Lagonda Still Alive, But Not This One

Lagonda SUV Concept

It’s nice to be vindicated, even if you have to trash a great name to do so. We dumped on the new Lagonda concept SUV (left) when it debuted at the Geneva Show, but so did a whole lot of other people—so many, in fact, that this totally misconceived vehicle was dropped back in July. Aston Martin claimed the economy did it in, which sounds like a weak excuse to can a car that everyone panned and no one wanted.

Now the company comes with news that they may revive the Lagonda brand by partnering with Mercedes to produce a sedan based on the S-Class. Motor Authority and others report that the car

is expected to feature a hybrid powertrain and W222 platform underpinnings, much like the next Maybach super-sedan…. High-tech features like a forward-scanning predictive suspension system and next-gen hybrid drive means [sic] the Lagonda will be one of the most advanced cars on the road.

2013 Mercedes S-Class, according to Autozeitung et al.

2013 Mercedes S-Class, according to Autozeitung et al.

Autocar, via other blog reports, says that the Lagonda nouveau will be “conceived, developed and produced alongside the next-gen Maybach, which will also use the W222 platform from the next Mercedes S-class.” Oh, boy, just what the world needs—another Maybach, and three megabucks sedans built on the same platform.

It is Aston-ishing to me that the uppest of the up-market carmakers would resort to down-market tactics like platform sharing to develop their new offerings. Smart car guys like Aston CEO Ulrich Bez and Benz Board Chairman Dieter Zetsche should, and maybe do, know better. It will be interesting to watch how these cars evolve—and how the lessons have been learned from the SUV concept. Maybe most interesting will be the new hybrid system, which is bound to be complicated, efficient, and expensive.

Give us a reason why Aston Martin and Mercedes-Benz are developing three cars on the same platform—a reason, that is, other than cost savings.

—jgoods

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