Rinspeed's Splash is a Roadster That Will Do 28 Knots Over Water (And a Hovercraft T


JF-Expert Member
Nov 27, 2007
The Rinspeed Car Boat Rinspeed's Splash is a Roadster That Will Do 28 Knots Over Water (And a Hovercraft Too) By Kari Pugh Updated February 12, 2008 It can speed across land, challenging the fastest high-performance vehicle for dominance on the road. It has crossed the English Channel, cutting through the waves at speeds as high as 28 knots. And when called upon, it can hover several feet in the air, never touching the chop.
RINSPEEDThe Splash moves fast on water or land.
Both strange and impossible, this over-the-top hybrid – part car, part boat, part hovercraft and every bit the science project – is known as Splash, and it is the brainchild of Rinspeed, an innovative Swiss automotive company.
While many outlandish toys can be found at boat shows from Miami to Dubai, where personal submarines and forward-looking sonar units are not uncommon, Splash is one of a kind – and the company says it is not for sale!
Glance at Splash and you can’t tell that it’s anything more than a fancy sports car, in the spirit of a Mazda Miata or a BMW Z4. But, like a gizmo in a James Bond movie, Splash has a few extra features.
Push a button on the dash and a rear panel flips down to reveal a Z-drive fitted with a three-blade propeller. The driver can lower the drive to a standing position in the water and immediately transform Splash into a speedboat capable of speeds up to 28 knots – fast enough to tow skiers in its wake.
The car is made of an ultra-light carbon composite, and is equipped, engineers say, with a "highly complex" hydrofoil system. If racing your car through the water isn't enough, the driver can spin the Formula 1-style rear spoiler 180 degrees, unfolding the outside cockpit hydrofoils straight down. That's when the Splash become hydrodynamic and aerodynamic, lifting several feet out of the water at low speeds with its wheels never touching the water. Splash can travel at 45 knots while floating above the waves as a hovercraft, gliding in a surreal display.
RINSPEEDRunning gear: hydrofoils and a three-bladed prop.
Whether driving, floating or flying, the car is controlled by the driver at the wheel, who also has control over the individual hydrofoils and many other complicated systems.
The car's engine has a bivalent turbocharged natural-gas configuration, delivering a maximum power output of 140 horsepower at 7,000 RPM. It borrows many of its design concepts from the nautical world. Although waterproof, it's got a bulkhead design with independent chambers and bilge pumps. The drive train and suspension are protected by rubber bellows.
Rinspeed officials say the interior pays particular homage to the shipbuilding world.
It's made of fully waterproof plastic. And the knobs that allow Splash to become a hovercraft or speedboat are done in shiny chrome.
RINSPEEDOn land, the prop and foils hide out of sight.
Unveiled publically at the 2004 Geneva Motor Boat Show, the car was commissioned by Rinspeed President Frank M. Rinderknecht, who – after his company built dozens of prototypes – eventually saw Splash cross the English Channel.
"It's much more than an agile and lively sports car,” he said in a statement. “It's a really cool and fun sports toy."
But don't get your hopes up that one of these marvels might someday be within your price range – or even available. Rinderknecht said the Splash is too valuable to put a price tag on. And besides, he says, it's not for sale.
Top Bottom