Aston Martin chairman and CEO Dr Ulrich Bez has confirmed that the company is working to ensure a full-sized SUV that will carry the Lagonda name will reach production.
When asked about the state of the plans first made public with the reveal of the controversial Lagonda concept at the Geneva show in 2009, Bez replied, ‘have we got prototypes running around getting ready for production? No. Is it something that’s still on the radar? Absolutely yes."
It is believed the recently announced ‘technical partnership’ between Mercedes tuning division AMG and Aston Martin is what has provided the impetus to turn the idea of an Aston SUV into an intention. Referring to the VW Touareg and Porsche Cayenne, Bez said, “If you look at how Porsche and Volkswagen worked together to produce two completely different cars, it would be possible to have a similar arrangement with Mercedes so long as our car was clearly and distinctly an Aston Martin.”
The wording is significant because the original plan was to relaunch Lagonda as a brand on its own. Now and partly informed by the collapse of Mercedes’ premium brand Maybach, the Lagonda name will be used, but as a model, not a marque.
“In places where this car must sell, like China, no-one has even heard of Lagonda,” said Bez. “We are working hard to build Aston Martin over there so what’s the point of doing it all over again with a name no-one knows? We can call the car Lagonda, and even put the Lagonda wings on it, but it would be an Aston Martin Lagonda.”
With ink barely dry on the AMG contract, no-one is talking about a possible timeframe in which the Lagonda might appear, although it seems likely that the very first fruits of the collaboration are a minimum of two years away.
The most likely scenario for the Lagonda is that it would be based on the next generation of M-class which, given Mercedes' current lifecycles, would time its arrival for some time in 2017.