The Aston Martin Lagonda is a bit of an ugly duckling, but it may be the most important car Aston has ever made.
The luxury four-door sedan was first built in 1976 out of financial necessity: Aston Martin was facing potential bankruptcy at the time. Up to that point, Aston had primarily focused on 2+2 sports cars, but the British manufacturer bit the bullet and commissioned the Lagonda in hopes that a more practical vehicle would bolster its finances. Luckily, the Lagonda came through, selling well enough to keep Aston from going under.
Without the Lagonda, there may never have been a V8 Vantage, DB9, or Vanquish Volante. Can you imagine a modern car world without Aston Martin? More importantly, what would James Bond have to drive?
Was the Lagonda a great car? No, quite the opposite. It was awkward and stretched in its appearance, and its impressive array of technology, which included the world’s first touch-sensitive digital dashboard, rarely worked. In fact, Time Magazine included the Lagonda on its “50 Worst Cars of All Time” list. Ouch.
Despite its reputation, Autoblog reports that the Lagonda may be making a comeback, and it may boost Aston’s financials yet again. Despite having a successful 2013, Aston suffered a $39.3 million pre-tax loss in 2012 and is still in a fragile economic state.
The new Lagonda will not be an SUV as previously reported. It appears to be based on the current Rapide S, although on a larger wheelbase. Like the Rapide, the Lagonda will house a version of Aston’s AM11 V12, which produces 550 horsepower.
In other news, Aston Martin recently announced a new marriage with Mercedes, in which it will gain twin-turbo V8’s, transmission, and electronics from the Germans. There’s also a brand new sports car platform on the way, so maybe things are looking up after all.
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