Lagonda Vision Concept: Geneva 2018


If you thought Aston Martin was being bold with latest Vantage and talk of a mid-engined model, well, you ain't seen nothing yet. Gaydon has saved arguably its most ambitious forward step for Geneva: the relaunching of Lagonda, the 114-year-old brand which it refers to as "a sleeping giant".

The carriage for this venerable marque? The Lagonda Vision Concept; a sweeping, daring and not precisely pretty show car which points to its standalone electric future. The aim? To compete with Rolls-Royce and Bentley in the luxury four-door, four-seat market - but in a forward-thinking way that has nothing to do with internal combustion or even an old-world notion of grandeur.


Bold? Certainly, and plainly Marek Reichman, Aston long-standing design boss, has been given carte blanche to 'go long' with the Vision Concept - a car which is expected to heavily influence a forthcoming saloon. That will be the first Lagonda-badged model, followed by the inevitable SUV-shaped alternative to the Rolls-Royce Cullinan and Bentley Bentayga.

It's obviously early days, but expect the architecture underpinning both models to be all-new - though likely based on the same bonded and riveted aluminium technology that Aston has made its own. For the powertrain and batteries, Aston will partner with an as yet unnamed Silicon Valley-based firm. (Place your bets on that one.) Expect the Lagonda to be powered in familiar style though - i.e. two electric motors driving all four wheels - with a range of 400 miles among the objectives.

An additional target is a full wireless recharge time of 15 minutes - an ambition which will almost certainly require solid-state batteries. Gaydon is also adamant that a production Lagonda would be built with the highest available level of autonomous driving baked in - meaning it will be a luxury car to sit in rather than drive.


As a result, the opportunities explored with the Vision Concept's design are intriguing. Reichman has virtually done away with a bonnet and is obviously unconcerned with fostering any link to Aston Martin's current styling conventions. Aerodynamic efficiency is the key criteria here, along with the kind of sculpted surfaces that are intended to distance Lagonda from its 'horse and cart' rivals.

The real sea change, though, is said to have occurred in the cabin, which was reputedly designed first (before having a body wrapped round it). The Lagonda's five-and-a-half metre length ought to mean exemplary legroom anyway but, with the wheelbase maximised by the EV-only configuration, Aston claims more legroom than you'd enjoy in an extended wheelbase Rolls-Royce Phantom.


Of course, you also get some classic show-concept conceits like front seats which swivel to face those in the back and rear doors which hinge from the roof. But with Reichman boldly claiming that 70-80 per cent of the car is destined for production and existing (presumably very good) Aston customers are already involved in the process, the Vision Concept is clearly meant to be about much more than merely Gaydon dipping its toe in unfamiliar waters.

When the razzmatazz of Geneva fades there will be many other questions to answer - some of them difficult and vexing, many of them about numbers and positioning and viability - but for now Aston is content for Lagonda to be back on the map. And with it pointing in the most audacious direction.

 

 

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Comments (29) Join the discussion on the forum

  • loudlashadjuster 06 Mar 2018

    What of the Taraf then? Surely that was the relaunch of the brand a few years ago.

  • loose cannon 06 Mar 2018

    Looks like a Lamborghini aventador has morphed with a Honda Civic with the interior from a talbot solara

  • Oz83 06 Mar 2018

    Interior shots borrowed from USS Enterprise Star Date 2375.28

  • Fetchez la vache 06 Mar 2018

    loose cannon said:
    ... interior from a talbot solara
    Christ it's not that bad is it??

  • captain_cynic 06 Mar 2018

    Oz83 said:
    Interior shots borrowed from USS Enterprise Star Date 2375.28
    Captains Log, we've finished coating the interior with vulgar coloured velour and light up glossy panels.

    It does really seem like a 80's version of what the future might look like.

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