Aston Martin reaffirms plans to build Lagonda SUV

Aston Martin Lagonda front three-quarter viewLamborghini, Bentley, and Maserati are not the only unusual names jumping on the SUV bandwagon. Aston Martin could be the next exotic brand to build one. The British company showed a concept SUV called the Lagonda at the 2009 Geneva Motor Show, but later shelved it. Now, it looks like the Lagonda is back on.

Aston sees the Lagonda as a way to expand into the Chinese market, where customers care more about luxury and interior space than performance. Since the company makes nothing but sports cars, Aston officials thought it would be a good idea to diversify the range in order to cater to China. Aston also expects sales in North America and Europe to remain low, due to the sluggish economy, so China is an important way for the company to keep revenue up.

The production Lagonda will probably be very different from the 2009 concept. That car’s styling was panned, and rightfully so. Like Bentley with EXP 9 F concept, Aston Martin seems to have had trouble adapting its signature styling cues to a bulkier body.

What will be underneath the new sheetmetal? The Lagonda was supposed to be the first product of a partnership between Aston Martin and Mercedes-Benz. The Aston SUV would be based on the Mercedes GL and, in return, Aston would build Maybach sedans. Since Maybach is going away, that plan seems unlikely. Aston might have to design its SUV itself, since it has no corporate siblings to borrow a platform from.

The Lagonda name could also change. Lagonda is the name of a carmaker that Aston Martin acquired in 1947, and slapped on a luxury sedan in the 1970s. Aston was toying with the idea of creating a Lagonda sub-brand, with an SUV and sedan, but for now those plans have been put on hold. The Aston SUV will not be the first model in a new brand, so it doesn’t necessarily need to be named Lagonda. Aston CEO Ulrich Bez said a new SUV concept will be shown in a few months, which means it could be ready for the Paris Motor Show.

It is not surprising that Aston Martin is resurrecting the Lagonda SUV, since most of its rivals are planning SUVs of their own. Lamborghini showed the Urus at the Beijing Motor Show, and Maserati is getting ready to roll out its Jeep Grand Cherokee-based Kubang. Bentley showed its EXP 9 F concept at Geneva, and is moving ahead with a production version despite negative reviews. 

Car companies like Aston Martin and its rivals like to say that they stand for some higher form of automotive art, but in the end they are still businesses. An SUV gives Aston access to customers that would never consider a sports car. That means more sales, which is what business is all about.

Product Review

Mercedes-Benz updates the timeless G-wagen for the modern world

For decades, the G-Class has been an outlier in the Mercedes-Benz portfolio, a body-on-frame brute with the soul – and driving manners – of an off-road pickup. With the all-new G550, Mercedes seeks to smooth out some of the rough edges.

From arcade to simulation, here are the best racing games of all time

From serious sims to carnage-fueled arcade racers to cartoonish animated racers with items galore, we collected racing games of all different stripes from multiple eras of video games. Here are the best.

Aston Martin’s next hypercar, due in 2021, will pack a hybrid powertrain punch

Aston Martin will follow up the Valkyrie and Valkyrie AMR Pro with a new hypercar, code-named Project 003. The car will debut in 2021, with production limited to 500 units worldwide.
Movies & TV

'Prime'-time TV: Here are the best shows on Amazon Prime right now

There's more to Amazon Prime than free two-day shipping, including access to a number of phenomenal shows at no extra cost. To make the sifting easier, here are our favorite shows currently streaming on Amazon Prime.

Watch a modified Audi e-tron electric SUV drive straight up a ski slope

A modified Audi e-tron climbed up an 85-percent gradient on an Austrian ski slope in a tribute to a classic Audi commercial. The vehicle used for the stunt sported an extra electric motor and spiked tires.

Mamma mia! Alfa Romeo will unveil a new model at the Geneva Auto Show

Alfa Romeo told Digital Trends it will unveil a new model at the 2019 Geneva Auto Show. It stopped short of revealing what it has in store, but rumors claim it will be a crossover positioned below the Stelvio.

Citroën says you could drive its tiny Ami One electric car without a license

Citroën's Ami One concept car is an electric vehicle that's as cute as it is compact. The miniature motor only has a top speed of 28 mph, so the French automaker imagines it as a shareable runaround for short drives.

Arizona city slammed with $10M lawsuit over fatal Uber autonomous car accident

The family of Elaine Herzberg, the woman struck and killed by one of Uber's self-driving prototypes, has filed a $10 million lawsuit against the city of Tempe, Arizona. They claim Herzberg jaywalked because she was confused by a brick…

Mercedes lets the sun shine in one last time with SLC Final Edition convertible

The Mercedes-Benz SLC convertible sports car is going out of production. Launched in 1996 as the SLK, the model has been a fixture in the Mercedes-Benz lineup across three generations.

Apple opens up about its self-driving car program in letter to NHTSA

Apple has traditionally kept details about its self-driving car technology under wraps, but it has revealed details about the program in a rare instance of openness. The company takes safety seriously.

Tesla will release fully self-driving cars in 2019 — with a big asterisk

Tesla reaffirmed its goal of releasing a fully self-driving car by the end of 2019, but it warned the system won't work perfectly 100 percent of the time. Convincing regulators that it's safe to use will require some effort, too.

Consumer Reports bumps the Tesla Model 3 off of its list of recommended models

The Tesla Model 3 is one of the six new cars that have lost their coveted Recommended rating from Consumer Reports over reliability concerns. In 2018, Model 3 owners reported body trim falling off and problems with the car's glass.

Lyft’s Shared Saver service offers cheaper rides, but you’ll have to walk a little

Lyft has launched a new ride option called Shared Saver that offers cheaper rides if you're willing to walk a little. Shared Saver designates a nearby pick-up point and drops you off a short distance from your final destination.

Has Apple rebooted its self-driving car program to develop autonomous vans?

The on-again, off-again Apple car is back on track, but it's not a sedan or a hatchback. It will arrive as an electric, autonomous passenger-carrying van, according to a recent report.