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Aston reimagines Lagonda with Vision Concept. Image by Aston Martin.

Aston reimagines Lagonda with Vision Concept
Fully electric, styling like no other car inside and out and self-driving too; this is the Lagonda Vision Concept.
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What in the blue blazes is this thing?

It's an Aston Martin Lagonda, for 2021 and beyond. It's called the Vision Concept and it has gone on show in Geneva, at some car event that's going on there, or something.

Lagonda? What, like the William Towns thing from the 1970s?

Well, yes. Sort of. You see, Lagonda began in the early 1900s as a marque in its own right, eventually being subsumed into Aston Martin in 1947 when David Brown snapped up the bankrupt brand. And while it was used for the designed-with-a-set-square, but bizarrely brilliant Towns Lagonda model of the 1970s, and again for the Middle East-focused Taraf of a few years back, Aston has always been toying with reviving Lagonda as a sub-marque in its own right. And here's how the Lagondas are going to look.

It's a bit outlandish, isn't it?

It is, but as the Lagonda Vision Concept is a fully electric, Level 4 autonomous luxury saloon, Aston wanted to differentiate it from its regular range of more organic vehicles. But it's not just wildly striking - it's clever. All its solid-state batteries are housed in the floor and there's enough capacity in them to take the Lagonda 400 miles between charges. That minimal packaging means no engine, no gearbox and no transmission, so while the cabin (designed with the help of English furniture guru David Linley, who suggested marrying modern materials like carbon fibre and ceramic with more traditional fittings, such as cashmere and silk) can take four six-footers with ease, the actual footprint of the Lagonda is smaller than most high-end luxury saloons. You access that cabin, by the way, by big doors that swing up and outwards, meaning you can walk onboard the Vision Concept if you so wish. And the steering wheel in the cabin can slide from left to right, meaning the Lagonda can be configured for whatever side of the road you're driving on (country permitting, natch), while in autonomous mode it retracts away into the dashboard and the front seats swivel round to face the rears. All very convivial.

Who designed this version of the Lagonda, then?

Overall? It would be Marek Reichman, Aston Martin's EVP and chief creative officer, who said: "The Lagonda Vision Concept is an incredibly bold design statement. 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."

Will the Lagonda range genuinely go on sale?

Yes, Aston is committed to starting production by 2021 and alongside the Lagonda Vision Concept at the Geneva show were two 40 per cent scale models, of two further concepts - one coupe, one SUV. Aston's CEO, Dr Andy Palmer, further added: "For owners of true luxury cars, autonomy has existed for over a century, in a carbon-based form called a chauffeur. 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 too. Lagonda will provide that choice."

Matt Robinson - 6 Mar 2018

2018 Aston Martin Lagonda Vision concept. Image by Aston Martin.2018 Aston Martin Lagonda Vision concept. Image by Aston Martin.2018 Aston Martin Lagonda Vision concept. Image by Aston Martin.2018 Aston Martin Lagonda Vision concept. Image by Aston Martin.2018 Aston Martin Lagonda Vision concept. Image by Aston Martin.    - Aston Martin road tests
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