Prague company seeks to land more orders for amphibious vans
Observers may have been surprised when they saw a Mercedes mini-van drive into the Vltava river a few miles outside Prague. A GPS gone wrong? A suicide attempt? Or a not very ecological driver trying to dump the van and cover up his tracks?
Enjoy Tech say they are already able to produce around five of these amphibian minivans a year but it’s looking to expand that total. The company says there is already demand from the United Arab Emirates (UAE), where strong links have already been established, as well as Russia and China.
The market being targeted is recreation as well as for emergency services. Flash floods are common in many parts of the world or the vehicle’s dual use capabilities could simply be used to getting to emergencies quicker.
The minivan, capable of carrying 12 including the driver, can be turned from a land based vehicle to water one at the flick of a switch. The steering wheel is for direction on both land and water-based modes.
Amphibian vehicles are not a totally new idea. One such vehicle features in the John Le Carré novel ‘A Small Town In Germany.’ The episode was not total fiction but apparently based on the author’s fathers attempts to promote the sales of such a van in the late 1960s and early 1970s. Apparently, the real world sales of the amphibian vehicle were disappointing as its manoeuvrability and water tightness were not totally convincing with the attempt added to Le Carré senior's (Cornwell’s) series of con tricks that did not pay off.