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Thursday, October 2, 2014

Full glory: Aston Martin releases official photos of production Lagonda super sedan


Aston Martin Lagonda
                      Aston Martin Lagonda

Fanboys of esoteric, indulgent, four-wheeled delights, the wait is over: Aston Martin has finally released official images of its new Lagonda flagship super sedan in production form.

And yes, it is just as stunning parked in front of a glass building as it is bombing through the Omani desert as a prototype, or sitting on the tarmac at the Oman airport in Muscat, which is where it was first seen, sans camouflage, in August as it arrived there for hot-weather testing.

While the Lagonda’s most recent predecessor, one of which is encased in glass mere feet away in one of the new photos, appears to have designed exclusively with a T-square, the new Lagonda appears more fluid and organic.

 Yet it remains far and away the most formal Aston Martin product in decades. Compared to the Rapide S on which it appears to be based (more on that later), the Lagonda casts a stern gaze, with brooding headlamps, an upright grille with seven horizontal slats above a discreet, full-width lower air intake.

 Further back, the stretched wheelbase makes for long doors, while the flat waistline and formal roofline terminates in a Kamm-style rear end with minimal jewelry.

 The wheels are large yet simple, and as with all current Aston Martins, all of its doors open at a slight angle, making it all the easier to exeunt the rear seat without smacking a curb when driven to a gala being put on by one of your many friends who trade oil fields for fun.

If the Lagonda’s exterior is sleek and minimalist, the interior is purely decadent. The architecture itself appears to borrow heavily from the Rapide S, albeit with far greater head- and legroom for rear seat passengers.

As with the Rapide S, a large transmission tunnel bisects both rows of seats, and the dashboard and steering wheel appears to be common to its lower-slung sibling, for better or worse (we think worse, at least ergonomically, though we have to see the car in person before casting aspersions).

 The photos show a seat buck upholstered in diamond-quilted leather that appears to have been sourced from gilded calves. This may indeed be the first car in which the leather comes with a carat rating.

Aston still isn’t ready to disclose full details of the Lagonda’s platform-related underpinnings, engine and drivetrain, but based on what we can tell by the car’s stance and interior architecture, we expect that it is closely related to the Rapide S.

 As Aston Martin spokesman was willing to give us a few more details than we had before, including that its crisply tailored body panels are made completely from carbon fiber, and that its weight remains “neutral over the Rapide S.” Performance data also remains undisclosed, but our source said that it has attained speeds of over 175 mph during testing.

As we reported before, the entire world’s allotment of a projected 150-200 Lagondas is being offered only to Aston’s valued customers in the middle east—which may say something about its estimated fuel consumption—with deliveries commencing during the first quarter of 2015. Price? We’ll have to wait to bring you that information once Aston is willing not just to show us the car, but to tell us about it, too.