Monday, 6 may 2019 | Redacción CEU
The automotive industry is futuristic and disruptive. It's brands' proposals know no bounds: flying cars, smart highways, self-driving cars, connected vehicles,... The sector seems determined not to stop surprising people. This innovative nature is fed by great doses of audacity and creativity. Without them, it would not be possible to defy logic and manage to produce that "wow" effect in audience. In addition, sometimes, these powerful driving forces lead to the most bizarre and eccentric ideas in the market. One of the last examples is Terra Wind, which is an amphibious luxury motor home that is capable of plowing through lakes and rivers.
All caravans compete to be the best in their category. To achieve this, they resort to different strategies: open spaces, luxury designs, bulletproof bodies, amazing accessories and all kinds of features. However, Terra Wind has managed to find a unique and distinguishing element, this vehicle is able to get where others can't. This motor home, which looks more like a bus than a caravan, has space for up to 40 people and is ready to sail lakes and rivers. Could this be the first sign of a new wave of amphibious vehicles?
Cool Amphibius Manufacturers International (CAMI) is the company behind Terra Wind's design. It is a firm from South Carolina (USA) that has a whole catalog of amphibious vehicles: Hydra Terra, Hydra Spyder, Hidra Gator and Amphibious Responder. Each of them has been designed with a different purpose and an original look. The engineers John and Julie Giljam have worked for two decades in theses automobiles. They are also responsible for the design and creation of this original caravan, which, for the moment, holds the title of being the most advanced model of the brand.
Terra Wind is a motor home that could also be considered a yacht, because apart from traveling on the road, it can stay afloat and move through water at a cruising speed of seven knots. Its creators claim that the passage from land to water is practically imperceptible, and that its stability is similar to that of a luxury charter flight. They also affirm that this giant four-wheel vehicle can sail both when the water is calm and when there is swell. Nevertheless, they warn that this vehicle is not designed to sail on the open sea.
The amphibious motorhome is made of steel and fiberglass and weighs 14,515 kg. When this vehicle is driven on the road, its diesel engine reaches a maximum speed of 129 km/h. To navigate, it uses a propulsion system which is composed of nineteen-inch bronze propellers. In case drivers want to travel by water, they need to access it by means of a ramp. Then, the vehicle identifies the new context and automatically switches to nautical driving. From that moment on, drivers no longer need the steering wheel, and they pilot the houseboat with a joystick.
Although the design of Terra Wind seems avant-garde today, it is fair to say that amphibious cars have a history of more than 200 years. Oliver Evans, an inventor from Philadelphia, is considered to be the first creator of a vehicle with these characteristics. At the request of the Health Board of that city, he built the first amphibian vehicle in 1805. However, the experiment did not have the expected success. The vehicle was built with the purpose of dredging the sand from shipyards, but it could not carry out this activity successfully. Its weight was excessive for the mission.
At the end of the 19th century, amphibious vehicles were used better. In the United States and Canada, logging companies moved their goods through rivers. Thanks to these vehicles, they could overcome obstacles like fallen trees or stretches with little flow. However, rather than amphibious automobiles, they were actually "rolling boats", since they were mainly designed to navigate. It was at the turn of the century, in particular with the arrival of the Second World War, when the amphibians became sophisticated. They began to look like cars and to be mostly used for military purposes.
Of course, we also found examples of amphibious vehicles off the battlefield in the last century. One of these cars is the Amphicar. It was a convertible vehicle which was capable of traveling by water and land, and had as its owner the very thirty-sixth President of the United States, Lyndon B. Johnson. Even so, their sales did not meet the expectations raised. From then on, many models have tried to win drivers' hearts over, but these cars have never become a strong alternative. Nowadays, proposals like those of CAMI are trying to put amphibious vehicles in the spotlight. However, its latest model is not affordable for everyone. The price of Terra Wind is more than one million euros.
The automotive industry has been undergoing many changes over the last years. The sector is immersed in a loop that feeds itself: new expectations, new technologies and new vehicles. This new context requires a large number of professionals who are able to manage and boost the resources of the organizations in the sector in the most effective and efficient way possible. The CEU IAM Business School meets this demand with an Automotive Sector MDP that is able to provide participants with the knowledge and skills which are necessary to lead this scenario. Ask for further information!