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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.


    i wouldn’t buy that looks too hard to park

    • ohhhhhhhhhhhhhh

      park it on the water

  • Lazybones

    The US version is going to need a bigger hatch :)

  • Jim Sim

    Maybe VW, you should stick to getting one thing right first, eg building cars.

    • Toyota Guru

      Making sure they’re reliable should be VW’s priority.

      • Sammo

        and Toyota’s…

  • jeff

    maybe cars that have gone beyond the drawing board should get more coverage. like the james bond aston martins or perhaps the dodge viper from the tv series VIPER… it could change color.

    that car was really cool

  • Ford Fairlane

    Will this sink when one’s out on the water and the electrics play up causing an onboard power failure?

    You Know it will happen,its a VW.

    • Golfschwein

      Oh! Oh, ho, ho! If you’re going to make derisory (means ‘sarcastic’) comments about a car that’s still…how do I put this gently?… IN PRODUCTION, pick another nick name first.

    • bangel

      Do they still make fairlanes ? , sorry another one gone and long forgotten .

  • Car Fanatic

    VW’s Priority? Oh I get it, that’s a stab at the massive worldwide Recall VW had on it’s vehicles!

    That was VW wasn’t it Toyota Guru?

  • JD

    How about the Audi’s from iRobot ( Will Smith)

  • Sumpguard

    “Hello NRMA ,my VW has broken down and I’m in the middle of the pacific”.

  • Car Fanatic

    Hey Sumpgard, where do you get your evidence that VW’s breakdown? Cause this years reliability chart from warranty direct UK ( based on actual breakdowns rather than customer surveys) show the VW Golf plus, Lupo, Polo and Beetle more reliable than the Mazda 6, Toyota Landcruiser ( Prado), Toyota Rav 4, Toyota Avensis and the Ford Mondeo. The Passat also ranked better than all these cars.

    I think all warranty companies should publish their figures just to shut whinny little pratts like you up.

    Suck it up princess, you’re wrong. LOL

    • Goat Lips

      VW are obviously one of the best affordable car manufacturers…But they’re only more reliable than 4 other cars!? Bizarre stat! Anyway, warranties mean nothing to people who only buy 2nd hand – most/sensible people!

    • H.R. Paul

      what an angry little monkey/man child you are…let’s talk about you’re childhood and how your drunk old man abused you and your mom diddled you….and you’re uncle…oh we can’t say that…

  • Lovin it….how slammed is that!!

    Just add 4 wheels and a rear window and could that be the new Scirocco.

  • Car Fanatic

    Could be the new time machine if they remake back to the future

  • Karen

    People talk too much!! can you create one higher than this???!?!!?

  • http://Neel.kokoko@gmail.com Navneet borad India.

    I feel very very important car for future
    and good designer… In China

  • Evelyn, The Castle Lady

    While I may not think that this auto hovercraft will become standard I do appreciate all the great photos Car Advice provided. What a great look at a new piece of techno. Thanks Car Advice !

  • Faz Ash

    Last Mnth,i sw the news.., Woow,Fantztc invtnd device.. Congratulation Ms.yuhan zhang..

  • Rajkumar Gurain

    good design car. i have no word about this car. i tell only congratulation Ms. yuhan zhang

  • Tamblingtao

    it wont last long.. because.. its made in china xD

  • http://www.zychowski.ca/ Mr. Zychowski

    I love it, just can’t afford it!   Who has a million or two for a car!  

  • Goat Lips

    Why is Brett Davis making this out to be a working concept car when it only exist on a computer file and as CGI!? CGI is not a “concept car”, it’s not a “car” either, it’s a craft!
    The escape hatch is clearly a dangerous, terrible, stupid design too. They’ve obviously never heard of gull wing doors, which would obviously be better.
    Zhang Yuhan has created this about as much as Ali G created the hoverboard. Fake.

  • nickatnoon

    Now all they have to do is find a Lound Eye to DRIVE it! (=