THE LAGONDA NAME will return to permanent use with a new large saloon in 2021 and a large SUV in 2022, with boss Andy Palmer confirming that the models are now firmly part of Aston Martin’s ongoing future business plans. “The Lagonda brand is still here today with the Taraf saloon, but we intend to make far more of it in the future,” said Palmer. “It exists at the ultra-luxury end of the market alongside Rolls-Royce and Bentley, and it is this high-end customer we are looking at.”
Taraf production was limited to 200 units and the car, initially intended for sale in the Middle East only but then sold in the US and UK, was priced from £685,000 – more than a Rolls-Royce Phantom and Bentley Mulsanne combined but in line with the average price that a customer spends on such cars. Palmer confirmed that Lagonda styling will differ greatly from that of Aston Martins, to the extent that there will be little or no family resemblance. “Lagonda was established in 1906 but, because of its history, isn’t a brand burdened by heritage,” said Palmer. “We want elegance, of course, but I’d prefer to embrace change than heritage. The designers have been told to uncouple their ideas from the past and create a new direction.
“The team must focus on what the needs of the customers for such cars are today, not what they were in the past. That means asking super-wealthy customers in the US, China and the Middle East – and other regions -what is important and giving it to them with no compromises. We are laying down the foundations fora long history for the brand. Look at what Bentley was before it was acquired by Volkswagen to where it is today. “If we can bring two cars to the market that meets customer needs, then we have the legitimacy of history to allow us to use the brand as part of our future.”
Lagonda was established in 1906 and has been owned by Aston Martin since 1947. It has been dormant for numerous years during its history, but its revival briefly gained momentum when then Aston boss Ulrich Bez proposed launching an SUV using the name in 2009. Despite the prescience of that move, a poor reaction to the concept design plus the global economic crisis led to the project being binned.