James Bond’s New Station Wagon?
It seems that British iconic automaker Aston Martin has relaunched its Lagonda marquee as an all-electric luxury brand for the well-heeled. Its first offering will be a long and lean vehicle that it calls the All-Terrain and it looks more like an Aston Martin station wagon than anything else.
The Lagonda All-Terrain will ride on the same chassis as the Aston Martin DBX and chief executive Andy Palmer says he expects the all-electric model will have performance capabilities similar to the company’s 007 gasoline powered counterparts and a range of over 300 miles between charges.
According to a press release by Lagonda, production of the All-Terrain will begin this year at its St Athan facility in Wales. The company plans an entire new range of state of the art, luxury zero emission vehicles. Based on the Lagonda Vision Concept vehicle, Lagonda says the All-Terrain will confound traditional thinking and take full advantage of the latest advances in both electrification and autonomous driving technologies.
Off Road Elegance?
According to Andy Palmer, “The Lagonda All-Terrain Concept adds a hugely exciting sense of adventure to the unique brand of luxury, emission-free vehicles that Lagonda is planning to produce. This is a car that would be at home whisking someone straight from a glamorous red-carpet event to a remote scientific research lab.” Hmm. Sounds like the plot of the latest Bond film to me. The recent press release goes on to explain that while the Vision concept shown at the Geneva motor show was focused as a road car, the All-Terrain appeals to the spirit of adventure and such is its futuristic design that you might just as easily imagine roaming the surface of Mars as a mountain in Scotland.
The battery pack will ride under the vehicle and the automaker promises that the new All-Terrain will offer superior driver, passenger, and cargo space thanks to a flat floor. This long hatchback will also include what is described as “a rear shelf” that will slide out to provide seating for extraordinary views of the countryside. Hopefully, not on Mars.
Rocket Launchers Not Included
The interior is said to be limousine like, and the front seats will rotate so that you can entertain guests in the back while on excursions. “We imagined that the owner would be a sort of pioneering yet environmentally conscious person,” said Aston Martin EVP and Chief Creative Officer, Marek Reichman. “They may well have a luxury villa in a remote place that acts as their sanctuary. As such, the Lagonda brand is unconstrained by the traditional values of current luxury products, it is not about wood and leather, we tried to design the interior to feel very calm and quiet with soft, natural materials like Cashmere. Lagonda reflects a future that is full of unique materials that are not set in the past.” Hmm. Again, sounds like this thing was designed for a Bond villain. A luxury villa in a remote place? Ernst Blofeld would have loved the All-Terrain.
We’ve saved the best for last. The Lagonda All-Terrain is said to include that latest safety and driver assist technology, but one highlight is its mysterious “floating key.” According to the aforementioned press release, Lagonda says, “While the technology exists in this day and age to allow the key to be removed altogether, Lagonda believes that it remains an important point of contact between the driver and the vehicle. As such, the key is celebrated and indeed elevated in the interior of the Lagonda All-Terrain. Thanks to the wonder of electromagnets, the key floats when it is placed in position, levitating between the front seats.” Yep, a floating key. Just what you need.
The Home of Electrification
The All-Terrain is being produced in Lagonda’s new brand facility in Wales. The St Athan site, which started life as a series of Ministry of Defense ‘Super Hangars’, has been transformed into a state-of-the-art luxury manufacturing plant. This is Aston Martin Lagonda’s second production facility and ultimately it will become the company’s ‘Home of Electrification’. Wonder if it has a shark tank under the sliding floor in the conference room?
A Welsh workforce of over 700 employees are currently tooled up to produce the All-Terrain, which will appear in showrooms by the end of 2022. As Andy Palmer explains, “There is a very real sense this is the start of a bold new era for Aston Martin Lagonda. A second production facility is a critical step in delivering our Second Century Plan. The St Athan facility will initially commence with the production of the Aston Martin DBX but will ultimately be a global center of excellence for the production of luxury high performance EVs, including Lagonda: the world’s first luxury electric automotive brand.”