British startup VonMercier has launched Arosa, a sporty amphibious vehicle touted to be the “world’s first luxury hovercraft”.
Estimated to be worth US$100,000 or more, the Arosa is expected to hit the market as soon as summer 2022. The price will vary depending on customisations such as paintwork, upholstery, wood and carbon accent areas, as well as infotainment systems.
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The hovercraft’s blueprint was first unveiled in 2014 as the ‘Supercraft’ and has been upgraded and refined over the years. Made from carbon fibre, the hovercraft has a sleek body and looks like a cross between a supercar and luxury speedboat.
The two-seater features a lower hull and a top deck, making it easily accessible from a dock or out on the water. With its futuristic design and electric performance, VonMercier will attract the likes of tech and car lovers as well as boat enthusiasts.
The Arosa has an all-electric powertrain and a supplementary, chargeable petrol engine. The former includes three electric motors that produce 88kW altogether — allowing for boosts of power for “quick performance in acceleration and manoeuvring”. It also features a 90-minute battery or up to 72 km rides between each charge, which makes it a fairly eco-friendly option.
At the front of the Arosa are two rotors for the fan ducts that act as air cushions, allowing the vehicle to float seven inches off water or solid ground. Travelling with a top speed of about 60mph, VonMercier claims that the hovercraft is the fastest amphibious vehicle ever created.
According to founder Michael Mercier on Robb Report, the Arosa’s patented advanced directional control system makes it the “most manoeuvrable personal hovercraft in the world”. He says owners will experience comfortable journeys through seamless directional changes.
So far, the electric vehicle manufacturer has stated that 180 customers have expressed interest in the luxury hovercraft.
VonMercier seeks to explore beyond the road; to design and produce vehicles of the future and enhance exploration, transportation, and recreation for today’s climate.
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