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VonMercier Arosa Aims to Be the World’s First Luxury Sports Hovercraft
If you can afford it, you shouldn’t have to choose between getting your dose of vacation thrills solely on land or on water. This is how the Arosa came to be.

VonMercier Arosa Aims to Be the World’s First Luxury Sports Hovercraft

The Arosa hovercraft is an amphibious luxury vehicle that glides over land and waterThe Arosa hovercraft is an amphibious luxury vehicle that glides over land and waterThe Arosa hovercraft is an amphibious luxury vehicle that glides over land and waterThe Arosa hovercraft is an amphibious luxury vehicle that glides over land and waterThe Arosa hovercraft is an amphibious luxury vehicle that glides over land and waterThe Arosa hovercraft is an amphibious luxury vehicle that glides over land and waterThe Arosa hovercraft is an amphibious luxury vehicle that glides over land and waterThe Arosa hovercraft is an amphibious luxury vehicle that glides over land and waterThe Arosa hovercraft is an amphibious luxury vehicle that glides over land and water
The Arosa is described as the world’s first luxury sports hovercraft, a combination between sportscar, off-roader and speedboad, with elements from aircraft design thrown in for good measure. It’s a hovercraft by all intents and purposes, but it’s also a luxury product, an amphibious, silent and fuel-efficient vehicle that can drive over any kind of terrain, whether it’s sand, rocks or paved streets, and even on water and over rocky shores.

Your dream childhood vehicle, that’s what the Arosa is. If we’re lucky, the Arosa will start first deliveries later this year – but more on that later on.

This wonder hovercraft from the future first made headlines in 2014, when the concept was introduced and the pre-order books were opened. Back then, it was called Supercraft and was designed by Mercier-Jones, with a 2015 delivery timeline. Michael Mercier, the brains behind the idea, eventually set up his own company, VonMercier, and he’s hoping it will be able to finally build and deliver the first limited-edition units of the (renamed and improved) Arosa at long last.

Specifics of the Arosa are only available to members of the VonMercier community, meaning investors and pre-order holders, but whatever has been made public is (probably) enough to get millionaires reaching for their wallets. The Arosa promises to reinvent personal transportation for the luxury maritime sector, delivering a vehicle that is as innovative as it’s visually striking. The fact that it’s also personalizable only adds to its appeal.

The original Supercraft, like the Arosa, rode on an air cushion, which allowed it to glide over literally any kind of surface and deliver the same smooth, comfortable and easy ride. Patented directional control, fly-by-wire activation, and a hybrid drivetrain (a pair of gasoline engines and twin electric motors for controlled thrust), together with a lightweight body made of carbon fiber and chromium alloy would make this hovercraft fast and stable, yet very easy to operate.

Numbers circulated in 2015 in relation to the Supercraft included a two-person tandem cabin, a top speed of 80 mph (129 kph), and 120 miles (193 km) of range at a cruising speed of 40 mph (64 kph) and a 7-inch (18-cm) hovering height. This might not seem like a lot today, but it is for a hovercraft – and it was even more impressive back then. In fact, it was enough to warrant comparisons to a Veyron on air cushions.

Unlike the Veyron, the legality of the Supercraft was never discussed in great detail. Hovercrafts can be used on water legally, since they’re classified as boats in most territories, and also on land, such as shores and muddy swamps near bodies of water. But you can’t “drive” them on the road as you would a car.

Pricing for the Supercraft started at $75,000, with a refundable $8,500 deposit necessary to get on the wait list. Mercier-Jones planned to make 10 Collector’s Edition units and then 50 more custom ones, before taking the hovercraft into mass-production sometime in 2025. The delivery for the first units was set for 2015, but the company never made the deadline.

The idea didn’t die, though. In fact, as early as May this year, Michael Mercier, now CEO of VonMercier, was telling potential investors that they had a working, already tested prototype for the Arosa, the new and improved Supercraft. Pre-orders were still available and investors were still welcome, and Mr. Mercier estimated an August delivery date for the first units. Today is the final day of the month, so it’s probably safe to say that this was too optimistic an estimate.

The bottom line is that the Arosa idea lives on. Mr. Mercier, a mechanical engineer, says he’s experienced enough with hovercrafts to have been able to built the Arosa, and that the technology on it has been tested and confirmed. He also believes the Arosa, with its ability to “travel over land, water and a variety of terrain in between,” holds incredible market potential: first for the luxury segment, then for rescue and military applications, and then for everyone else.

Looking at it, one can only hope he’s right.



Editor's note: This article was not sponsored or supported by a third-party.

 
 
 
 
 

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