Fortune favours the brave. The new Lagonda All-Terrain Concept provides the world with the first clear indication of how the reborn brand plans to debut in 2021: with an undeniably grand entrance. Building on the success of the dramatic Lagonda Vision Concept from 2018, the All-Terrain Concept showcases the zero-emission luxury transportation of the very near future. Combining style and space, thanks to the efficiencies of its electric platform, the new Lagonda promises many forms of freedom.
As the world’s first luxury zero-emission brand, Lagonda has something important to demonstrate; that radical design and technology can be brought to bear on what was previously a very traditional sector. “The Lagonda All-Terrain Concept offers explicit clues regarding what will be the first Lagonda model to enter production,” explains Aston Martin CEO Dr Andy Palmer. “The concept further demonstrates how Lagonda’s zero-emission powertrain enables us to create spectacular cars that will radically redefine their sectors of the market.”
The All-Terrain Concept represents an evolution of the rakish design language debuted in the Lagonda Vision Concept. Aston Martin’s design team, led by Chief Creative Officer Marek Reichman and Design Director Miles Nurnberger, have shaped a svelte SUV with a sleek, rear-angled glasshouse that gives the upper surfaces a swept-back, dynamic feel. The bodywork is muscular and deeply sculpted, off-setting the car’s impressive ground clearance with recessed wheel arches that appear to envelop the impressively scaled bespoke wheels.
Technology is at the heart of this car. For a futurologist like Martin Raymond, co-founder of strategic forecasters The Future Laboratory, the implementation of technology will define tomorrow’s luxury. In particular, this new vision of the Lagonda brand aligns with current thinking on the future of high-end design. “What you’re seeing now is a big push against what we’re calling ‘uneasy luxury’,” he explains. “This is the idea that products that are unsourced, ostentatious and brash are being pushed back on by a new generation of consumers. The customer is wary of demonstrating values that are out of kilter with the planet.” Raymond points out that the young, wealthy entrepreneurial class typically has different values to those that went before them. “It’s only just being noticed — luxury brands are running to catch up with this change in perception,” he says. “The big questions are things like sourcing, credentials and provenance. Social media allows people to connect the bits of the puzzle and you can no longer hide behind things like distributors or foreign factories.”
Contemporary authenticity goes further than a commitment to materials, methods or forms, but is allied with a wider movement within society. “With luxury car makers, their big issue has been an inability to keep abreast with what’s changing,” says Raymond. Those that innovate in different ways will succeed, he explains. “It’s about the future and not the past. Innovation — and the notion that something is beautifully designed — is what heritage really is. New buyers want to know about efficiencies and innovations that chime with the values they respect.”
Performance is another area where intention and application are crucial. Lagonda will be the first high-performance luxury SUV powered by an electric powertrain. It’s a significant step forward for this sector, not least because electric drive presents the opportunity for impressive amounts of torque, hugely advantageous in acceleration and off-road performance. At the same time, automotive power has become a loaded concept
in the modern era and responsibility and safety must go hand in hand with ability.
The Lagonda All-Terrain Concept suggests a different approach to driving, one that allows power to be savoured
at the right place and time with dynamics and style, all the while giving the driver and passengers a refined, cabin-like ambience. As Raymond says: “Aston Martin has always had a strong association with science and technology. Lagonda suggests luxury and autonomy.”
The All-Terrain Concept suggests a different approach to driving, one that allows power to be savoured at the right place and time with dynamics and style
An electric vehicle (EV) is ripe with dynamic potential, but perhaps more importantly, it presents the car designer with a new realm of possibility. To package a traditional luxury vehicle is to own the compromise between the space demanded by mechanical components and the space desired by people. Battery power changes all that, allowing the volume of the interior to expand, in turn offering up new approaches to materials, finishes and textures.
The new ethos that underpins Lagonda is evident; the All-Terrain Concept builds on the exquisite interpretation of new luxury demonstrated by the Lagonda Vision car, with its use of ceramics, silk and wool surfaces and a crafted, furniture-maker’s approach to the seats. That car’s experimental approach is now refined, emphasising the idea of a Lagonda being a place to sit and experience, not just a mode of transport.
The Geneva International Motorshow 2019 marks an important waypoint in a journey that began in the design studios at Gaydon, but will ultimately continue in the state-of-the-art facilities at St Athan, South Wales. This new factory is to be Lagonda’s base, the “home of electrification” for all future EV-related projects. If the reception at Geneva is anything to go by, there will be a bright future for the brand.
“The Aston Martin Lagonda stand was busier than ever,” says Palmer of the car’s surprise debut at the 89th Geneva International Motor Show. “The crowd’s reaction is always intriguing.”
The concept stood alongside Aston Martin’s current production car line-up, but also shared the stand with a brace of truly impressive mid-engined machines. It’s a true credit to the skill, diversity and vision of Aston Martin Lagonda’s design team that the All-Terrain Concept more than held its own in such bold, dramatic company. This all-electric future represents a bold new beginning for a visionary brand.