Just who is the big technology firm Aston Martin Lagonda is working with to develop the Lagonda Vision concept into production for 2021?
Aston originally wanted to announce the partner at the same time as the concept’s Geneva motor show reveal, given that the concept is intended to showcase the electrified and autonomous car of the future as well as a luxury one.
Even more so, given that Aston is definitely not known for is cutting edge in-car infotainment; the confirmation of the technology partner would give greater credibility to the claims Lagonda is a game-changer in integrating technology into a luxury car.
There’s no announcement because the deal isn’t quite done yet. We understand that talks are ongoing still with a small number of some of the biggest names in Silicon Valley. Aston is talking to two to three firms maximum, but most seriously of all with just the one firm, unnamed still by all sources. Aston has a preference, and a deal is imminent.
The deal will bring a huge Silicon Valley name into the development of an exciting, start-up-style car from one of the most evocative brands in the world. There is a consensus in Silicon Valley among the big tech names that they will not make physical cars in the traditional sense, so the Lagonda project presents itself as from a proven, viable car maker that rejects most industry conventions and embraces technology at its core.
The obvious name is Apple. Lagonda is a premium product, as is Apple. Apple cancelled its own car development plans last year, yet remains attracted by the impact and riches that can be made from the automotive industry.
Aston’s design director, Marek Reichman, is a college contemporary of Apple’s design chief, Jonathan Ive, and Reichman is known to have visited Apple’s vast new headquarters early last autumn. He was back in Silicon Valley just last month as part of the Lagonda project, although his destination that time is unknown.
Apple was also the company name-checked most by Reichman when showing me the concept car last week, stating it was the kind of luxury car Apple or Google executives would drive instead of a Rolls-Royce or Bentley. In referencing the Lagonda’s extreme and unfamiliar design, he noted that, rather than be led by convention and evolution, Apple also came up with completely new concepts that people then bought.