The Lagonda Vision Concept, unveiled at Geneva overnight, is the start of what the British luxury marque says will be a “new range of state-of-the-art, emission-free luxury vehicles”.
“Lagonda aims to be the world’s first zero emission luxury brand. It will confound traditional thinking and take full advantage of the latest advances in electrification and autonomous driving technologies, which amount to the biggest revolution in land-bound transportation since the invention of the car,” it said.
“Lagonda will show how true luxury and modern design, far from being diametrically opposed interests, can exist in total harmony and enhance each other’s most desirable characteristics.”
Part of that design includes a rear-seat setup that looks a little like a therapist’s room, featuring a jump seat next to an extended banana lounge-like recliner surrounded by acres of space.
“Because the majority of the car’s structural strength comes through its floor, it has been possible to use apertures in the body far larger than would be wise in conventional cars,” Aston said.
“As a result, the rear hinged back doors don’t just open outwards, the roof sections also open upwards to provide unprecedented ease of access. Occupants can therefore literally stand up inside and walk out of the car, or step straight into it.
“Similarly, the front seats are not mounted on conventional runners which always interfere with where those in the back would like to place their feet, but instead sit on cantilevered arms extending from the floor outside the seat frame providing a completely uncluttered floor area. And the seats are more like armchairs, with heavily bolstered arms because, given the choice people always use arms to lower and raise themselves from chairs.”
The lack of a conventional powertrain has been a real positive for Aston Martin.
“The electrification revolution means there is no longer any need for horse and carriage design, and our new concept shows the scope of design opportunities that open up once you no longer need to provide space for a large power source directly in front of the passenger compartment,” Aston Martin chief creative officer Marek Reichman said. “In the Lagonda Vision Concept, the batteries occupy the floor of the car. Everything above that line belongs to us.”
The concept is what Aston claims is a level four autonomous car, meaning that it is able to handle most of the driving itself. There’s still a traditional steering wheel for the driver, although it’s more of a hexagonal blob that looks a bit like a luxury version of a Formula 1 tiller. But if you’d prefer the Lagonda to take care of the daily commute, both front seats can swivel around to face the therapy session in the back. Oh, and if you’re driving from Britain to the Continent, the steering wheel can swap sides.
Aston claims the floor-mounted solid state battery pack – this technology is still in its infancy – will be good for more than 600 kilometres of real-world driving range, and a wireless rapid recharge will only take 15 minutes. The car doesn’t feature a bonnet, because Aston claims it doesn’t need one.
“The Lagonda Vision Concept provides the first clues to the Lagonda models of the future. It embodies the vision to be a standalone marque that will break through long-standing boundaries and transform the way people perceive luxury transport,” it said. “And as with the concept, this will be done through the use of cutting-edge design, creating technologically radical, visually spectacular, thoroughly modern and ultra-luxurious vehicles that will overturn conventional thinking.”
In other words, there’s much, much more yet to come out of Gaydon.