Several automotive marques have experimented with watercraft, including Aston Martin, Lexus, Mercedes-AMG and Toyota, but now Aston Martin is going one better with a submarine.
Partnering with Triton Submarines (the civil submarine and submersible maker from Florida), Aston Martin has completed the design of the strictly-limited edition Project Neptune submersible, with plans to go into production in time for a Fall 2018 unveiling.
“The work we have done together on the exterior of the submersible pleases me most,” says John Ramsay, Chief Technical Officer at Triton Submarines. “I’m particularly proud of our joint development of the acrylic canopy and iridium coating. The prototypes look incredible, being simultaneously functional and beautiful.”
The submersible is designed to carry three occupants (including a pilot) and dive to depths up to 500 metres. The frontal area has been reduced for hydrodynamic efficiency, which means that when you factor in acceleration that is four times greater than Triton’s flagship model, the Aston Martin submersible will have a sprint speed in excess of 5 knots (9.26 km/h).
“The exterior design of Project Neptune owes a lot to the pursuit of performance,” said Marek Reichman, Aston Martin EVP and Chief Creative Officer. “As with the Aston Martin Valkyrie, the hyper-car we are developing with Red Bull Advanced Technologies, 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, but its effect will certainly be felt.”
But earning the Aston Martin wings goes beyond performance. The submersible must also have the beauty and elegance synonymous with the marque, and that means an interior that pays attention to meticulous detail, which isn’t an easy task in a submarine.
“The interior is quintessentially Aston Martin – a luxurious mix of hand-stitched leather and high-performance carbon fibre, assembled without obstructing the panoramic sight-lines that Triton submersibles are famous for,” says Ramsay.
“Project Neptune’s interior was a great challenge,” adds Reichman. “Unlike a sports car where the interiors are installed into an open-sided cabin before the doors are fitted, everything you see inside (the submersible) will be lowered through the upper-hatch and assembled within the completed sphere of the pressure hull. We have been able to present a congruous aesthetic that defies its multi-part complex installation.”
There are three designer specifications, through which customers can personalize the submersible with colour and trim choices, offered by Aston Martin’s bespoke service, Q by Aston Martin, designed to accentuate Project Neptune’s sporting, luxury and maritime characteristics.
There are still buying slots available, and potential buyers can contact their Aston Martin retailers or Triton Submarine representatives. The partners will be promoting the project at the LYBRA Superyacht Show in Barcelona.