I came across this strange amphibious car in a nearby auto repair lot a while back. I had to know more so I talked with the owner of the shop.

Illustration for article titled Boaty McCar Face?

This peculiar boat vehicle is a Dutton Commander S2. These are built in the UK by a guy named Tim Dutton, who has been developing amphibious vehicles since 1989. The Commander S2 is built atop a 4x4 Suzuki Jimny frame, with a monocoque shell constructed of glass reinforced plastic. This particular example had been sitting for months—my guess it hasn’t seen water in quite a while.


More info from Auto Express:

Approaching water, the driver must disengage the Suzuki’s specially modified 4x4 transfer box to disconnect the engine and transmission from the wheels. The fully enclosed eight-inch propeller is then driven by the 1.3-litre engine, and begins to spin.

All that’s left to do is to slide gracefully into the lake, with a specially sealed bonnet stopping water from entering the engine bay. Once you are off dry land, the motor powers the prop through third or fourth gears, revving at around 2,000rpm to give a top speed of 6mph. Progress is leisurely and noisy, but it’s very hard not to fall for the Dutton’s unique charm.

What makes the S2 even more special is that it has all the off-road ability of a standard Jimny. That means even steep river banks are passable. Simply cruise up to the shore, engage drive to the wheels and the amphibian scrambles out of the water.

With such a leisurely nautical top speed of 6mph, I have to imagine that the Commander is a far better car than it is a boat. Though don’t get me wrong, if someone gave me one of these I’d drive the hell out of it! Should have asked the guy if it was for sale...

Illustration for article titled Boaty McCar Face?

Share This Story

Get our newsletter