Aston Martin has always been one to defy paradigms. Their James Bond designs for the DB series is a perfect example of a car that looks and performs way away from the regular brook of automotive things. Now, Aston Martin wants to veer from the usual design of cars into the future realm.
This is the vision of their Lagonda, a new concept vehicle that is, as Aston Martin says, a fusion of luxury, technology and design. The “Lagonda Vision Concept” wants to be the first zero emission luxury brand to hit the road in a period where electrification has become the future standard.
“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,” said Aston Martin EVP and Chief Creative Officer, Marek Reichman.
The Lagonda ‘Vision Concept’ is a near future study that previews the design language that could potentially be seen in production Lagonda models as soon as 2021. Alongside the new concept, two 40 per cent scale models will be displayed, one coupe concept and one SUV concept, to illustrate how the Lagonda design language could be adapted for the future.
“Lagonda has no need to occupy a huge amount of road space or make an ostentatious wealth statement. It is like comparing Concorde to the first class cabin of a conventional airliner. By ditching traditional architecture like Parthenon grilles and massive frontal areas, and by using electrical power, Lagonda design can still be distinctive and luxurious without being grandiose. It offers its customers a thoroughly modern, emission-free form of super-luxurious mobility,” continues Reichmann.
The Vision Concept showcases Lagonda design ingenuity. Both far shorter and lower than traditional limousines, the exceptional space efficiency that has been achieved by its radical design means there is room inside for four adults, each of two metres height or more, to stretch out in luxurious comfort.
Far more than any orthodox design, the Lagonda Vision Concept was designed from the inside out because that is what the architecture allows. With no need to package a vast internal combustion engine, gearbox and transmission, Lagonda’s designers could optimise the interior down to the smallest detail and then build up the exterior of the car around it.
For the interior Reichman and his team took further delight in defying convention, turning to the most traditional of households for the most visionary thinking. ‘How do you create a cabin that is at once unlike any other, capable of achieving a new level of luxury both in look and feel while staying true to Lagonda’s forward thinking vision? For me there was only one man for the job.’ The work of renowned British craftsman David Snowdon, has fascinated Reichman for years. His ability to marry materials, some very modern, others very established in ways that are never predictable held the key to the interior of the Lagonda Vision Concept.
As well as working with David Linley, Marek enlisted the support of Savile Row tailors, Henry Poole for their expert knowledge in tailoring luxury materials. When the decision was made to use hand woven wool the master tailors of Henry Poole were able to assist in creating the patterns, cutting the material and the detailed finishing to ensure that a perfectly trimmed seat was achieved on the Lagonda ‘Vision Concept’.
The Lagonda Vision Concept also anticipates a world with a high level of autonomy. 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.
The Lagonda Vision Concept has been configured to accept powerful solid state electric batteries enabling it to cover up to 400 real world miles between charges. That’s the distance from Los Angeles to San Francisco, London to Edinburgh or Berlin to Vienna without stopping. The concept has also has been designed to be compatible with the latest wireless conductive charging technology.
And while Aston Martin is sure that Wilbur Gunn, engineer founder and creator of Lagonda, will not recognize the product he lovingly created some 100 years ago, the builder in him will find that this new Lagonda is to his extreme liking.