WaterCar Panther is Basically an Aquatic Wrangler
2014 WaterCar Panther has Jeep-like styling, a big Honda V6 connected to a four-speed manual, and a top speed of 45 mph on the water.
According to Jeep, the water fording capabilities and sealed body openings and electrical connections of its Trail Rated vehicles allow them to drive through “overflowing creeks, streams and deceivingly deep rainstorm puddles.” We’ve experienced their prowess in the water numerous times and have always come away impressed. However, Jeep vehicles aren’t designed to go over water the way this Jeep-ish vehicle known as the WaterCar Panther can.
Although it looks like a mashup of a JK Wrangler and a YJ Wrangler Renegade, the WaterCar Panther was developed over the course of 14 years and not based on an existing vehicle. The engine, on the other hand, is familiar. The Panther gets down the road with the help of a 305-horsepower 3.7-liter Honda V6 and a four-speed manual gearbox. On the water, that big six powers a marine jet-drive unit that enables the Panther to sprint to a top speed of 45 miles per hour.
Worldwide Auctioneers, which will put this amphibious craft on the auction block on September 1, states that “conversion from land to water takes less than 15 seconds, achieved by simply driving to the boat launch, placing the transmission in neutral, then pulling a knob engaging the jet drive.”
This particular Panther is the first Panther being offered for sale to the public (normally, a fully turn-key Panther has a starting price of $172,000). Despite the fact that it’s a 2014 model, it’s only spent 20 hours on the water, which explains why the interior and its quilted red seats are in such good shape. As the following video shows at the 0:16 mark, the Panther also does pretty well on sand.
We’re not certain how the Panther would fare on muddy terrain, but cleanup sure would be easy – as long as there was a body of water nearby.
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*Courtesy of Road & Track and Worldwide Auctioneers.