By Ronan Glon
Monday, Jul 8th, 2013 @ 6:17 am
 
An American company called WaterCar has lifted the veil off of the Panther, an open-top SUV billed as the world's fastest amphibious vehicle.
Inspired by the iconic Jeep CJ-8, the Panther tips the scale at just 3,000 pounds thanks to a tubular chassis crafted out of chromoly steel and a body made entirely out of carbon fiber. The body is filled with closed-cell Styrofoam in order to enhance the Panther's buoyancy on water.

With room for up to four passengers, the Panther features premium upholstery, a wide array of analog gauges integrated into the center console, a roll bar and a sporty three-spoke steering wheel. Most of the interior's trim bits are made out of stainless steel in order to help prevent corrosion.

Under the hood lies an Honda-sourced 24-valve 3.7-liter V6 engine that churns out 305 horsepower and 274 lb-ft. of torque, enough to propel the Panther to a top speed of 80 mph on land and up to 44 mph on water. A purpose-built transfer case sends power to either a Volkswagen-sourced four-speed transmission or a jet drive designed in-house.

On sale now, the Panther starts at $76,000 for a rolling chassis and tops out at $135,000 for a range-topping model delivered with no assembly required.