Off-roading frequently takes drivers to wet environments. It doesn't matter if you're mudding or just happen to come across a stream during a trek through the wilderness - there is always a good chance you'll encounter water. That's one of the reasons drivers make truck or Jeep modifications that outfit their vehicles for this damp terrain, but few take it to the degree that Nissan recently did.
The 'Note Boat'
To honor the debut of the new Nissan Note, the automaker created a version of the vehicle that can handle some extensive water depths. Dubbed the Note Boat, the automobile features a brand new technology that is capable of transforming itself into a floating machine.
The Note Boat includes a sliding rear seat that creates more room for a rower, while the doors open out to almost a 90-degree angle to provide plenty of space for oars or paddles. A comprehensive video system allows the driver to see everything around the vehicle at all times as well.
Nissan made sure to show off the capabilities of the finished product. The Note Boat was sent to Eton Dorney Lake, the site of the 2012 Olympic rowing competition, and put to the test in the ultimate environment. The manufacturer even recruited some experts to handle the vehicle, getting three stars of Great Britain's official team to control it down the waterway.
"It's certainly a novel experience rowing down Eton Dorney Lake in a car," said Olympic rower Polly Swann. "I'm amazing at how wide the doors open - I could achieve almost a complete rowing stroke, which produced more than enough power to push the Note down the lake."
What you can do
Not every driver will want - or need - to transform their vehicle into a boat, no matter what kind of intense off-road driving they are doing. Many motorists opt instead for installing a lift kit. By adding more ground clearance and potentially even larger, more capable tires, auto owners are reducing the chances that water infiltrates the undercarriage and rusts their machine.
Others choose to install armor to guard the weak points of a vehicle. This can come in handy when you're driving through water and can't see what is lying below the surface, which may include rocks or other obstacles that could cause damage.