There has been an awful lot of people with an awful lot to say about Aston Martin’s new Lagonda concept. Having been at the car’s unveiling and heard some of the sharp intakes of breath when the cover came off, I’d have to agree that it’s not the most visually appealing car the company has ever created.
For what it’s worth, I think the decision to take so much design inspiration for it from the low, sleek, pre-war ‘LG6’-based V12 Lagonda was a bad one. If Aston is intent on making an ‘allroad supercar’, it shouldn’t try, either through the marketing material or by the car’s design, to disguise it as something else. If Land Rover decided to make an uber-Range Rover, you can bet it would look a lot less mixed up than this.
However, it’s important to recognise that Aston launched this car to the wrong audience. It doesn’t really matter what you, or me, or anyone else living in western Europe thinks about the way this car looks or what it represents. It’s a car for Moscow, Mumbai, Beijing and Buenos Aires.
Isn’t it a bit odd, therefore, that Aston should chose to launch it at Geneva rather than the Beijing show in six weeks’ time? Maybe the decision was taken for budgetary reasons, maybe because Geneva is such a significant show historically. But, for me, that too was the wrong decision.
But even if you don’t like the new Lagonda, what it promises to do for Aston Martin – by improving Gaydon’s relationship with Mercedes – is to prepare the ground for the company’s next generation of sports cars. Don’t forget that Mercedes is just finishing the development of the SLS sports car, with its carbon fibre-rich construction, inboard pushrod suspension and transaxle twin-clutch gearbox.
If Aston could get its hands on those mechanicals, imagine what the next DB9 could be like.