Aston Martin Lagonda SUV
A new Lagonda, which is really a Mercedes M class, but with the heart, and XXL clothes of an Aston Martin. Confusing, but wait, it gets worse.
A quick rundown for those unfamiliar. Lagonda was a car company founded in 1899, the first production car was built in 1909 by an American in England. David brown, owner of Aston Martin, in 1947, bought Lagonda, because he wanted the use of the Lagonda engine, which was designed by Bentley. Confused? Good, me too.
This is the auto industry, of course, so unless you’ve been living under a rock for the last few decades you are probably at least a little familiar with “badge engineering”, which, from my point of view, is not the villain some make it out to be. It’s simply a fact, in our global marketplace this type of platform sharing should go on, and yet for the most part Aston Martin has been able to side step the practice. There are those that say Aston rebadges its own cars, and with their latest offering, the Virage, I couldn’t agree more. However, the biggest “cheat”, without a doubt, is the Cygnet. Basically a Toyota iQ that runs you around $50,000.00 to start. Emissions compliance? Must be, but who buys these? Moving on.
Aston Martin, some might say, may be having a bit of an identity issue, and from the look of the Lagonda it doesn’t appear to be getting any better. With one glance at the Lagonda, it would seem that Aston is keeping a tight grip on their current design idealism, and while many would bemoan that fact, it could be a welcome fact, if for no other reason than to be able to point out an Aston, and know for sure which one it is. For those who love them, you could never talk them out of it, but the pulse of the industry really does have Astons look, bar maybe the One-77, as getting a little long in the tooth. There’s little doubt, they are beautiful cars, but they were the same kind of beautiful 10 years ago.
Aston says the SUV will be going to markets where the Lagonda brand may be remembered, and as luck would have it, those same countries, basically Russia and China, have expanding luxury SUV market share growth. Under those circumstances, the idea doesn’t appear to be so crazy after all.
Aston is bringing back the Lagonda name, and they are pooling their resources to do it. No crime there, and I’ll give Aston an “A” for effort, but can they get people to buy an SUV that costs as much or more than a DBS, but looks more like a Cygnet on steroids? That’s the real question. I’m sure I’m not alone in hoping Aston can pull this off, most of us want to see Aston win in the end, and who knows, with an influx of cash, they just might design something that doesn’t look 10 years past its “sell by” date.
The latest word is Aston have taken on-board a lot of criticism about the proposed Lagonda and put it on hold, with plans instead to build a Lagonda sedan based on the current Rapide model. If this is true and they do indeed scrap the plans they currently have for the Lagonda, then they will save themselves a lot of time, money and reputation, and hopefully build something else much more likable.
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