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The Trident LS-1 is expected to reach speeds of up to 60 mph on land and drive directly onto the water. The first models are planned to be sold by December 2025.

Flying cars are no longer a thing of the future, and neither is the need to choose between commuting on land or sea, at least for those who live by the water.

Poseidon AmphibWorks, a company based in San Diego and Miami, plans to revolutionize the car-boat hybrid by delivering a what it says will be a tranquil experience, whether you’re on a busy freeway or in a bustling bay. Since most existing amphibious vehicles move over water as bumpy as a jet ski, CEO and founder Steve Tice said he sought to create a vehicle for the day-to-day commute.

Since 2021, Tice and amphibious vehicles expert Andy Langesfeld have been working on the Trident LS-1. As a hydrofoil, the vehicle features blades, or vanes, that elevate the body of the boat for a smoother ride. Hydrofoils remove 60% of the drag oversea and make steadier turns because the hull is out of the water, Tice said.

The Trident LS-1 will be the world’s first hydrofoil electric car-boat designed to prevent seasickness caused by a vessel’s erratic motion on water, according to the company.

“People that couldn’t even ride in small boats will finally be able to ride without any motion sickness. So basically flying over the water,” Poseidon AmphibWorks founder Steve Tice recently told USA TODAY. “Because gravity is still pushing you through your rear end, you still feel like your on an airplane. When you make a turn you don’t feel strange, it feels natural.”

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Three-wheel car-boat fits four people

The electric three-wheel vehicle will reach speeds of up to 60 mph on land and drive directly onto the water along a launching ramp, Tice said. For those who live near water, the Trident LS-1 will use multi-modal transportation for getting to the office or having a weekend fishing trip.

The vehicle features three permanent seats, including a center driver seat and two rear ones, as well as an additional fold-down center seat, Tice said.

Drivers will be able to park the 7 foot-long vehicle in their garage, a key requirement for the engineering company. The hybrid also removes the need for a tow vehicle, which runs the risk of falling into the water while releasing a boat, Tice said.

Tice said the company chose for the vehicle to run on three wheels to avoid adding extra weight while maintaining the stability of any four-wheeler. He added that the car-boat will have all necessary safety feature from air bags, tubular aluminum roll cage and multiple cameras.

‘Basically flying over water’

As a hydrofoil, the Trident LS-1 is a car-boat that moves like a plane. While not made for high surf, the vehicle ensures riders avoid all the ripples of 1- to 2-foot waves.

“You’re basically flying over the water at about 3 feet,” Tice said.

When driving on land, Tice said the hydrofoil’s vanes, or blades, retract into the vehicle so they can’t be damaged by road objects like rocks. When moving on water, users can control over much of the vanes are deployed, depending on the depth of the water.

Tice said it’s also a “vey maneuverable boat” that uses thrusters that turn on a dime, allowing the vehicle to stay in one spot over water for fishing or head toward any direction.

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Vehicle to be sold in $100,000 to $130,000 range

The Trident LS-1 is expected to be sold directly to the consumer at $100,000, Tice said.

Poseidon AmphibWorks will work with a number of dealers who will provide service and local support for around an additional $30,000.

With proper boat registration and a driver’s license, anyone will be able to take the car-boat for a spin.

“You don’t need a special license,” Tice said. “We are certainly going to train people. We don’t want them to crash this thing.

The company said the hybrid will appeal to a number of markets, including people who live on the coast, near waterway rivers or on islands. He added that it will also appeal to RV owners who can eliminate the burden of having to tow two vehicles, as well as yacht owners who don’t want to steer their home to shore to buy groceries. He also said it makes the perfect starter boat for electric car owners.

The company is looking into commercial taxi uses, delivery services and military interest, Tice said.

Trident LS-1 joins league of car-boats

Car-boats are not a thing of the future and the Trident LS-1 is far from being the first.

The Amphicar was built in Germany in the 1960s. The small but heavy amphibious vehicle that reached speeds of 7 mph on water and 70 mph on land.

In 1999, the first WaterCar vehicle was introduced, and in 2007 it earned the Guinness World Record for being the fastest amphibious vehicle at 60 mph across water and 127 mph on land.

Other amphibious vehicles include the Amphi-Ranger, Gibbs High Speed Amphibians, the Hobbycar and the Dutton.

Prototype to be completed later this year

The creators have not started building and are currently finalizing the plan for the prototype, expected to be finished by the end of the year, Tice said.

“By December 2024, we will have a prototype in the water here in San Diego,” he said.

By then the company plans to begin accepting deposits for the vehicles, he said. Around December 2025, the company will sell to California customers so they can be helped at their San Diego location in case of service. He said non-California customers should also be able to pick up a Trident-LS1 in California at that time and hopes the company can ship to out-of-state customers by June 2025.

“It’s not a vehicle for everybody,” he said. “But if you’re within a distance of a body of water that you’d like to recreate at or wish you could, there’s your first boat.”

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