The Lagonda brand is making a comeback to redefine the luxury car segment.
Aston Martin stunned attendees at the 2018 Geneva Motor Show with its world debut of the track-only Valkyrie AMR Pro. But that wasn’t the only surprise the British automaker brought to this year’s show. What you’re looking at here is the Lagonda Vision Concept previewing Aston Martin’s upcoming new brand of ultra-luxury, pure electric vehicles to rival the likes of Rolls-Royce and Bentley. It marks the return of the Lagonda name for the first time since the limited edition Lagonda Taraf sedan in 2015.
It also harks back to its heritage when the company was founded in 1904. Lagonda aims to be the world’s first zero-emission luxury brand, with two production vehicles planned to launch by 2023. The first will be a luxury Rolls-Royce Phantom-rivalling sedan inspired by the four-door concept shown in Geneva. Two 40-percent scale models are also on display showcasing how the design language could be adapted for a coupe and SUV. Aston Martin says the Lagonda brand will embrace modern technology and the latest advances in electrification and autonomoy, which the automaker boldly claims will amount to “the biggest revolution in land-bound transportation since the invention of the car.”
“We believe people associate luxury in their cars with a certain traditional and even old-fashioned approach because, to date, that is all that’s been available to them,” Aston Martin’s CEO Andy Palmer explained. “Lagonda exists to challenge that thinking and prove that being modern and luxurious are not mutually exclusive concepts.” The Vision Concept showcases the design language Aston Martin envisions for its first Lagonda sedan. Its futuristic shape is far shorter and lower than traditional limousines as Aston Martin has taken care to make exceptional use of space inside the luxurious cabin. That allows up to four passengers to stretch out in blissful comfort.
Occupants are surrounded by glass, carbon fiber, ceramic tiles, silk carpets and hand woven wool upholstery. Since the car doesn’t pack a vast internal combustion engine, gearbox and transmission, Lagonda’s designers were able to optimize the interior and build up the car’s exterior around it. Accessing the cabin is made easier thanks to rear-hinged back doors and opening roof sections that allow passengers to stand up inside the car and step in and out. The batteries are positioned down low in the floor of the car to keep the center of gravity low, and the car doesn’t even have a traditional hood.
The Lagonda Vision Concept also features level four autonomous driving, meaning the car is capable of driving itself “in all routine circumstances and on all recognisable roads.” In autonomous mode, the steering wheel can retract entirely, allowing front seat passengers to rotate 180 degrees to talk to passengers in the rear. “For owners of true luxury cars, autonomy has existed for over a century, in a carbon-based form called a chauffeur,” said Palmer. “We imagine most Lagonda customers will choose to be driven, but whether by a person or a computer will be up to them. If they want to drive themselves, the car will ensure that is a delightful and memorable experience too. Lagonda will provide that choice.”
Aston Martin hasn’t revealed any specifications, but says the Vision Concept boasts a range of 400 “real-world” miles, allowing it to travel between Los Angeles and San Francisco without stopping to charge. Production is slated to start in 2021.