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by Brett Davis

Now here’s an amphibious car that actually looks like it was a boat to begin with. It uses just three wheels – two of which are powered by their own electric motor.

The interesting part about the rear wheels though is that they’re able to rotate 90 degrees and can be transformed into propellers once the concept hits the water; the propeller-style spokes on the rear wheels actually double as propellers.

The Manta concept was one of the Michelin Challenge Design winners that went on display at the 2011 North American International Auto Show. This year up to 970 concept entries were made, of which only 34 were chosen for the event.

Designed by David Cardoso Loureiro of Belgium, the Manta uses a single-seat cabin layout and was designed for those who live near a river or lake. It makes handy work of travelling across a stretch of water and avoids time-consuming boat trailer pick-ups and drop-offs.

Although official specifications, including battery range and electric motor details, are yet to be finalised, Mr Loureiro does see it as a workable concept, saying in a recent report that it would be “relatively simple to make”.

“It can be a low cost vehicle that gives the driver great driving sensations.”

It’s certainly an interesting concept and probably the most water-friendly amphibious design around, but we do wonder about potential on-road safety, or lack of it. That pointy front end spearheading into the side of another motorist wouldn’t go down too well we presume.