A New 10-Ton Luxury Submarine Can Travel Faster Than a Dolphin

Thanks to four 60-kW thrusters.
Chris Young
An artist's impression of the Super Sub.U-Boat Worx

U-Boat Worx just unveiled the latest addition to its fleet, the Super Sub, a machine with four 60kW thrusters, capable of steep 30-degree climbs and dives, and reaching depths of 984 feet (300 meters). In a press statement, the submersible maker describes the Super Sub as "the most hydrodynamic sub on the market." 

The new Super Sub was designed as part of U-Boat Worx's custom submarine program, which lets owners weigh in on the design process of their new submarine. The result here is a droplet-shaped submersible with a long tail and advanced wings.

A 9,9-ton vessel that can keep up with marine life

The unnamed owner for the Super Sub wanted a vessel that could keep up with large marine life at the same time as allowing a 360-degree view of the surroundings. The Super Sub's four 60kW thrusters were chosen because they enable the submersible to travel at eight knots — two knots faster than the top speed at which a bottlenose dolphin cruises through water.

A New 10-Ton Luxury Submarine Can Travel Faster Than a Dolphin
The Super Sub is designed to keep up with large aquatic life at the same time as providing an unobstructed view. Source: U-Boat Worx

The submarine is capable of carrying one pilot and two passengers, and according to U-Boat Worx, the interior resembles that of a luxury supercar. An ultra-clear acrylic hull, meanwhile, allows the passengers to peer out into the depths of the ocean with no obstruction. The vessel is powered by specially designed lightweight lithium-ion batteries that are capable of giving the 9.9 tons (9,000 kg) submersible the power it needs to reach those high speeds. 

Luxury submersibles competing against space tourism?

U-Boat Worx says the first Super Sub model will be delivered in 2023, after which they will expand their fleet further by developing a full range of Super Sub models. The company's current commercial fleet features the award-winning NEMO submersible, which is the world's lightest personal submarine, capable of reaching depths of 328 feet (100 meters).

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The last few years have seen a renaissance of sorts for 360-degree view submersibles, spearheaded by the likes of U-Boat Worx and Triton Submarines, whose machines are used for the filming of parts of David Attenborough's documentaries.

With the advent of space tourism, firms such as Blue Origin and Virgin Galactic are selling tickets to the edge of space for upwards of $400,000. Seeing as U-Boat Worx and Triton Submarines sell subs rather than a service, deepsea submersible diving is increasingly being positioned as another adventurous holiday activity for the world's wealthiest.