Unveiled to a stunned, somewhat horrified audience at the Geneva Motor Show last week, the Aston Martin Lagonda Concept now appears slated to transform from an ugly pipedream into an ugly reality. According to Aston Martin CEO Ulrich Bez, the new Lagonda could begin production in as little as three years, hitting the market in 2012/13. Built on the same platform currently underpinning the Mercedes-Benz GL class, the new Aston Martin Lagonda is, by standard definition, an SUV, but attempts to reconcile its massive 20-foot-long body with the traditional styling of W.O. Bentley’s Lagonda LG6. Beneath the pre-war inspired hood, the Lagonda Concept is powered by a standard gasoline V12 engine, but Bez says they are already exploring both diesel and hybrid powertrain options.
To those unfamiliar with the history of the Lagonda, the Concept variant appears to be a truly ugly specimen utterly void of rhyme or reason. While we’ll admit we agree with the ugly assessment, now that the initial shock has faded, we’ve begun to develop a begrudging respect for the throwback Aston. Mercifully absent of any noticeable William-Towns-circa-1976 influence, Bez expects the new Lagonda to revive the original theme of cutting edge design and unparalleled innovation, opening new doors (no pun intended) for the Aston-Martin brand as a whole.
Catering to the privileged upper class and thus assumed impervious to the global auto crisis, Aston Martin nevertheless suffered a significant blow in 2008 with sales falling by 13.5% to only 6,400 units. Bez hopes the new Lagonda will help break this trend and allow Aston-Martin to break into new markets, expanding Aston Martin’s global outreach to include 100 more countries.
Source: Auto News Europe (sub. req.’d) via AutoBlog