What do you get when you cross a supercar with a hovercraft?

Wednesday, March 26th, 2014. Filed under: Destinations Motoring Offbeat Science & Technology
The Mercier-Jones Supercraft A cross beteewn a supercar and a hovercraft, it goes on sale in May. © Mercier-Jones Hovercraft

The Mercier-Jones Supercraft
A cross beteewn a supercar and a hovercraft, it goes on sale in May.
© Mercier-Jones Hovercraft

(Relaxnews) – According to US company Mercier-Jones, it’s a Supercraft. A two-seat amphibious vehicle that is bound to turn heads, whether crossing the marina in Monte-Carlo or traversing the sand dunes of Dubai.

Billed as the car of the future you can drive over land, ice, sand, water and everything in-between, Mercier-Jones is certain that its latest creation will stop the well-heeled in their tracks and make them reconsider everything they think they know about the humble hovercraft. As company co-founder, Michael Mercier, says: “To date, there has never been a more agile and easy to pilot hovercraft than the Mercier-Jones Supercraft, so we think we are going to attract a whole new demographic of hovercraft owners.”

Fellow co-founder Chris Jones is even more confident of the craft’s potential impact and believes that it’s only a matter of time before it’s featured in a major Hollywood blockbuster. “It’s just too cool to not be in James Bond’s safe-house,” he says.

Inspired as much by the Audi R8, Lamborghini Gallardo or Bugatti Veyron as it is by hovercraft inventor Christopher Cockerell’s original designs, the Supercraft has steering acceleration and braking controls more familiar to car owners than seafarers.

It also has performance to match its striking good looks. It should hit a top speed in excess of 80mph (128 km/h). And, it’s surprisingly eco-friendly too. It uses a hybrid drivetrain that incorporates battery power and the craft can be adapted to run on diesel, kerosene, ethanol, natural gas, bio gas, or propane.

Hand built using carbon fiber and a chromium alloy frame, the craft seats two in tandem — i.e., one behind the other — and even offers in-cabin entertainment. It has an Android-powered cockpit display, wi-fi and Bluetooth connectivity and can be specified with a hands-free smartphone kit. However, the refrigerated personal drink wells, for keeping the champagne on ice, come as standard.

The company plans an initial run of 10 collectors’ Supercrafts that will go on sale on May 15, followed by a further production run of 50 examples in October, each of which will retail for $75000 (€54000).

And, of course, being a mode of personal transportation aimed at the jet set, the company is planning to offer a host of customization offers.

As for the future, because the Supercraft is so much easier to steer and control on land, the company will be working to develop a fully ‘street-legal’ version in the near future.

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