The idea is not new. The design is not the prettiest. And the model is not the cheapest. Yet, the Sea Lion amphibious car aims for a place in history – it competes for the title of the world’s fastest amphibious vehicle.
The current record stands at 125 mph on land and 60 mph on water. According to the masterminds behind the project, the grey oddball creation can reach an impressive land speed of 180 mph. So the Sea Lion should have no problem to nab the title on the road. But it looks different on the water. It doesn’t have enough horsepower yet to beat the sea-speed record. The makers plan to exchange the 174 horsepower Mazda 13B rotary engine with a custom-built 300 to 600 horsepower Renesis Rx 8 engine in order to make it the fastest amphibious car out there.
The Sea Lion is a unique design with only a few structural parts borrowed from other vehicles. It is made from tig-welded aluminium and a variety of CNC-machined components. The car has removable side pods that are used for flotation and can even carry cargo. According to M. Witt, the brain behind the Sea Lion, the design was created from a clean sheet of paper and was calculated to top previous speed records.
It remains yet to be seen if the Sea Lion can make it happen. It is competing against 25 amphibious vehicles that are being designed by different groups of manufacturers, scientists and super car lovers. Despite the big competition, the makers of the Sea Lion believe in its high potential and chance to win. The other designers are struggling to unite a fast car with a fast boat, says Witt. Some of the vehicles are either very fast on land but slow on water or the reverse.
The competition is unofficial and there are no written rules so the participants enjoy the total freedom of having a complete lack of guidelines. In case the competitors can’t decide which project wins, Guinness World Records is called in to settle the dispute. For the most part, though, a simple GPS display with a YouTube recording is accepted as speed documentation.
The Sea Lion might not be the fastest amphibious car yet but it’s for sure the most expensive one of the new cars for sale on the market. For a mere $259,000 the grey oddball creation can be yours.