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Lagonda has played different roles within Aston Martin over the decades, ever since the once-standalone British marque was folded into its parent company. Half a century ago, Lagonda was an occasional, low-volume sedan sub-brand within Aston Martin, one which David Brown had a hard time convincing even his personal friends to buy. The Lagonda that we remember best is the angular William Towns sedan of the 1970s, with bodywork sharp enough to give you a paper cut, and with “Star Trek: The Motion Picture”-style controls that rarely worked. Lagonda’s most recent reappearance was in the form of a very long and and very expensive sedan called the Taraf that gave a nod to the now-classic William Towns design.

Thanks to increased interest in electric cars, Lagonda may finally prove to be more than just an occasional four-door flagship with a polarizing design. At the Geneva auto show, Aston Martin took the wraps off the Lagonda Vision Concept, previewing an electric luxury car range that could see a new battery-electric model by 2021.

The automaker also made clear its intention to turn Lagonda into its own EV sub-brand, aiming for more than just the occasional electric sedan.

“Lagonda aims to be the world’s first zero emission luxury brand,” Aston Martin said ahead of the concept’s debut. “It will confound traditional thinking and take full advantage of the latest advances in electrification and autonomous driving technologies, which amount to the biggest revolution in land-bound transportation since the invention of the car.”
 



2018 Lagonda vision concept interior

The spacious interior takes into account the upcoming autonomous tech.


The concept car itself previews an exterior design unconstrained by the placement of an engine up front, featuring a cab-forward layout with a long windshield that stretches all the way to the front of the tires, and a long rear cabin that is more a hatchback than a traditional fastback shape. The design of the Lagonda front fascia is still recognizable, featuring a resemblance to the Taraf, but it’s about the only thing on the outside that is familiar. The greenhouse and profile of the concept aim to maximize interior space, with suicide rear doors leading to the center of the rear wheels. If you look closely, you’ll notice that the rear doors themselves make up about half of the side surfaces of the vehicle itself, with the nose and tail sections accounting for relatively small portions of the overall length.

“The Lagonda Vision Concept is an incredibly bold design statement,” said Aston Martin EVP and Chief Creative Officer, Marek Reichman. “The electrification revolution means there is no longer any need for horse and carriage design, and our new concept shows the scope of design opportunities that open up once you no longer need to provide space for a large power source directly in front of the passenger compartment. In the Lagonda Vision Concept, the batteries occupy the floor of the car. Everything above that line belongs to us.”

If the exterior seems alien, the interior may well be from a sci-fi film set in the 22nd century. The long interior holds four seats — normal enough — but the individual rear seats are positioned against the back wall while the front seats can rotate to face the rear in a conference-style layout. The steering wheel is still there, but it also appears to be from the 22nd century, housing a screen in the center and featuring two C-shaped handles that don’t quite complete a rhombus-shaped circle. Unlike the thin upholstery most concept cars, the seats in the Lagonda Vision Concept actually look well-padded and comfortable.

“Because the majority of the car’s structural strength comes through its floor, it has been possible to use apertures in the body far larger than would be wise in conventional cars,” Aston Martin said. “As a result, the rear hinged back doors don’t just open outwards, the roof sections also open upwards to provide unprecedented ease of access. Occupants can therefore literally stand up inside and walk out of the car, or step straight into it. Similarly, the front seats are not mounted on conventional runners which always interfere with where those in the back would like to place their feet, but instead sit on cantilevered arms extending from the floor outside the seat frame providing a completely uncluttered floor area. And the seats are more like armchairs, with heavily bolstered arms because, given the choice people always use arms to lower and raise themselves from chairs.”
 



2018 Lagonda Vision concept rear

Aston Martin plans to bring the first electric Lagonda into production in 2021.


2019 Jaguar I-Pace



Just like the vast majority of recent EV concepts looking a decade or more out, the Lagonda Vision Concept imagines an autonomous future, but not a completely “mind-off” mode of driving where one can sleep on the way to the office.

“The Lagonda Vision Concept also anticipates a world with a high level of autonomy,” the automaker said. “Its design is commensurate with Level Four autonomous driving, meaning the car is capable of driving itself in all routine circumstances and on all recognizable roads. As a result, the steering wheel can not only move from left- to right-hand drive according to need, in autonomous mode it can also retract entirely allowing front seat passengers to rotate through 180 degrees to engage in face to face conversation with those in the back. In the meantime, the car will not only have 360-degree awareness of the world around it, but also be fully connected to it, allowing occupants unprecedented access to bespoke concierge services and a level of connectivity and cyber-security few enjoy in their own homes, let along their cars.”

If the exterior and interior seem too futuristic, the concept’s range is a well-grounded 400 miles. That’s not out of reach today, even if the starting price of any Lagonda will remain out of reach for most. Aston Martin does not intend for any Lagonda to be a mass-market car, and its advanced features and technology will place it into the top tier of electric cars, though perhaps not on par with some of the wilder production-intended EVs like the Faraday Future FF91.

When will this vision of the future arrive? Aston Martin hopes to bring the first electric Lagonda to market by 2021, which is not that far away, and perhaps yet another Lagonda model by 2023.













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