Lagonda is not only a legendary name in the automotive world, but the brand that was established by former opera singer Wilbur Gunn back in 1906 has also enjoyed being associated with Aston Martin ever since the late David Brown made it part of the AM empire in 1947. The company is well known among luxury car enthusiasts who remember it for beautiful creations like the 1964 Rapide or the way-ahead-of-its time Aston Martin Lagonda from 1989. Now, Lagonda is back again, with Aston Martin using the name to give us a glimpse of what a luxury car of the future may look like.
First things first: According to Aston Martin, the future is electric and it includes autonomous driving. While companies like Porsche refuse to fully embrace the idea of a robot driver, Lagonda, acting as a stand-alone brand again, embraces it as part of its idea for luxury personal transportation in the future. The Lagonda Vision Concept that was unveiled to the world at the Geneva Motor Show this week is powered by solid-state electric batteries that give it a range of 640km, and offers its owner the option of driving or being driven.
The car does have a steering wheel, but this can retract completely and the driver can then turn into a passenger by swiveling his chair 180 degrees, leaving the driving task to the Level 4-capable brain of the car. This means he or she will then be able to fully enjoy the cabin while sitting face to face with the rear-seat passengers. Said cabin is a place that puts many a VIP lounge to shame with the level of luxury and comfort it provides. In an attempt to use materials rarely seen in cars, the team behind this concept vehicle has combined silk carpets with handwoven wool upholstery, carbon-fiber trim and ceramic tiles that function as controls for the ventilation and the onboard stereo.
Aston Martin says that the Lagonda Vision Concept is a preview of the design language that will find its way into production cars from as early as 2021, which would mean a spectacular-looking addition to traffic on our roads. Anyone driving or even just getting in and out of this futuristic transporter is guaranteed to be the center of attention, not least thanks to the way passengers enter and exit this electric vehicle. In addition to rear-hinged back doors, a section of the roof also opens up, allowing passengers to literally walk in and out of the car.
With the car’s sweeping design and ultra-opulent interior, Lagonda has created a bold statement of what automotive extravagance may look like in the years to come. Gone will be the days when big V8 and V12 engines took pride of place—and a lot of space—at the front of huge limousines, to be replaced by rolling lounges that make full use of the additional space freed up with the use of an electric powertrain. Combine this with the quieter ride that electric motors provide and you’re onto a surefire winner that should satisfy even the most demanding passengers—as long as their bank account is fully charged, of course.