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->''"Roads? Where we're going [[TropeNamer we don't need . . . roads]]."''
-->--'''Doc Brown''', ''Film/BackToTheFuture''

Cars in fiction tend to be [[CoolCar pretty awesome]]. Some just look cool and go fast. Others have [[WeaponizedCar weapons systems]] and [[InvisibilityCloak active camouflage]] built into them. And then there are these cars, which can transform in order to traverse terrain meant for other vehicles. Like boats. Or ''planes''. There are practical reasons for this to be the case, of course; after all, you wouldn't want to have to give up chasing the villains because they planned a water escape that you didn't account for. The primary reason, though, is the RuleOfCool. Because being able to drive off a pier in a sports car, transform on the way down, and hit the water in a speedboat is just plain {{badass}}.

Less drastic modifications can be expected as well for different terrain on land, like retractable tire studs for driving on ice and other slick surfaces. Any weapon systems the car is equipped with will sometimes inexplicably change in order to fit the new environment; rather than missiles, the car will have torpedos.

The GadgeteerGenius is almost certainly the one who made all these awesome modifications. A subtrope of CoolCar and a SuperTrope for FlyingCar, HubcapHovercraft and AmphibiousAutomobile. Often overlaps with CoolBoat and CoolPlane, for obvious reasons.
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!!Examples:

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[[folder: Anime and Manga ]]

* ''Anime/SpeedRacer'''s car can become a sub.

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[[folder: Film ]]

* At the end of ''Film/BackToTheFuture'', Doc Brown travels forward to 2015 and gets some pretty major work done on the Delorean, including a "hover conversion" that's really more of a "flight conversion". At the end of ''Back to the Future III'', he does the same thing to a ''[[CoolTrain locomotive]]''.
** The fact that the Delorean is a time machine in the first place qualifies it for this trope.
* Many ''Film/JamesBond'' examples.
** In ''Film/{{Moonraker}}''. Bond's gondola transforms into a hovercraft, allowing him to drive it onto the streets of Venice.
** Scaramanga in ''Film/TheManWithTheGoldenGun'' has a car that can fly (with an attachable wing and engine).
** ''Film/DieAnotherDay'''s Colonel Moon uses hovercrafts to cruise over the Korean demilitarized zone (which is littered with mines). Bond destroys his base, and Moon is forced to go underground and build a giant sunlight-reflecting satellite to destroy the minefield, instead. (Which had to be more expensive than simply buying more hovercrafts...)
* ''Film/TheLastStarfighter''. Centauri's car is also a starship.
* In ''BluesBrothers2000'', the updated Bluesmobile could function underwater.
* Quorra's car in ''Film/TronLegacy'' can operate in the rough terrain off The Grid, unlike most ground vehicles in [[BigBad Clu's]] arsenal.
* ''Film/RaceForTheYankeeZephyr''. Barney and Gilbert need money to repair their helicopter in order to salvage the Yankee Zepher. Gilbert's daughter Sally points out that the map shows plenty of roads, so they can just drive. Barney rejects these as "paper roads, government ink". The helicopter later crashes, but some friends of Gilbert modify the helicopter cabin into a caterpillar-tracked all-terrain vehicle.

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[[folder: Literature ]]

* ''Film/ChittyChittyBangBang'' might actually be the UrExample of this trope. The major premise was basically "Check out this car: it can fly."
* The Creator/RobertAHeinlein novel ''Literature/ThePuppetMasters'' has "triphibians": cars that can drive on land, fly through the air and travel on water.
* Possible example (depending on how loosely you define "car"): The ''Terror'' in Creator/JulesVerne's ''Master of the World'' functions as an aircraft, boat, submarine and automobile.

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[[folder: Tabletop Games ]]

* ''[[TabletopGame/{{Traveller}} MegaTraveller]]'' ''Referee's Companion''. At Tech Level 8 vehicle transportation includes triphibians, which can travel on land, in the water and through the air.
* ''{{Champions}}''. Vehicles can have any form of movement super characters can, including flight, swimming, tunneling and even teleportation. They can also have the power of ShapeShifting so they have an appropriate form for the movement mode they're in.
* Game Research Group's ''Helltank Destroyer'' had Triphibious Cruisers, which could travel on land, in (and under) water and through the air.
* ''TabletopGame/CarWars'' has "Grasshoppers", lightweight car/helicopter hybrids. Their armour tends to be rather poor, but if someone is chasing you too closely? Well, many of them come with bombs, you see...

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[[folder: Video Games ]]

* The ''SpyHunter'' games are probably one of the best examples of this. In addition to being able to transform into a CoolBoat, if the armor takes too much damage, it will be shed to reveal a motorcycle (or a jetski) underneath). In the sequel, it can optionally convert into an off-road mode, where the ground clearance is raised, wheels widened and the tyres have spikes come out of then, which reduces speed but significantly improves handling when offroad.
* One of the more expensive mods you can add to your car in ''StreetsOfSimCity'' is a flight modification which, well, [[CaptainObvious allows you to fly]]. Why is this useful, you ask? Dude, you can make your car [[Franchise/BattlestarGalactica frakking]] fly. Who needs a reason?
* Certain Cybran Nation warships in ''VideoGame/SupremeCommander'' can deploy ''legs'' and turn into a [[SpiderTank Spider Ship]], walking out of the sea and onto land to support their ground forces when assaulting a shoreline.
* The upcoming sequel to ''SonicAndSegaAllStarsRacing'' will have everyone's racers convert between car, aircraft and boat depending on the terrain.

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[[folder: Western Animation ]]

* The ''WesternAnimation/{{Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles|1987}}''' van could become a hovercraft of some sort.
* In ''[[WesternAnimation/DuckTales Double-O-duck]]'', Launchpad [=McQuack=] is given a car that can turn into a boat or an helicopter.
* WesternAnimation/DangerMouse has a car that can also become an airplane. In fact, it's seen up in the air more often than not.
* The ''Franchise/WallaceAndGromit'' short "WesternAnimation/ACloseShave" features a motorcycle sidecar that doubles as a plane.
* ''{{Superfriends}}'' (1973/74) episode "Too Hot To Handle". The aliens have a fire truck that can convert into a rocket ship and fly.
* ''WesternAnimation/BatmanTheBraveAndTheBold'': Both the Batmobile and GreenArrow's Arrowcar can transform into planes. The Batmobile can also turn into a GiantMecha.

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[[folder: Real Life ]]

* Hovercraft, though not the miracle originally hoped for, are effective ferries and possibly the only 'surface' vehicle that can cross minefields safely.
* Many examples under AmphibiousAutomobile.
* A few tries at FlyingCar.
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