Unique Machines: Making a Splash

  • Sheila Gibson Stoodley

The English language lacks a word that adequately describes the Rinspeed Splash’s capabilities. More than merely amphibious, the Splash is apparently the first vehicle that can travel across the water, on land, and through the air, and its Swiss engineers claim that it posts respectable speeds in all three environments. As a hydrofoil, the two-seater can fly above the water’s surface at 50 mph. In the water, it can reach 30 mph, and it exceeds 120 mph on land.

Frank Rinderknecht, president of the Rinspeed aftermarket company in Zumikon, Switzerland, says the Splash, which cost $1.4 million to build, is the result of his quest to create the ultimate car. It weighs less than 2,000 pounds, runs on a natural gas–powered engine, and transforms from boat to hydrofoil in 30 seconds at the push of a dashboard button. Rinderknecht has no plans to put the Splash into production, but he will consider accepting commissions to build individual machines at a price at least as high as his production costs. “Prototypes, by their nature, have flaws,” he says. “I wouldn’t want to give it to the customer like this. Our goal is to deliver a perfect car. It would require some reengineering.”

Rinspeed Design
+41.1.918.2323
www.rinspeed.com

Read Next Article >>
The new concept suggests that Bentley is gunning for the Rolls-Royce Phantom Drophead Coupé…
Patrick Gosling
The McLaren GTR Driver Program puts P1 GTR owners on the track with a dedicated race team…
Daimler AG - Global Communications Mercedes-Benz Cars
Robb Report runs the all-new sports car through its paces at the Laguna Seca raceway…
Photo by Scott Williamson/ www.photodesignstudios.com; Automobile courtesy Boulevard Motorcar Company
1948 Delahaye 135M Figoni et Falaschi Narval Cabriolet. The Delahaye Narval, the fantastic...
The new bike was put through its paces during a ride around California’s Salton Sea...
When the fourth-annual Austrian Alpine Rally set off from the starting line in Vienna on the...
Photo by UWE@FISCHER
The new “sport activity coupe,” as BMW calls it, drives with a nimbleness that defies its size…
Photo by Richard Prince
Chevy’s new supercar aims to redefine the American muscle car…
Darin Schnabel/RM Auctions
Mercedes-Benz 300 SLc are soaring at auction...
The nearly 1,000 cc motorcycles draw inspiration from Yamaha’s seven-figure MotoGP race bike…