Many car manufacturers advertise the versatility of their models, but as far as we can tell, most cars can only drive on land, leaving 70.8% of the Earth’s surface unreachable. But CAMI (Cool Amphibious Manufacturers International) offers a truly versatile sports car/boat for the multitudes who love amphibious driving but are tired of their aging Amphicars.
It’s often said with derision that a bad sports car handles like a boat. But in this instance, that’s kind of the point. The CAMI Hydra Spyder seats four people and is (obviously) a convertible. The Hydra Spyder is composed of an elaborately formed aluminum hull and a fiberglass top section to reduce weight. Like the Titanic, the brochure states in bold letters that the Hydra Spyder is unsinkable. Why hasn’t Top Gear done an epic race with this car yet?
Motivation comes from a 6.0-litre LS2 V8 that drives 400 horsepower through the front wheels. All those aquatic ponies are good enough for a tested top speed of 46 knots on water, but CAMI says that with a longer run, it could possibly achieve 60 knots. We can’t wait to hear this zero to 60 time. On land, the Hydra Spyder is no lazy riverboat and can accelerate past 200 km/h. CAMI says it has enough power to go 240 km/h, but the fact that the company hasn’t actually driven the car at this speed makes us think the car might be a bit “floaty” at speed.
Oddly enough, the only transmission available is a five-speed manual. One does have to wonder where they found a front-drive manual transmission capable of handling 400 horsepower. And given its amphibious capabilities, it’s rather impressive that the Hydra Spyder weighs only 1,770 kg.
If owning a speedboat, a truck to tow it with and a sports car for the weekends isn’t in the cards, give CAMI a call and order up a Hydra Spyder. The list price is $275,000, which puts it up against some very stiff competition. But can a Ferrari 458 take you fishing in the middle of a lake?
Other notable models in the CAMI lineup include an amphibious bus, motorhome, and a Ford Excursion-based “yacht tender.” Prices are firmly in the “if you have to ask, you can’t afford it” neighborhood with the bus and motorhome retailing for $379,000 and $1.2-million, respectively.