INTERNATIONAL - Aston Martin unveiled the new Lagonda Vision Concept at the Geneva Auto Show, an all-electric sedan that heralds the revival of the special, high-end Lagonda line that has been all but extinct for more than two decades.
“The Lagonda Vision Concept is our plan for the rebirth of a great brand,” says Andy Palmer, president and chief executive officer of Aston Martin Lagonda Ltd. “It’s a new kind of luxury car from the first-ever, 100 percent battery-electric, luxury car brand.”
Palmer didn’t give many details about the new car, which, after all, is only a conceptual exercise, but he did say the Vision Concept will get 400 miles on one charge—enough to drive from Los Angeles to San Francisco in one sitting. It will have self-driving capability and zero emissions.
Inside, it seats four on chairs that swivel forward and back, plus a steering wheel that moves from side to side or disappears altogether. The cabin is outfitted in British wool, silk, and cashmere.
“It’s meant to feel like moving up to the Concorde from first class,” Palmer says. Production at the 114-year-old Lagonda brand will begin by 2021 at the company’s factory in Wales; a second model may arrive by 2023. Lagonda made a brief reappearance with a limited-run $1 million model in 2015, but the marque has otherwise been dormant.
The debut follows Aston Martin’s recent news of surging demand, with sales gaining 58 percent in 2017, to 5,117 units, the highest in nine years. Revenue jumped 48 percent to a record 876 million pounds ($1.2 billion). All this came largely from rising demand in North America, the U.K., and China, espeically for the DB11 and “special models,” Palmer says.
“The financial turnaround of Aston Martin is now complete,” he says, which will help fund the development of Lagonda and the long-rumored, four-door, “DBX” crossover. That model is expected to be seen, at least in concept form, by early next year.
Along with the Lagonda, Aston Martin showed the 1,100-horsepower Valkyrie AMR Pro, a track-only evolution of the marque’s hypercar that has performance capabilities comparable to those of a Formula One car—and a top speed of more than 223 miles per hour. It’s the most powerful Aston Martin ever made.
Aston Martin also displayed an all-new Vantage coupe, the V8 DB11 Volante convertible, and the V8 DB11 Coupe. The DB11 is the best-selling Aston Martin in history. This was the first time both derivatives of the DB11 and the new Vantage have been shown together.