If you’re not familiar with the British luxury sports car maker Aston Martin from automotive circles, perhaps the marquee might still ring a bell, particularly if you’ve seen any James Bond movies. Agent 007 drove Aston Martins in 11 movies spanning 50 years, starting with the gadget-laden silver DB5, which debuted on the silver screen in 1965’s Goldfinger. (You know, the one where Q tells Bond not to touch the red button on the shift stalk because it will release a section of the roof and “engage and then fire the passenger ejector seat.”)
Actually, in the bestselling 1959 book, Ian Fleming’s British spy drove a modestly customized Aston Martin DB3 while on the hunt for the villain Auric Goldfinger, but we digress.
Developed under the name “Project Neptune,” the limited-edition submersible is being produced by Aston Martin in association with Florida-based submersible manufacturer Triton Submarine LLC. Last week, the two companies announced commencement of the first production model ahead of the public reveal later in 2018.
The two also confirmed that the submersible will have the ability to carry two passengers and a pilot to depths of 500 meters (about 1640 feet). By reducing the frontal area of the submersible and improving hydrodynamic efficiency, it will have an anticipated sprint speed in excess of 5 knots (about 6 mph) and approximately four times the acceleration of Triton’s flagship 3300/3 model.
This is what the exclusive, three-seater Aston Martin submersible will look like when it makes its official debut later this year. The interior (bottom photo) is a mix of hand-stitched leather and high-performance carbon fiber.
Aston Martin and Triton jointly developed an acrylic canopy and iridium coating, providing the passenger compartment of the submersible with a 360-deg. view of its surroundings (see photos).
Incidentally, a submersible is different from a submarine in that a submarine has enough power to leave port and come back to port under its own power. A submersible, on the other hand, needs a ship to launch and recover it once it’s out on the water.
Project Neptune’s interior has been described by its makers as “a great challenge.” Unlike a sports car, where the interiors are installed into an open-sided cabin before the doors are fitted, here everything inside had to be lowered through the upper hatch and assembled within the completed sphere of the pressure hull.
If you have some cash left over after spending $4 million on this flight of fancy, you can get the option of three Designer Specifications color and trim combinations created by Aston Martin’s in-house design team. Customization and personalization options will be available courtesy of Aston Martin’s service department, “Q by Aston Martin.”