James Bond fans will avidly recall the time he drove a Lotus Esprit that could convert into an undersea vehicle in the 1977 flick the Spy Who Loved Me.
But assuming that the British Intelligence organization he works for can afford it, Bond just might enjoy a stint behind the wheel of a luxury yacht with gadgets galore to go the undersea route.
Nope, this isn't another fictitious toy for the 007 operative to play around with. It's the genuine article that surfaces from the drawing board of Elena Nappi, an Italian naval architect.
The high-tech contraption is called the Carapace, a vessel that can cruise the surface like any other yacht, yet is capable of diving as deep as 985 feet and staying below the surface for up to 10 days. This moth-dropping feature not only enables occupants to gape at the wonders of the ocean depths, but it also lets the super upper crust escape the scrutiny of less-affluent yacht owners who'd obviously be jealous of such an acquisition.
The sticker price of the Carapace hasn't been publicly made known yet, but you can bet the farm that such a luxury mode of transportation would easily go as high as nine figures. Boasting a length of 256 feet and powered by a hybrid diesel and electric fuel cell, the boat features three decks of conspicuous comforts like a health club, bar, spa, lounge and luxurious private cabins within its light aluminum hull.
"The world of luxury submarines is one of the last frontiers in the field of experimentation, and perhaps the hybrid will be the language of the future," said Nappi says in a media release issued Thursday.
"Very often yacht owners are looking for original solutions to be able to offer their friends and their family something special, and certainly that of a diving cruise of this type is something unprecedented in the super yacht market."
Secret Business Meetings
She predicts high demand for the yacht, which will still take a while before it's built, among prospective owners to hold private trips and secret business meetings. As for whether real-life agents would get access to such a yacht-sub, let's just say that publicly-funded spy bureaus purchasing something that luxurious might not go over well with taxpayers if word gets out.