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by Brett Davis

Female design student Zhang Yuhan has come up with the ultimate toy to bring out the inner child in everyone, well, every male at least. It’s a cross between a modern car, a boat, an ultra-cool theme park ride and a spaceship: the Volkswagen Aqua Concept hovercraft.

The Volkswagen Aqua Concept hovercraft is designed to be an effective mode of transportation for Chinese commuters, capable of getting a driver and passenger through and over heavy snowfalls, lakes, rivers and just about any terrain that gets thrown at it.

The concept was one of the CDN Car Design Award finalists in China, an event hosted by former BMW designer and automotive guru, Chris Bangle.

It features a hydrogen fuel-cell motor which inflates the undercarriage and gets the craft off the ground, while two additional motors extend out from the rear ‘wheel arches’ and get the rear of the craft up, and two forward propulsion fans push it all along (all powered by separate electric motors).

Getting in and out of the concept is achieved through a hatch at the rear of the car, while other features are realitively conventional. Take the Volkswagen-esque front end for example, complete with a grille and headlights. Or the rear end which kind of looks like a Bugatti Veyron.

Overall, it’s a highly futuristic, cool piece of work. Zhang Yuhan recently described the car, saying,

“Aqua is based on the customised subject ‘Chinese off-road vehicle’ by Volkswagen. The Aqua offers an insight of futuristic vehicle powered by hydrogen and propelled by impeller.

“Aqua is function with several engines, the main one drives the fan (or impeller) under the chases, which is responsible for lifting the vehicle by forcing high pressure air under the craft. The air inflates the ‘skirt’ under the vehicle, causing it to rise above the surface. Additional engines provide thrust in order to propel the craft.

“Aqua interprets the philosophy of Volkswagen Design with no single parting-line and laconic appearance, The door (hatch) locates on the back of Aqua. It features an electric drive train powered by a hydrogen fuel cell with no pollutant emissions.