Aston Martin is preparing to launch 'two or three' new Lagonda models, CEO Ulrich Bez has confirmed to CAR. In a wide-ranging interview with our European editor Georg Kacher in the new June 2011 issue, Dr Bez revealed numerous details about the plan to relaunch the Lagonda brand.
The new-generation Lagondas are to include a sporty crossover, an Allroad-type crossover and a high-end luxury saloon following in the footsteps of the William Towns-designed boxy 1976 Aston Martin Lagonda, CAR understands.
Make no mistake - Aston has serious plans for its dormant luxury sub division.
Aston Martin's first 4x4: the Lagonda crossover
We're still recovering from the shock of the 2009 Lagonda concept car, a high-riding luxury crossover shown by Aston at the Geneva motor show to announce the return of this famous brand. Insiders say it was deliberately provocative to gauge whether there was space for the Lagonda brand, which will appeal to customers in markets such as Russia where they can't drive their Astons every day of the year.
The concept Lagonda crossover's styling has been fettled somewhat by AML design pencil-in-chief Marek Reichman, and CAR understands that the 4x4 will be derived from the new Mercedes M-class out later in 2011. Merc and Aston have been talking for some years about collaboration, as first revealed by CAR Magazine in 2008.
Lagonda: a range of 4x4s
There will in fact be two different Lagonda crossovers - an emphatically sporty one with 21in wheels and a low-riding chassis, and an Audi Allroad-type vehicle that might attract the odd Range Rover customer.
'Lagonda cannot survive as a one-model brand,' Aston Martin CEO Ulrich Bez told CAR in an interview in the new June 2011 issue. 'That´s why we are looking at two, maybe three different offerings. The most logical follow-up to the crossover is a high-end, high-visibility luxury saloon not unlike the angular Lagonda designed by William Towns which was not only very different because of its high-tech electronic dashboard.'
A Lagonda saloon boxset!
This is indeed what Dr Bez appears to be talking about. Previously Aston Martin had been debating a reskinned sibling of the all-new Maybach, but this proposition now looks increasingly iffy.
The third car to wear the Lagonda name has been described by one insider as project Swan. Like the Cygnet, it would combine traditional luxury with advanced packaging and a sophisticated drivetrain. Does that mean a Mercedes hybrid powertrain? Time will tell.