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New Personal Amphibious Vehicle Is Michigan-Made

by Lisa Diggs

If a waverunner and a 4-wheeler were to have a baby, the result would probably be something like the new Quadski coming out of Auburn Hills, Michigan, from a company called Gibbs Sports Amphibian.

Introduced at a press conference in Detroit by Alan Gibbs, the company’s founder, and Neil Jenkins, its chairman, the Quadski is equipped with a 175-horsepower BMW Motorrad engine and transmission. With the press of a button, its wheels retract when entering the water and deploy when approaching land. This video shows the unique vehicle in action.

It’s no surprise that the new concept is being built in Michigan. In a land with over 11,000 lakes there is certainly a built in market and ample testing sites, and more importantly a strong base of engineering and manufacturing expertise.

"We are proud to be a part of Detroit’s history with the development of our new Quadski factory," said Neil Jenkins. "The revolutionary Quadski will set a new benchmark in personal power sports."

Jenkins told reporters in Detroit that Quadski will retail for about $40,000 when introduced in November. The company expects to have more than 20 dealership locations in place within the next 12 months, primarily in the Midwest, New York, Texas and the southeastern United States.

Jenkins noted that Gibbs Sports Amphibians expects to add a total of more than 200 jobs at its Auburn Hills facilities on Brown Road and its new assembly plant at 50 Corporate Drive in the next 12 months. At maximum capacity, the plant will be capable of producing 20 units per hour. The company currently has 100 Michigan employees.

Jenkins is a long-time entrepreneur and holds England’s prestigious Churchill Award as well as the Sir Henry Royce Medal for his work in developing high-speed amphibian technology. The founder of Krafthaus, a developer of lightweight vehicle technology, he merged his company with Gibbs Technologies in 1999. 

Alan Gibbs is the founder of Gibbs Technologies and Gibbs Sports Amphibians, Inc. An entrepreneur and diplomat, he served in New Zealand’s diplomatic corps; led the privatization and restructuring of New Zealand Telecom; owned and operated a merchant bank, and helped launch New Zealand’s only pay-television service.

After fifteen years and more than $200 million in research and development, the Quadski is said to be the first High Speed Amphibian (HSA) available for consumer purchase. It reportedly travels at speeds upwards of 45MPH on both land and water.

“It’s been a long, uphill battle, but clearly worth the effort,” said Gibbs. “Quadski will pave the way for a host of other HSAs for consumers, sports enthusiasts, law enforcement agencies, first responders and other commercial enterprises.”

“We’ve created an entirely new powersports category with our patented HSA technology.  Quadski is especially designed for families and individuals who enjoy the outdoors, watersports, off-road travel, hunting and fishing,” said Jenkins. “It offers premium powersports buyers a combination of power, safety, comfort and versatility that has never been available before.”


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