Yuhan Zhang, a 21-year-old designer from China, has created a sleek hovercraft concept to the delight of both technology and exotic vehicle aficionados worldwide, not to mention those of us who are delighted to see our childhood dreams of the future being realized. The Volkswagen Aqua is a gorgeous vision of multi-terrain machinery designed to take on China’s widely varying – and sometimes unpredictable – landscapes, from water and wetlands to pavement and ice.
A recent honors graduate from Xihua University with a degree in Industrial Design, Zhang is continuing to build on her passion for her field of study by enrolling in a Transportation Design course, although her hovercraft concept and young age already prove her to be incredibly promising – the VW Aqua concept was shortlisted in the CDN Car Design Awards in China.
The Volkswagen Aqua’s primary motor is powered by a hydrogen fuel cell, which is used to power the main fan to inflate the vehicle’s skirt and lift it off the ground, while the craft’s rear fans are powered by individual motors that provide forward thrust and directional control.
Stylistically, the Aqua looks surprisingly timely and relevant for such an advanced piece of machinery. Its interior can seat two people and is simplistic in its design. The exterior, besides the requisite fans, remains clean and free of unnecessary and off-putting hyper-futuristic features. Countering a hovercraft’s inherent space-ageiness with aesthetically minimalist design makes it a sleek vehicle that is spared the gaudiness that many futuristic concepts possess. Its digestible design makes it easy to envision on the road, possibly looking no more out of place than a SmartCar does. Welcome to the Future!