Unique 6×6 Amphibian Vehicle



Is it a boat?
Is it a 4X4?
Is it something out of the latest James Bond movie?
No, it’s Nvubu, South Africa’s own history-making amphibious all-terrain multi-purpose vehicle (AATMPV)!
Fully designed here in South Africa, the totally unique Nvubu (which by the way means “hippo” in Zulu) will be making its world debut at the Auto Africa 2004 show in Johannesburg, from 25th to 31st October.

Auto Africa 2004 will be the biggest-yet auto expo in South Africa, providing motoring manufacturers and related industries with the opportunity to showcase the best of local and international vehicles and products.
And because Auto Africa is the country’s premier auto show, the Nvubu 6X6’s manufacturers, believe it is the best place for their innovative six-wheeler to rub tyres with an extensive range of other new releases for the South African market.

Also, its not some retired engineer’s pipe dream – the designers have tested the Nvubu in the most arduous conditions, with the intention of mass-producing it for the mining, forestry, firefighting, construction, agricultural and service industries. It will also be sold to the leisure and ecotourism markets.

Background on the Nvubu project:

The project began some six years ago, born out of a failed plan to distribute a North American brand of 6×6 all-terrain vehicle (ATV) in South Africa. This vehicle proved to be totally unsuited to the harsh demands of the African terrain, with the first unit imported suffering failure within hours of being put to use.

Erwin Nel and Colin Fourie then scrapped their plans for distribution and instead began work on a brand new vehicle, designed from the ground up for a wide range of applications in the most punishing conditions across the planet. The result of six years of development is the Nvubu amphibious all-terrain multi-purpose vehicle (AATMPV), which will be making its world debut at the Auto Africa 2004 show in Johannesburg from 25th to 31st October.

The name Nvubu means “hippo” in Zulu, and was chosen to describe the fact that the vehicle is equally at home on land or in the water. The heart of the design is a lightweight, high strength steel chassis enclosed by a fireproof fiberglass hull. The powerplant is a twin cylinder diesel engine, driving a hydraulic pump which feeds two hydraulic motors. This full hydrostatic drive allows an infinitely variable control of the torque applied to the wheels, all six of which are driven.

Target markets for the Nvubu are as follows:

  • Mining (underground & opencast)
  • Forestry
  • Firefighting (bush, forest & congested informal settlements)
  • Agriculture (used as a small tractor)
  • Construction
  • Service industries such as power & water utilities (inspection of lines)
  • Military
  • Ecotourism
  • Leisure

The Nvubu is a rugged, highly mobile vehicle capable of easy maintenance in remote locations. The basic platform is very flexible, and can rapidly be modified from passenger carrier to utility vehicle to firefighting vehicle.

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