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Rinspeed 'Splash' English Channel Crossing

The Rinspeed 'Splash' amphibious car zoomed across the English Channel in just 3 hours and 14 minutes, setting a speed record for hydrofoil cars.


(Rinspeed 'Splash' hydrofoil amphibious car)

The record-setting version of the Splash was extensively modified from the original version, which debuted at the 2004 Geneva Motor Show. The structure was considerably strengthened for offshore use, and a new powerplant was provided by Weber Motor. The lightweight 750 cc, two-cylinder engine puts out 140 hp at 7,000 rpm, good enough for a top speed of 80 kph on smooth water.

My favorite early science-fictional example of this kind of car is the Camden Speedster from Robert Heinlein's 1941 novel Methuselah's Children. The Camden Speedster had a number of cool additional features:

She followed a side road uncontrolled for several miles, turned into a narrow dirt road which led down to the shore, and stopped. She snapped a switch; the instrument panel glowed, revealing other dials behind it... What appeared to be an ordinary Camden speedster rose quietly up, moved out over the lake, skimming it - dropped into the water and sank...
(Read more about Heinlein's Camden Speedster)

These articles show off real-world vehicles that incorporate some of the amazing features of Heinlein's 1941 dream car:

- Adaptive Cruise Control
- Electronic Number Plate RFID Keeps Tabs On Vehicles
- Self-Steering Buses In Cambridge
- Honda Accord ADAS Heinlein Wannabe

See more Rinspeed 'Splash' pictures.

Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 8/12/2006)

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