Aston Martin is preparing the Lagonda brand for its electric future with a concept that carries on the marque’s recent tradition of high-end SUVs meant to be driven year-round in climates not especially suited for Aston Martin’s grand tourers.
The Lagonda All-Terrain Concept furthers the design language first seen on the Lagonda Vision Concept introduced at last year’s Geneva International Motor Show. It will also set the path for the first zero-emissions vehicle from the brand when it begins production at St Athan, Wales in 2022.
“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,” said Andy Palmer, Aston Martin Lagonda President and Group CEO. “This is a car that would be at home whisking someone straight from a glamorous red-carpet event to a remote scientific research lab. It shows the bold possibilities for Lagonda and demonstrates how the company will push to expand horizons in every area, whether it be technology, design or scope of travel.”
Aston Martin Lagonda says the concept has the capabilities to easily navigate a mountain in Scotland, though its presentation would also make it right at home traipsing around the surface of Mars, which is in keeping with Aston Martin’s explanation that the exterior “forms and shapes that look like they have been created by the huge, planetary forces of gravity fields.”
The batteries are located in the floor, which balances the vehicle and also allowed designers to keep the rear-hinged rear doors to allow better entry and exit (in conjunction with roof sections that open upward), while creating the “red carpet” moment all rear passengers wish for.
The seating arrangement is balanced toward all occupants, but the front seats can still spin around for easy interaction between vehicle occupants during times when the vehicle is being operated autonomously, though the company admits there will be few opportunities for that, given the vehicle’s potential journeys.
The interior presentation is dark, which was intended by designers as a way of making an easier transition for owners between their home and the vehicle.
“We imagined that the owner would be a sort of pioneering yet environmentally conscious person,” said Marek Reichman, Aston Martin EVP and Chief Creative Officer. “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.”
At the rear, the clamshell hatch opens up to unveil a slide-out tray to make loading and unloading easy, while offering a place for “tailgaters” to sit. The LED taillights don’t project light directly, seemingly hidden when the lights aren’t in use. It’s a theme that transitions from the interior, where vents, grilles and speakers blend into their surroundings.
One of the noteworthy technology points is the use of a key, in this day and age where keys and fobs are becoming extinct. Lagonda believes the key is an important point of contact between driver and vehicle. Instead, the company used electromagnetic technology to make the key levitate between the seats, when it is in position.
“We wanted the technology in the Lagonda All-Terrain Concept to bring a sense of personality to the vehicle,” explained Reichman. “Just as with the materials and the exterior design, the technology should be warm and involving rather than cold and impersonal … It should be something that people are inspired and delighted by rather than perplexed and frightened by.”