The Suzuki Jimny is a charming vehicle because of its small size, affordability, and go-anywhere off-road ability. The kit car maker Dutton offers a conversion for the previous-generation Jimny that lets drivers take the vehicle even more places – like onto the water. Carfection highlights the amphibious vehicle in a new video.
The Surf uses all of the mechanical parts from the Jimny, and Dutton adds a water jet propulsion system like what you would find on a personal watercraft. This setup avoids having a propeller hanging down beneath the vehicle where it could be damaged. The steering wheel still controls the vehicle's direction on the water, just like on the road.
Other than the Jimny's mechanical parts, the Surf uses stainless steel components to resist corrosion in the water. The body is plastic for the same reason. In the United Kingdom, Dutton sells all of the pieces to perform the conversion as a kit, or customers can have the company complete the build for them.
The process of switching the powertrain from driving the wheels to operating the jet seems pretty easy once someone gets the hang of it. An operator simply pushes in the clutch and moves some levers. Once on the water, the throttle pedal still controls the power, so captaining this weird rig is very similar to driving on the street.
While small, the Surf is capable in the water. Company founder Tim Dutton has completed two journeys across the English Channel in his amphibious SUV. It took around six hours to make the trip.
According to the video, the Surf costs around £10,000 ($12,190 at current exchange rates). For a vehicle that you can use on the road and go on the water without towing a boat around, the cost doesn't seem too bad.