Take a motoring icon and transform it into a new product, suitable for plowing the waters around the most exclusive beaches on the planet. This is the work and the goal of the Livorno company Floating Motors, whose business idea is certainly different from usual. He founded it Pierpaolo Lazzarini, 39, a designer with an automotive past.
Among the cars already transformed there is a 500 (pictured), a Volkswagen T1 minibus that becomes a speedboat. And the Vespa will arrive that can transform itself into a water scooter. The creations can be ‘listed’ or identified by the customer, who can choose between catamaran or foil version, and between electric and traditional motors. The assembly of the boats takes place in Caserta, while the design studio is at home in Viterbo.
“We want to transform the vehicles that have made history on the road into boats. The Fiat 500 Spiaggina and the Volkswagen T1 van in the passenger version are identical in size and appearance to the original models, but adapted in terms of materials for use in the water. We cannot use the original metal bodies because they would rust, so we make a cast and print the fairings in fiberglass or, for those who want more lightness, in carbon fiber. Many e-mails arrive from all over the world, in particular from Russia, Kuwait, the Emirates. We are mainly looking for foreigners, those who do charter activities but also private individuals who want an alternative vehicle. For now we can only show renderings, but in March we will have the first models in the waterLazzarini told the newspaper La Stampa.
The 500 is 3.5 meters long, to be used as a tender for those who own a yacht, or for bathing establishments and hotels. Having less than 40 horsepower, you can drive without a boat license. At a cost, however, of 50 thousand euros (for ‘La Dolce Founders Edition’) and with electric motors and lithium-ion batteries. The VW van, on the other hand, is seven meters long and can tackle navigation in the open sea.
Going into detail, ‘La Dolce’ is designed to be in all respects similar to a very normal first generation Fiat 500, that of the economic boom. The two round headlights, the bumper (useless in this context, if not for design) and the windshield are unmistakable. On the other hand, the side area and the cockpit are very different, in order to accommodate the controls necessary for use on water rather than on asphalt. La Dolce is 3.5 meters long and 1.6 meters wide; the dry weight is 550 kilos and can accommodate four passengers, two on the single front seats, while the rest go to rest on a comfortable bench at the back.
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