Aston Martin's Big Lagonda Revival May Have Reached A Dead End

The 2019 Aston Martin Lagonda All-Terrain Concept
The 2019 Aston Martin Lagonda All-Terrain Concept
Image: Aston Martin

Aston Martin was to enter its electric era with a flagship under the Lagonda brand next year. That vehicle is no longer part of the company’s plans, based on recent comments made by executive chairman Lawrence Stroll in an interview with the Financial Times. In fact, the full revival of the Lagonda brand may not happen at all.

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Instead, Aston Martin has reportedly opted to roll Lagonda back into the core brand as more of an elite trim level, similar to how Mercedes-Benz treats Maybach these days, according to a report today from Carscoops. This information appears to be unsourced, though. For some clarification, I reached out to an Aston Martin spokesman, who told me the following:

Lagonda is still in our plans; but not as the EV segment of Aston Martin. Our first EV will be Aston Martin branded.

Here’s what we do know: Two Aston Martin EVs are coming in 2025, as Stroll said, prefaced by a hybrid DBX in 2023. These EVs will consist of a sports car and SUV, and it sounds like neither will be badged a Lagonda. That’s later than the 2022 introduction of whatever the production version of the Lagonda All-Terrain EV concept from two years ago was supposed to be. Was that thing a sedan? A crossover? A wagon? I’m not sure, but regardless — it seems to have been cast aside.

Lagonda has historically shared an ambiguous relationship with the main Aston brand. The original Lagonda was a hyper-exclusive model manufactured by the British automaker, but the 2014 Taraf — a sedan I’m struggling to accept is seven years old at this point — was supposed to herald an entirely new marque, separate and above Aston Martin.

Remember the Taraf?
Remember the Taraf?
Photo: Aston Martin

Lagonda’s recent concepts suggested the company was to be Aston Martin’s EV destination. A change in direction, courtesy of the new CEO, Tobias Moers, seemingly squashed that plan.

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“The electric car has to be an Aston Martin,” Moers told the FT in December, “because if you bring a new brand to life for electric vehicle cars, that’s wrong in my perspective.”

Aside from electrification, brand gymnastics appear to be one of the major trends of the modern auto industry. It seems that every manufacturer is either spinning something out or establishing a brand-within-a-brand, like Bronco or even what Jeep is doing with the new Wagoneer and Grand Wagoneer.

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I can sort of see the rationale behind Ford or Jeep doing this, because Bronco and Wagoneer are in a way families of vehicles unto themselves. Bronco has its name recognition and respect, while Stellantis is angling for Wagoneer to evoke a caliber of luxury beyond other Jeeps.

But is there really anyone able to afford an Aston Martin who’s decided that owning one wouldn’t be exclusive enough? That it must be superior? And what’s the purpose of a dedicated EV brand when every brand will be selling mostly EVs in a decade anyway, based on the way regulations are going?

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Still, this is a somewhat unexpected development because Aston has seemed keen on reinvigorating Lagonda in recent years. It seems like the name will indeed stick around, though perhaps not exactly in the fullest sense.

Staff Writer at Jalopnik. 2017 Fiesta ST. Wishes NASCAR was more like Daytona USA.

DISCUSSION

Feels like Aston Martin itself is reaching a dead end.