Stepping over the side of the vehicle and into the cockpit, you realize that the Aquada is a vehicle that doesn't fit neatly into any existing category. You step directly into it like a boat, but the driver sits behind a car-like steering wheel. The three-seat Aquada was designed to allow for a driver, a water skier, and an observer.
"It is uncanny because all the cues inside the vehicle say you are driving a car, but outside it's a boat," said Dr. Keith Alexander, a senior lecturer in mechanical engineering at Canterbury University, who acted as a consultant on the Aquada. "You are sitting there at the steering wheel, with your foot on the pedal but instead of the roadside going past, it's water."
In developing the Aquada, Gibbs designers and engineers used the Seadoo watercraft as their comparator for water performance, according to Neil Jenkins, Managing Director of Gibbs Technologies. It is intended as a leisure vehicle with agility on the water. On the road, it is expected to handle and perform like an average sports car, but Jenkins doesn't identify a specific comparator.
"It corners and handles well, and it's predictable. It's a good average sports car," says Jenkins.
Jenkins says performance has not been compromised for either mode of travel, and that consumers will get equal performance on land and water. To understand just how well it compares with its road and water counterparts, we need to look at the components of the Aquada.