I’ve been getting very annoyed lately. Why you ask? Well I’ve been wanting to traverse the underwater depths of the River Avon but don’t have a submarine designed and manufactured by my favourite British marque to do it in. Until now.
This is ‘Project Neptune’ – the brainchild of both the submarine manufacturer Triton and Aston Martin, the car company that’s known for luxury… cars. This certainly isn’t a car, but like the majority of Aston’s fleet, it’s perfectly suited to a man who goes by the number, 007. But this leaves me in a difficult situation. I’ve never written about a submarine before, so let me first of all just say this:
It looks exceptional.
I haven’t looked at many submarines. Just the stereotypical WWII U-Boat type thing, but this has a definite whiff of modern, almost Thunderbirds-like architecture, and ten-year old me is loving it. This design isn’t all for show, however.
“The exterior design of Project Neptune owes a lot to the pursuit of performance,” explains Aston’s design man Marek Reichman. “As with the Aston Martin Valkyrie, we have afforded as much attention to the hydrodynamics of the underside as we have the visible surfaces.
“Some of that detail may never be seen,” he says, “but its effect will certainly be felt.”
I’m sure that the majority of us will never lay eyes on the craft in the first place to soak up its mass of inlets, wings and fins. But we can certainly appreciate its performance. As petrol heads, that’s what we do. None of us will be able to drive every single car we want to, but we can certainly appreciate the numbers. So here they are:
It’s a 3 seater, capable of 5 knots. That’s just under 6mph for us used to roads and wheels. It can also accelerate faster than Triton’s flagship, the 3300/3 submarine. I hope that means more to you than it did to me. Maximum depth is 500 metres and as I’m sure you can see, it has an almost 360 degree view through to the dark and dingy depths of Dr Evil’s underwater lair.
Sorry. I got carried away there.
Aston Martin and Triton Submarines are pleased to announce successful completion of the design phase for Project Neptune, and the commencement of the first production model ahead of its public unveiling later this year.
— Aston Martin (@astonmartin) May 2, 2018
Aston has never made a submarine, though. So how do we know this is going to abide by the same quality standards as its four-wheeled predecessors? Reichman says that unlike the cars where the interior we be placed in an ‘open-sided’ cabin before the doors are attached, this stitched leather interior will be dropped in from the top via a hatch. It also gets an iridium coating and will be completely customisable through Aston Martin’s Q division. Invisibility cloak and all. Probably.
It will be unveiled at the Barcelona LYBRA Superyacht show this week, so let’s all cross our fingers and hope for a submarine that Bond could be seen in from our favourite British marque.