Futuristic hovercraft dubbed 'most advanced recreational vehicle' edges closer to production

Rex Features
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Futuristic: The Mercier-Jones hovercraft, which could go into production this year (Mercier-Jones/Rex)

A futuristic vehicle dubbed 'the Bugatti of hovercrafts' is nearing its testing phase.

The Mercier-Jones hovercraft is designed to cruise along on both land and water on a cushion of air at speeds up to 40-60 miles per hour.

Dubbed "the most advanced recreational vehicle" and "the future of hovercraft," the open-top, speedboat-like design has room for the driver and one passenger seated behind.

Constructed of carbon fibre and metal alloys, the hovercraft utilises a hybrid-electric drivetrain alongside air cushion technology and patent-pending directional control system to travel forward, in reverse and laterally.

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The 21st-century creation was the brainchild of Michael Mercier and Chris Jones, who asked for $50,000 on crowd-funding website IndieGogo last year in a bid to make their dream idea a reality.

The pair only received around $4,000 in the first few months of the project, but have since increased their funds and are edging closer to testing a prototype.

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Michael Mercier said the vehicle is still in the development stage, but they hope to start taking orders for the hovercraft in the summer.

Michael Mercier, CEO of Chicago-based Mercier-Jones, said: "The automotive industry is filled with futuristic concept cars that inspire and intrigue us, but we never actually get to drive them because they are never manufactured.

"The technology of a hovercraft is both futuristic and intriguing, but the designs of current production models don't inspire the way they should. We are here to change that.

"We are currently building the fully functional hovercraft prototype with an expected ready date in June, at which time we will start taking pre-orders. We are currently adding names to our waiting list and it has now exceeded 50 names.

"The build is progressing well and we plan to have the first lift test in April. We are speaking with investors and any interested parties can contact us."

The company have not released the final price of the vehicle.

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