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How the Gibbs Aquada Works

        Auto | Unusual Cars

Aquada Components
Photo courtesy Gibbs Aquada

Powering the vehicle is a 175-horsepower, V6, 2.5-liter, 24-valve engine. On land, this engi­ne enables the Aquada to reach 100 miles per hour (161 kilometers per hour) and accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in less than 10 seconds.

This engine also provides power to the amphibian's jet, which propels the vehicle through water.

The Gibbs Aquada jet
The Gibbs Aquada jet
Photo courtesy Gibbs Aquada

The jet is a proprietary unit created by Gibbs. As Gibbs developed the Aquada, it was necessary to design a jet that was lightweight and compact. The jet also needed to expel 1 ton of thrust, which is the force required for the vehicle to plane in the water. The jet is 35 inches (.89 meters) long and weighs 88 pounds (40 kilograms).

Jenkins says that most jets that produce the same amount of force are twice as long and would not fit the Aquada. The jet's thrust and the low power-to-weight ratio of the engine allow the amphibian to travel up to a maximum of 34.7 mph (55.8 kph) and accelerate to a plane in five seconds.