Concept cars can cause many reactions at an international motor show, varying from admiration to disbelief. Aston Martin’s Lagonda Concept, revealed at the Geneva Motor Show, managed to inspire both.
Based on a Mercedes-Benz GL platform, but with a 6.0-L V12 Aston Martin engine, the all-wheel-drive vehicle, which revives the Lagonda brand name, is designed particularly for some of the more challenging road environments in the world, including South America, India, and China, as well as for metropolitan Europe but not essentially for urban use.
Described by Aston Martin boss Dr. Ulrich Bez as a "four-seat international cruiser and avant-garde luxury car," the bluff-fronted concept has a commanding presence with high waistline and letter-box rear window, cues from the V12 LG6 Lagonda of the late 1930s. It is a serious project that could reach production in 2012-13.
Design Director Marek Reichman underlined the concept’s clear delineation between cabin, shoulder line, and flanks. The car has a very large front grille, in keeping with current marque identity philosophy but also reflecting 1920s and 1930s designs. It sits on 22-in wheels, which accentuate its high ground clearance.
"We are still very much in the conceptual stage," stressed Bez, who added that hybrid, diesel, and flex-fuel technology could be part of the mechanical elements of a production version. A possible price range would be about $215,000 to $290,000. Aston Martin is still planning to introduce its four-door Rapide; the two cars will be distinctly different, fitting different market niches.
Founded in 1899, Lagonda became part of Aston Martin in 1947. The name was used for a 1993 concept created by Ghia Design in 1993 and for two low-volume products a year later.
Aston Martin also took along its new DBS Volante (convertible version of the DBS coupe) to Geneva, together with the latest Vantage version, the V12, based on the V8 Vantage. Its 6.0-L V12 engine produces 380 kW (510 hp) and 570 N·m (420 lb·ft). Top speed is 305 km/h (190 mph) and 0-100 km/h (0-62 mph) acceleration time is 4.2 s.