If you’ve ever dreamed of dropping everything and taking an epic road trip across the country (and even if you haven’t), then you’ve likely encountered the concept of van life. The freedom of living on the open road has its appealing qualities, and it has blown up in popularity in recent years. Long gone is the stigma of “living in a van down by the river.” Ironically, that’s actually the fantasy for some people now. And this new concept design that turns a classic VW bus into a pontoon boat lets you take that fantasy one step further and actually live in a van on the river.
The architect behind the concept is Italian designer Pierpaolo Lazzarini of Lazzarini Design. Best known for his innovative and outlandish superyacht concepts, he also dabbles in the realms of architecture, automotive, and aerospace design. The VW bus pontoon boat rendering is part of his latest startup project called Floating Motors, which aims to re-adapt classic cars and turn them into functional water vehicles. However, these “resto-floats”—as the company calls them—are intricate clones of classic car designs fabricated in fiberglass or carbon fiber. These replicas are then retrofitted with a floating hull and a motor to make the perfect nautical vehicle for work or pleasure.
“We strictly respect the original car model proportions and sizes, applying the most modern nautical techniques for the floating hull (catamaran, conventional or foil), and delivering an exceptional quality concerning construction materials and applied technology, for the longest durability into harsh condition,” the company assures. “Our products are top-luxury motorboats, shaped like mythical cars.”
Some of the other models offered include a two-seater convertible called La Dolce and a MINI that sports a Union Jack (UK flag) paint job. Perfect for van life on the water, the VW bus could practically be a houseboat when compared to the smaller sizes of some of the other designs. And even if you wouldn’t want to live on the water in your VW bus pontoon houseboat, it would still be perfect for the most epic lake day—complete with swimming, lounging on the wooden roof deck, and popping back inside to make a delicious lunch with all the amenities on the interior. Just imagine the possibilities!
The only problem is that none of these resto-floats actually exist yet. Floating Motors is still in the kickstarting phase and is now accepting pre-orders. However, the only model currently offered for pre-order is La Dolce, which is priced at $35,000. Lazzarini has also launched a crowdfunding campaign for the project in an effort to raise the capital necessary to build the molds and prototypes for the other models, which he hopes to introduce onto the market within the next two years. Investing $1,000 dollars will get you a $5,000 discount on your first purchase of any of the future Floating Motors vehicles. And $50,000 gets you a 1% stake in the company as well as a founder’s edition model of La Dolce.
So it seems that nautical van life will have to wait for now, but it’s still a pretty cool concept that could become a reality in the near future. To keep up with the latest from Floating Motors and see when its vehicles finally launch, follow the startup on Instagram.