an altitude of about 60 cm above the water.
The almost magical transformation from a street vehicle into a floating and flying all-rounder is made possible by an electronically controlled high-pressure hydraulic system with an array of sophisticated sensors.
The transformation starts at the rear panel, which flips up to reveal a watercraft Z-drive in horizontal rest position. The Z-drive is fitted with a conventional 3-bladed propeller and can be lowered to its fully standing position from the cockpit.
The position of the drive is infinitely variable, which guarantees immediate propulsion upon entering the water. A transfer case sends power to the rear wheels, the propeller or both, depending on the input from the pilot. Starting at a water depth of about 1.1 meters the Z-drive can be lowered all the way to its fully standing position. Steering commands are entered via the steering wheel and transferred to the Z-drive.
The body of the Splash is designed to be watertight and additional buoyancy chambers are fitted to provide extra lift. Also borrowed from shipbuilding are a bulkhead design with independent chambers and bilge pumps in case some water does find its way into the cockpit or the engine bay. Fourteen rubber bellows guarantee freedom of movement of drive train, suspension and steering.
The Splash is powered by an environmentally friendly bivalent turbocharged natural-gas engine. Natural gas is an extremely clean-burning fuel that consists almost entirely of methane with near-zero sulphur content.
A turbocharged two-cylinder four-valve 750cc engine powers the Splash, delivering maximum power of 140 bhp/103 kW at 7000rpm and peak torque of 150Nm at 3500 rpm. Though the Splash has only a small motor, its street performance is nothing to be ashamed of: the 825 kg quick-change artist accelerates in to 100kmh in 5.9 seconds and reaches a top speed of 200 kmh.