New Photos of the Aston Martin Lagonda Emerge

Enjoy the images, because this rare luxe saloon will only be sold in the Middle East—for now.
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Enjoy the images, because this rare luxe saloon will only be sold in the Middle East—for now.
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Aston Martin has released the first official photos of its lustworthy Lagonda super sports saloon. And, like the outrageous OPEC oil crisis-era Lagondas of the 1970s, they're making us wish we lived in the Persian Gulf.  

The Lagonda sedan has always been a very rare species. The first, the so-called Series 1 of 1974-75, was a lovely and curvaceous four-door, stretched from the brand’s muscular V8 Grand Touring coupe. Only seven were made. 

But even if seven thousand had been made, they still would have been eclipsed by their immediate successor: the Series 2 Lagonda, which launched in 1976. This evolution ditched the entire design history of Aston Martin—and pretty much every other vehicle, ever—for an outrageous and impossibly rectilinear wedge shape. To call it imposing would be an understatement. It looked like something that might be driven by the tyrannical overlord of a Lunar mining colony. This thing was so far out—and so long and low—it actually became the horizon.

The lunacy continued unabated in the Series 2’s interior, with button-tufted leather, side window privacy curtains, and hundreds if not thousands of sliders, switches, and touch-pad buttons scattered randomly about the cabin, some of which apparently “regulated" the “function" of the various “advanced” LED, cathode ray tube, and vacuum fluorescent dashboard displays that were fitted to the car during its 11 year run. Naturally, none of this technology ever worked, but even sitting still—which the cars did a lot of—it had undeniable chutzpah.

Aston has come a long way, especially recently, having been granted invigoration by way of nearly $1 billion in new investment by Italian private equity fund Invendustrial and Mercedes-Benz. They’ve recently shown some unlikely concept cars—including the stripped down CC100, and the mid-engined DP-100, which debuted in the Sony video racing game Gran Turismo 6. So we were thrilled when they announced that they are preparing to overreach again with the Lagonda.

We’re told that this super-sports saloon is meant to compete with uber-luxurious vehicles like the Rolls Royce Phantom and Bentley Mulsanne, and will have the size and power to match (though it will be more sporting). We‘re also told it will be available in extremely limited numbers, will likely cost more than $500,000, and will be available solely—at least initially—to consumers in the Middle East.

So it is not surprising that the first official photos of the vehicle should show it completing a rigorous and near masochistic program of Hot Environment Testing in the Persian Gulf state of Oman. This month-long, 14,000-mile desert workout is taking place in temperatures that range from 90 to 120 degrees Fahrenheit. One particularly brutal round involves allowing the car’s interior to heat up to about 175 degrees Fahrenheit, apparently to simulate parking it in the lot of the Dubai Mall, during the peak of summer, while attempting to visit all 1200 shops located there.

Though Aston is remaining tight lipped about what will underpin or power the new Lagonda, we understand that it will be built on a heavily adapted version of the VH architecture on which all of their current vehicles ride—meaning, a lightweight aluminum structure. We also hear that it will have carbon fiber and aluminum body panels, and will be powered by their delicious 6.0-liter V12 engine, producing a horsepower figure in the high 500s, or beyond.

Though the photos show a vehicle with an impossibly capacious and private rear seating compartment—look at the size of that rear pillar, and the way the back seat barely protrudes from behind it in the interior photos—our recent experience of Aston’s delightful driving dynamics convinces us that we would plan to sit up front, behind the steering wheel. This position will also provide us with the best view of whatever futuristic new technology we hope will appear in the dashboard. Perhaps something controlled by brainwaves?

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