The Lagonda brand will form the basis of a new line of luxury electric saloon and SUV models, Aston Martin announced in Geneva
Alongside the more consumer-friendly EVs on show in Geneva, it’s always good to have a touch of luxury – and the UK-based Aston Martin accepts little else. Yet its recent commitments to going 100% electric by the end of the next decade – and fully hybrid by the mid-2020s – mean that many more of its new models will include batteries.
This week saw the sports car maker present a new concept based on its Lagonda saloon model. This, it said, marked the beginning of “a new range of state of the art, emission-free luxury vehicles”. What’s more, unlike many of the fancy concepts promised at these shows, the Lagonda looks likely to become a reality – Aston Martin intends to begin production in 2021.
As with any new EV premiered today, the drivers here are electrification and autonomous technology. Working in a similar approach to a number of other AV designers, Aston Martin has done away with the front-facing seats and instead created the reversible and inward-looking lounge design that is becoming common in autonomous prototypes. Meanwhile, the movable steering wheel can be switched from left to right hand drive according to need – an idea that ElecTrans expects may catch on – or can be retracted entirely. In addition, Lagonda Vision doesn’t have a bonnet – because there’s nothing to store under it.
As a concept, this is but a “Vision” of how the brand might look, but on display at the show Aston Martin has included two 40% scale model – one coupe concept and one SUV concept – to give an idea of how the Lagonda “design language” could be adapted.
That language also includes rear hinged doors – seemingly becoming increasingly popular in the EV world – and roof sections which open up to allow passengers in.
There are less details as to the powertrain side of the Vision, but evo reports that solid-state battery packs will be mounted in the floor and will power four motors – one in each wheel – with independent torque vectoring.
“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,’ added Aston Martin president and CEO Dr Andy Palmer. “Lagonda exists to challenge that thinking and prove that being modern and luxurious are not mutually exclusive concepts.”
The plan is to build both of the Lagonda models at the company’s new St Athan factory in Wales.
In June 2017, Aston Martin announced that its first EV, the RapidE, will go on sale in 2019 in an exclusive production run of just 155 vehicles.
Based upon the forthcoming Rapide AMR concept, the RapidE is a four-door sports car with the stylings of the company’s Rapide S, and all-electric powertrain which replaces the six-litre V12 engine. Oxfordshire-based Williams Advanced Engineering is the company’s lead engineering partner – the same firm that helped developed the original 2015 RapidE concept – and will be tasked with building the powertrain.