— Special Report on an amphibious UTV —
Conventional UTVs own off-road terrain, but Gibbs Amphibians’ Terraquad allows high-speed travel on land and water! Here’s a closer look at this unique amphibious prototype machine.
HOW IT WORKS
Gibbs’ Terraquad is capable of speeds up to 50 mph on land and 40 mph on water. The unique drivetrain design uses a single engine to power the 2WD system and the water jet for travel on water. A selectable power takeoff allows power to be directed only to the wheels or the water jet to avoid unnecessary power losses. Gibbs also produces 4WD drivelines, so 4WD could be adapted to the Terraquad.
The chassis features independent front and rear suspension with an electrically powered system that retracts the wheels for water travel, eliminating drag to allow efficient planing and excellent marine handling.
WHAT POWERS IT?
A 140-horsepower, 1300cc, four-cylinder BMW engine. The six-speed transmission offers full automatic mode and manual push-button shifting. You were probably expecting paddle shifters, but then you were probably also expecting a steering wheel rather than the Terraquad’s handlebar steering, where the pushbuttons work better.
WHAT DOES IT COST?
The Terraquad is still a prototype, but it’s based on the Quadski amphibious ATV platform that retails for $40,000. If the Terraquad reaches production, its price should be similar, though slightly higher.
HOW DO ITS SPECS COMPARE TO CONVENTIONAL UTVs?
The Terraquad’s specs are surprisingly similar to normal UTVs. It’s 63 inches wide with a 82.3-inch wheelbase—just a couple of inches longer than a Honda Pioneer 1000. Full of fuel and ready to ride, it weighs 1522 pounds, more than a hundred pounds less than a Pioneer 1000.
WHAT’S IT LIKE TO DRIVE?
The Terraquad is still a prototype, so only Gibbs’ development staff have driven it so far. Our testers have ridden Gibbs’ Quadski ATV, which shares the same platform, and they found it fun and predictable on trails, though the chassis dimensions suit a UTV far better than an ATV. The platform proved capable off-road with surprisingly normal handling, and the 140-horsepower engine has the potential to make the Terraquad a seriously quick recreation UTV. Only the machine’s 2WD and 8.6 inches of ground clearance keep it from conquering extremely challenging terrain the way conventional 4WD UTVs can. The Quadski/Terraquad platform may have limitations on land, but it’s very impressive on water, with the power and handling of a personal watercraft. It can even tow a skier. Many machines may outperform the Terraquad on land, but there’s not a UTV made that can stay with it if you drive straight into a lake.
Engine 1297cc, 4-stroke, 4 cylinders
Maximum power output 140 hp
Transmission 6-speed w/ auto & manual shifting
Suspension Independent coil springs and
Suspension Retraction GIBBS proprietary
SteeringRack and pinion
Brakes4 wheel disc brakes
Wheels and tiresF: 25×8-12/R: 25×10-12
Propulsion Type (marine)Gibbs custom jet technology
Lights Trail and marine navigation lighting Performance:
Speed on land50 mph
Speed on water 45 mph
Transition time < 5 sec.
Time to plane < 3 sec.
Dimensions & weights:
Fuel capacity 15 U.S. gal. Ground clearance 8.6”
Overall length 140.2”
Overall width (excl. mirrors) 63”
Overall height 83.5”
Curb weight 1522 lb.