LAGONDA SET TO REVOLUTIONISE THE LUXURY SUV

  • New Lagonda SUV will be the first Lagonda product to market
  • Scheduled to be unveiled in 2021
  • First emission-free Luxury Battery Electric SUV to market
  • Design language is an evolution of the Lagonda ‘Vision Concept’ revealed at the 2018 Geneva motor show
  • Lagonda SUV is the first in a range of state of the art, emission-free luxury vehicles

09 May 2018, Gaydon, England: After stealing the 2018 Geneva motor show with the remarkable ‘Vision Concept’, Lagonda has confirmed plans for its first production model: a radical, sector-defining zero-emission SUV.

Scheduled to be unveiled in 2021, the Lagonda SUV will be the first luxury SUV exclusively driven by zero emission powertrain technologies and will uphold all the qualities of the reinvented super-luxury marque. Not only will it feature an evolution of the incredibly bold design language first seen with the show-stopping ‘Vision Concept’, the SUV will be built around near-future technologies, such as its advanced Battery Electric drivetrain, making the Lagonda SUV the first of its kind: an ultra-stylish, supremely luxurious, fully electric emission-free vehicle.

‘In reviving one of the most iconic names in motoring we have created a unique opportunity,’ said Aston Martin President and Chief Executive Officer, Dr Andy Palmer. ‘One that allows us to cast aside an inherited 20th century approach and instead design cars around 21st century demands and desires. The Lagonda SUV is the first of its kind: a spacious, high-performance 4×4 that successfully reconciles a love of technology, luxury and style.’

‘The Lagonda SUV will retain the boldness of the Vision Concept’ said Aston Martin EVP and Chief Creative Officer, Marek Reichman. ‘Lagonda is a luxury brand, but it is also one rooted in technology. It will be like no other SUV to drive, so its looks have to reflect that new reality and to serve as pathfinder to a future in which the most desirable and prestigious automobiles still have a place.’ 

Lagonda Heritage

NEVER STAND STILL

From our earliest beginnings to now, the story of Lagonda is one of movement. Our founder, Wilbur Gunn, was a restless pioneer who saw the world differently and constantly sought to push the boundaries of how we travel, inventing new and better ways to move.

An opera-singing machine engineer, Gunn was driven by a fascination for the possibilities of the latest technologies. That spirit of exploration and progressive innovation was the cornerstone of the Lagonda Motor Company. Founded in 1904, it was named for the fast-flowing Lagonda Creek river that ran through Gunn’s home town of Springfield, Ohio. Over one-hundred years later, his unique spirit of challenging conventions remains hard-coded in our DNA.

A BRAVE NEW WORLD

Gunn left America at the turn of the last century and settled in west London, where he began to perfect all sorts of machines to propel humans faster, further and better. From his glasshouse workshop, he made motorcycle and marine engines, conceiving of a double-expansion steam engine that powered the legendary “Giralda”, at that time the fastest steam yacht on the Thames.

Ever pioneering, it wasn’t long before Lagonda grew into a factory, creating tri-cars and four-wheeled carriages. “Torpedo”, a car which Gunn used to win the Moscow to St. Petersburg time trial of 1910, was decades ahead of its time. Inventive trailing arm rear suspension, unique monocoque construction, anti-roll bars and the first ever fly-off handbrake were just some of the visionary features that helped sell Lagondas all over the world.

THE JOY OF THE JOURNEY

Between the wars Lagonda exuded the highest standards in luxury travel, creating V12-powered limousines fit for royalty and featuring its patented Silent Travel design. Better still, Lagondas continued to set new speed and endurance benchmarks, notably winning Le Mans in 1935. Seeing its potential, David Brown purchased the company for £52,500 in 1947, forming Aston Martin Lagonda and forging ahead with all-new ultra-luxury cars like the exquisite four-door Lagonda Rapide.

INTO THE FUTURE

Technological advances captured the imagination of Lagonda like never before in the 1970s, leading to the creation of one of the most revolutionary cars the world has ever seen. The arresting William Towns designed Lagonda V8 was emblematic of the wonder of travel, fusing the very best technologies and electronics with the most opulent luxury to produce a phenomenally striking and balanced grand tourer.

Today, the world turns its attention once again to a revitalised Lagonda; inventing new and better ways to move, at the intersection of the very best of luxury and cutting-edge technology.

Key dates

c1898

Wilbur Gunn moves to England and establishes himself as a consulting engineer with a house in Staines that will gradually become the Lagonda factory.

1899

Wilbur Gunn founds the Lagonda Engineering Company to build marine engines.

c1900

Manufacture of Lagonda motor cycles begins

1903

Wilbur Gunn (Lagonda) wins second-class award in the newly formed Auto-Cycle Club’s 1000-mile trial.

Lagonda builds its first tricar, a 5-hp machine.

1904

The Lagonda firm is reformed as a limited liability company, the Lagonda Motor Co Ltd, on 18 May.

1905

Lagonda sells its first vee-twin tricar – “the motor cyclist’s Mercedes”

1907

Lagonda company put in receivership in April. Production suspended.

1909

A new start for Lagonda: 10-hp vee-twin car introduced, followed by a 14/16-hp four. A 16/18-hp replaces it by year end.

An 18-hp Lagonda wins the Summer handicap race at Brooklands.

1910

Lagonda begins exports to Russia, with an agent in St Petersburg. A Lagonda driven by Wilbur Gunn wins a gold medal in the St Petersburg-Moscow- St Petersburg reliability trials.

1911

Lagonda introduces 20-hp four- and 30-hp six-cylinder models, though the Lagonda Motor Co Ltd is formally dissolved on 24 February.

1912

Lagonda Ltd formed to continue the business.

1913

The 11.1-hp 1099cc Lagonda introduced; its combined body/chassis pioneers unitary production and modular construction.

1920

Wilbur Gunn dies aged 61.

1925

Unit constructed models replaced by the all-new 14/60-hp with separate chassis-body construction. The high-set camshafts of the engine give similar benefits to twin-overhead camshafts without the mechanical complications.

1926

Frank Feeley joins the company straight from school and goes to work in the body shop. He will go on to design some of the most elegant Lagonda factory bodies until the 1950s..

1927

80-mph 2-litre Speed Model launched.

1928

Lagonda’s first entry at Le Mans sees D’Erlanger and Hawkes finish 11th.

1929

Tim Rose-Richards and the Hon. Brian E. “Bug” Lewis (2-litre Lagonda) fail to finish at Le Mans.

1933

The first 4.5-litre Lagonda, the Meadows-engined M45 is launched at the Olympia Motor Show. Lord de Clifford drives the prototype in a publicity run across Europe to Greece, beating the train to Brindisi by 14 hours.

Lagonda Car Club established with factory support. First event is a meet at Hanworth Air Park (coincidentally where Aston Martins are built).

1934

The 3-litre is succeeded by the 3.5-litre.

The Rapier goes into production and is launched at the Great Fosters Hotel at Egham.

New models include the short-chassis 4.5-litre M45R Rapide and M35R, final incarnation of the 3-litre and 3.5-litre six cylinder line.

1935

British drivers Johnny Hindmarsh and Luis Fontés win Le Mans in a Lagonda M45R Rapide

Lagonda is put into receivership. Alan Good reforms it as LG Motors and discontinues all the models, replacing them with the 4.5-litre LG45 designed by new chief engineer W.O. Bentley.

The company is banned from using Bentley’s name in advertising by Rolls-Royce, which owns the Bentley marque.

Rapier production is taken over by a new company, Rapier Cars Ltd.

1936

Spectacular new Bentley-designed V12 prototype makes its debut at the Motor Show.

Launch of the spectacular LG45R Rapide, with Frank Feeley-designed bodywork.

1937

V12 production begins.

Alan Hess averages 104.44 mph for an hour at Brooklands in LG45 “EPE 97”, setting a new record.

1939

Two special lightweight V12 Lagonda models finish third and fourth at Le Mans.

1940

The war interrupts V12 production. Final batch exported to America. During the war, Lagonda will produce armament materiel, including flame throwers. The two Le mans V12s, stored off-site, will be badly damaged by a flying bomb.

1945

Prototypes of a post-war Lagonda with a W.O. Bentley-designed twin-cam 2.6-litre engine are on the road, fitted with Cotal electrically-operated gearboxes.

The new model is initially described as the “Lagonda-Bentley” but Lagonda forced to describe the new car as a “Lagonda designed under the supervision of W.O. Bentley” after a legal battle.

1947

Unable to proceed with production of the 2.6-litre LB6 because of post-war steel rationing, Lagonda is put up for sale and is bought by David Brown.

Aston Martin Lagonda is formed.

1949

The Bentley-designed 2.6-litre Lagonda goes into production with a conventional David Brown gearbox.

1950

Frank Feeley designs prototype 3-litre Lagonda “Red Monster”.

The 2.6-litre Lagonda engine is standardised for the production Aston Martin DB2

1953

The Lagonda engine is enlarged to 3-litres and new body styles introduced.

1954

HRH Prince Philip buys the fourth production 3-litre DHC.

1956

Lagonda production is moved to Newport Pagnell along with Aston Martin.

1958

Lagonda production discontinued.

1961

New 4-litre Lagonda Rapide introduced, a four-door version of the Aston Martin DB4.

1964

End of 4-litre Lagonda production.

1972

Aston Martin Lagonda is taken over by Company Developments Ltd after Sir David Brown steps down.

1974

A new “Aston Martin Lagonda” model based on the 1971 four-door special, but with alloy wheels instead of wires, is launched. Only seven will be built

1975

Yet another group of new owners, led by Peter Sprague and George Minden, takes over Aston Martin Lagonda.

1976

Revolutionary new V8 Lagonda with unorthodox William Towns styling and electronic instrumentation is launched at Aston Clinton.

1981

Aston Martin Lagonda Ltd, owned by CH Industrials (48%), Pace Petroleum (48%) and Peter Cadbury (4%), takes over

1983

Automotive Investments and CH Industrials take over AML’

1984

Automotive Investments sole owner of AML and subsequently Peter Livanos (75%) and Victor Gauntlett (25%).

1985

Tickford build long wheelbase Lagonda; just three will be produced.

1987

Ford Motor Company takes 75% ownership of AML with remainder split equally between Gauntlett and Livanos.

The “Lagonda factor” is an important consideration in Ford’s decision.

1993

Ford takes full control of AML.

2008

Aston Martin announce plans to revive the Lagonda marque “to develop cars which can have a different character than a sports car… offering exclusive, luxurious and truly versatile products with high quality and usability…”

2015

Start of strictly limited production of the Lagonda Taraf, The car is the most expensive four-door saloon in the world at the time (April 2016).