Fiat 500 Hydrofoil Needs No License to Drive, Looks Like a Mutant Mini Car for the Water

Because humans are so creative, there are quite a number of incredibly appealing motorized contraptions out there. Most of them remain just that, pretty things to look at, but from time to time we wouldn’t mind if some of them would truly make it into the real world. The Floating Motors La Foil is on that list.
Floating Motors La Foil 10 photos
Photo: Floating Motors
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As some of you might already know, Floating Motors is the talk of the day in waterborne vehicular design, thanks to an exciting series of boats styled after a number of iconic European cars. The company is the brainchild of a group called Lazzarini Design, in the business of coming up with insane contraptions for the seas for years.

We’ve already given you a preview of the company itself, and last week we talked a bit about the La Dolce, a Fiat 500-styled, classic outboard motor boat. The same Italian mini car served as inspiration for the design of the La Foil, only this time we’re not talking about a regular boat.

What you’re looking at is a hydrofoil, that more efficient way of making boats by allowing them to lift off the surface of the water to gain speed. This is achieved thanks to wing-like elements fitted underneath the boat, pieces of hardware that once the machine reaches a certain speed become the only point of contact with water, greatly increasing the boat’s capabilities.

According to Floating Motors, this design of the La Foil allows it to benefit from a 50 percent reduction in drag when compared to a standard, planning boat. Sadly, we’re not told what exactly that means in hard numbers, but, for reference, the classic-design La Dolce equipped with a Torqeedo electric motor good for 20 hp is capable of reaching speeds of 25 knots (29 mph/47 kph).

Floating Motors La Foil
Photo: Floating Motors
An electric motor is what powers the La Foil as well, although this time we’re not told what make it is. We do know it is significantly more potent than the one in La Dolce, being rated at 70 hp.

Just like the other Fiat 500 boat, the hydrofoil can carry four people. The overall length of the thing is 3.5 meters (12 feet), the width is 2.6 meters (8 feet), and it comes with a draft of 500 mm (20 inches). The dry weight of the boat is 850 kg (1,800 lbs).

Although it looks not unlike some of the rides one usually encounters at a fairgrounds, fans of the Fiat brand will see the resemblance between the road car and this boat all over the place. We’ve got the telltale round headlights at the front and the distinctive windshield, while at the rear the design is much closer to the one on the 500 than what we’ve had on the La Dolce.

That’s because the motor that powers the thing is not cut right into the body of the machine, but hangs further down, beneath the hull. This allows it to look much more like the real car driving on the water, and it’s sure to turn some heads once it really gets out there.

Floating Motors La Foil
Photo: Floating Motors
We don’t know yet how close to making this thing a reality Floating Motors is. Just like with the La Dolce, the company is now taking pre-orders for the boat, asking a $10,000 deposit. There is only one version of the thing on the table, the one powered by the electric motor we mentioned earlier, and it will end up costing $60,000 when ready.

Customers – another mystery is the number of people that have already expressed interest in the thing – will have to wait about 12 months before being able to take their Fiat 500 hydrofoil for a spin on the local lake. The cool thing is that, apparently, this one needs no license to operate.
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About the author: Daniel Patrascu
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Daniel loves writing (or so he claims), and he uses this skill to offer readers a "behind the scenes" look at the automotive industry. He also enjoys talking about space exploration and robots, because in his view the only way forward for humanity is away from this planet, in metal bodies.
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