SUV a new direction
Aston Martin breaks mould, writes PAUL GOVER
THE look of luxury could be about to change forever. Aston Martin believes the days of outrageous ultraluxury limousines is coming to an end and is putting its faith and future in an upscale SUV that breaks the mould for the British brand.
It unveiled the Lagonda Concept at the Geneva Motor Show after an earlier tease on the comeback of the Lagonda name, which has been used for Aston flagships since 1947.
The new SUV is a four-seat, fourwheel-drive luxury car that Aston Martin says will be used to develop new technologies and materials, including flex-fuel engines and diesel and hybrid powertrains.
The Lagonda is ‘‘the luxury car of the future, a combination of total usability, a new form and innovative new technology and materials,’’ the head of Aston Martin, Dr Ulrich Bez, says.
Few details about the Lagonda were revealed at Geneva, though Aston is aggressive with its sales targets.
It expects to sell the Lagonda SUV in 100 countries and is predicting solid demand from new luxury buyers in Russia, the Middle East, India and China, as well as the US, Europe and Asia.
Despite the SUV styling, Bez promises the Lagonda will be a sporty drive and loaded with luxury.
And he looks to be taking a Lexusstyle approach to customer service.
‘‘An Aston Martin is an authentic, pure sports car, but Lagonda is something else, a new brand that will reach into new markets. Lagonda will create a new kind of customer relationship, instilling the spirit of travel, adventure and style into a single, formidable package,’’ Bez says.
There is no news yet on the engine for the Lagonda, but its position points to the V12 used in the upscale versions of other Aston models.
‘‘Lagonda will epitomise the intersection of craft, design and technology with Aston Martin’s established high-performance expertise,’’ Bez says.
The last Lagonda before the new show car was a boxy, ugly car built from 1976 to 1989.
But it had some advanced technol- ogy, including a digital dashboard and computerised enginemanagement control. Only 645 were built. ‘‘An Aston Martin demands to be driven. A Lagonda demands a destination,’’ Bez says.
Way forward: Aston Martin’s Lagonda Concept and (below) the One-77 were revealed at the Geneva Motor Show.