First-ever 100% battery electric luxury car with self-driving capability and zero emissions
BY HANNAH ELLIOTT / Pic By BLOOMBERG
Aston Martin unveiled the new Lagonda Vision Concept at the Geneva Auto Show, an all- electric sedan that heralds the revival of the special high-end Lagonda line that has been all but extinct for more than two decades.
“The Lagonda Vision Concept is our plan for the rebirth of a great brand,” Aston Martin president and CEO Andy Palmer said on Tuesday. “It’s a new kind of luxury car from the first-ever 100% battery electric luxury car brand.”
Palmer didn’t give many details about the new car, which after all is only a conceptual exercise, but he did say the Vision Concept will get 400 miles (643.74km) on one charge — enough to drive from Los Angeles to San Francisco in one sitting. It will have self-driving capability and zero emissions.
Inside, it has seating for four on chairs that swivel forward and back, plus a steering wheel that moves side to side, or disappears altogether. The cabin is outfitted in British wool, silk and cashmere.
“It’s meant to feel like moving up to the Concorde from First Class,” Palmer said. Production at the 114-year-old Lagonda brand will begin by 2021 at the company’s factory in Wales, and a second model may arrive by 2023. Lagonda did make a brief appearance with a limited-run US$1 million (RM3.9 million) model in 2015, but the marque has otherwise been dormant.
The debut follows Aston Martin’s recent news of surging demand, with sales gaining 58% in 2017 to 5,117 units, the highest in nine years. Revenue jumped 48% to a record £876 million (RM4.73 billion). All of this came largely from rising demand in North America, the UK and China, espeically for the DB11 and “special models”, Palmer said.
“The financial turnaround of Aston Martin is now complete,” he said, which will help fund the development of Lagonda and the long- rumoured forthcoming four-door “DBX” crossover. That model is expected to be seen, at least in concept form, by early next year.
Along with the Lagonda, Aston Martin showed the 1,100hp Valkyrie AMR Pro, a track-only evolution of the marque’s hypercar that has performance capabilities like a Formula One (F1) car — and a top speed of more than 223 miles per hour. It’s the most powerful Aston Martin ever made.
Aston Martin also showed an all-new Vantage coupe, the V8 DB11 Volante convertible and the V8 DB11 Coupe. The DB11 is the best- selling Aston Martin in history. This was the first time both derivatives of the DB11 and the new Vantage have been shown together. — Bloomberg