Aston Martin, the maker of James Bond’s preferred cars, may soon have another offering for the British Secret Service Agent – a luxury submarine. However, this underwater craft is not reserved exclusively for Bond, but available to anyone that can afford its hefty $4 million cost.
Neptune, which is still just a concept, was unveiled on September 28 at the Monaco Yacht Show, one of the world’s leading superyacht shows. The project is a collaboration between Aston Martin Consulting and Triton Submarines, a Florida-based company well-known for its prowess at building personal submarines.
The limited edition, three-person luxury submersible will sport a sleek frame with silver, blade-like pontoons and a bubble-shaped cabin for optimal underwater views. Measuring 5.9 feet tall and weighing 8,800 pounds, Neptune aims to be the lightest and smallest submarine of its type in international production. Though the car manufacturer has released few technical details, experts speculate it will mimic the Triton 1650/3 LP submersible, which can dive 1,650 feet underwater and reach speeds of up to 3.5 miles per hour.
According to Aston Martin managing director Bradley Yorke-Biggs, the inspiration for this project is a result of their research, which indicated it would be of great interest to individuals with disposable wealth. “Those superyacht people, what they want to experience is changing,” he said. “It’s about having some other way of entertaining your guests.” The company believes Neptune will also be useful for explorers and researchers.
While the steep price is enough to eliminate a majority of the world’s population, even those that can afford Neptune will not find it easy to acquire one when it comes to market at the end of 2018. That’s because Aston Martin plans to build only about a dozen of the submarines every year, maintaining the same exclusivity they have with their cars, of which just 80,000 have been made since the company was founded in 1913.
This is not Aston Martin’s only foray outside of luxury cars. In 2016, the company worked with Quintessence Yachts and Mulder Design naval architects to create a high-end yacht called the AM3. It has also partnered with a developer to build Aston Martin Residences, a high-end condominium complex, in downtown Miami. The 66-story building, scheduled for completion in 2022, will feature a rooftop helipad, private outdoor pools on the balconies of its ten penthouse units, and most important of all, at least for Neptune owners, a superyacht marina which we assume will also be able to house a submarine!
Resources: astonmartin.com,executivestyle.com.au, dezeen.com, newatlas.com
Reading Comprehension (10 questions)
- How much will Aston Martin’s submarine cost?
- Where was it unveiled?
Critical Thinking Challenge
List one advantage and one disadvantage of Aston Martin’s strategy...
Vocabulary in Context
The project is a collaboration between Aston Martin Consulting and Triton Submarines, a Florida-based company well-known for its prowess at building personal submarines.