This strange looking vehicle labelled the “Hydra Spyder” is an amphibious car that’s at home making waves on a lake or simply cruising down an interstate highway. Complete with its aluminum hull, Corvette sourced V8 engine and jet impeller, the Hydra Spyder is tipped to be the first mass-produced amphibious vehicle in the US, according to the Associated Press. The car or boat, whatever you want to call it, is the creation of 46 year old inventor John Giljam, whose other works include an amphibious luxury RV.
Germany mass produced its own “Amphicar” in the 1960’s, but it was criticized for only reaching a dismal top speed of 7mph on the water. Now, at a factory in Rochester, NY, Giljam is poised to put the Hydra Spyder into full production with aims of 75 units annually. The 3,400-pound (1500Kg) vehicle can achieve a gas mileage of 16-18mpg, which isn’t too bad considering the type of engine. You’ll be able to buy one for $155,000, and a number of options such as uprated entertainment system or Lambo style doors are also available. Plans are already underway for a high-performance version complete with superchargers and a 502 cubic inch Chevy race engine, good for 400-500hp.
The Hydra is packed with flotation foam, a jet propulsion system, air retractable suspension on all four wheels, and a fiberglass body. The only truly disappointing spec is front wheel drive, though we doubt the Hydra Spyder was ever meant to be a truly sporty vehicle.
To go from land to water mode, the driver presses a button that will drop the clutch, disengage the road drive, change the transmission to drive the propulsion system, and then retract the wheels. On the road it drives like a normal car, but out on the open water, the Hydra Spyder can reach speeds of up to 50mph.
If you think it sounds like something out of a James Bond movie, you’re not far off. The Hydra Spyder made its original test-run at London's Docklands during the high-speed boat chase in the Bond film "The World Is Not Enough."