Lagonda Vision Concept Introduced
Aston Martin will be reintroducing the Lagonda brand as the first marque devoted solely to zero-emission luxury vehicles. The British auto maker presented the 4-place Lagonda Vision Concept at the Geneva Motor Show as the first of what could be as many as three models. Production of the first may begin as early as 2021.
In addition to the full-size design concept, the Aston stand had two 40-percent scale models of coupe and SUV versions of the show car. Aston said these additional variants could be produced by 2023. No technical details were released on the Lagonda Vision, which is primarily a design exercise on the direction these future vehicles may take. The company did say it envisions a vehicle running on solid state batteries with a range of about 400 miles and the ability for wireless inductive charging within 15 minutes.
The low-slung luxury car features doors that slide open and portions that flip up to access both the front and rear seating areas through a B-pillarless design. The car is low to the ground, with a sleek roofline and short front and rear overhands.
Electric power key to the design
“The electrification revolution means there is no longer any need for horse and carriage design,” Marek Reichman, Aston Martin’s chief creative officer, said of the car’s look. “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.”
While the concept eschews a traditional hood and grille, Reichman said the shape needs to be sleek and dynamic to allow the vehicle to cut through the air as efficiently as possible to preserve battery life. “The shape of the Lagonda Vision Concept is the result of satisfying a number of different requirements,” he said. “The need to make a bold design statement, to establish Lagonda as a company of the future and to show how technological advancement can help liberate design, too.
Reichman turned to English furniture designer David Linley to develop a cabin that blends both modern and traditional materials. As a result, the interior uses not only carbon fiber and ceramics for a contemporary feel, it also blends rich materials like cashmeres and silks for the floor coverings and seating surfaces.
In addition to electrification, the Lagonda Vision Concept also anticipates a high level of autonomous capability. As a result, the steering wheel not only moves from left to right to accommodate both left- and right-hand drive markets, but also stows away entirely when the vehicle is in self-driving mode. Accordingly, the front seats can swivel 180 degrees to allow those passengers to directly interact with the rear seat occupants.
“For owners of true luxury cars, autonomy has existed for over a century, in a carbon-based form called a chauffeur,” said Andy Palmer, president and CEO of Aston Martin. “We imagine most Lagonda customers will choose to be driven, but whether by a person or a computer will be up to them. And if they want to drive themselves, the car will ensure that is a delightful and memorable experience. Lagonda will provide that choice.”