Over the years a broadly accepted methodology for launching new cars has developed. First there will be the rumours, normally dropped into the receptive ears of hacks or existing owners and left to spread out like ripples on a still pond. Then a few tantalising details will creep out - it will be the lightest in its segment, it's got laser beam headlights, that kind of thing, and there may be some shaky footage of a camo-covered prototype testing in the wild. Next comes the formal PR phase with, increasingly these days, a succession of teaser images followed by official pics, order books opening and - several months after the whole process started - potential buyers (and scuzzy journos) invited to come and have a go.
1-2-3 say cheese! Just don't publish yet, OK?
At least, that's how it normally is. So full credit to Aston Martin for taking the bold step of allowing a Middle Eastern airline to press release the very first official images of the
new Lagonda saloon
. Oman Air is working as Aston's logistics partner for testing the new car in the Middle Eastern heat, and has published two images of it
on its website
, one with it riding on an aircraft luggage transporter.
There's a fairly substantial clue that this might not have been the exact plan in the first line of the press release: "World class luxury airline Oman Air is today, [TBC], proud to announce a key partnership with globally renowned British car manufacturer Aston Martin." Did somebody press 'send' too early?
So, what do we know? Well, the new Lagonda is clearly channelling some of the spirit of its boxy 1970s predecessor, with Marek Reichmann's design making it look considerably larger than the rather cramped Rapide. We know that it's built around Aston's existing VH architecture and that power comes from the company's long-serving V12 engine. It's going to be produced in very limited numbers and will only be sold in the Middle East on what's called an invitation-only basis. It's part of a series of coachbuilt specials from Aston's Q division - the bit of the company produced the minimal CC100 Speedster last year.
As for pricing, the official line is only that "it will be commensurate with the car's exclusivity, quality and luxurious nature." Or, in short, "lots."
We're sure some official details will be along shortly, and look forward to bringing them to you when they arrive.