Aston Martin targets Ferrari with high-end electric SUV
INTERNATIONAL - Aston Martin is reviving the Lagonda brand with a battery-powered sport utility vehicle to compete in a growing pool of electrified ultra-luxury cars.
The manufacturer will unveil the vehicle in 2021 after showing a radical concept of the all-but defunct Lagonda brand at the Geneva car show in March. The car will come at least a year after Ferrari NV’s planned plug-in hybrid SUV. The test vehicle featured chairs swiveling forward and back, and a cabin outfitted in British wool, silk and cashmere. The 114-year-old Lagonda brand made a brief reappearance with a limited-run $1 million model in 2015, but the nameplate has otherwise been dormant.
“Lagonda is a luxury brand, but it is also one rooted in technology,” Marek Reichman, Aston Martin’s chief creative officer, said Wednesday in a statement. The car’s look will “serve as pathfinder to a future in which the most desirable and prestigious automobiles still have a place.”
The Lagonda SUV will be the iconic British carmaker’s few fully electric car, as mass-market to high-end manufacturers add zero-emission models to comply with tightening regulation. It’s also readying to add at least so-called mild hybrids to its lineup of sports cars like the DB11 by the mid-2020s. Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV’s Maserati brand has been weighing an electric version of the Alfieri sports car for some time, as Rolls-Royce prepares to unveil its all-new Cullinan SUV this week.
The company wouldn’t be the first to bring back a defunct sub-brand. Daimler revived the Maybach ultra-luxury brand a few years ago, though the upscale sedan failed to catch on as a standalone product, and instead lives on within the Mercedes-Benz S-Class range.
Aston Martin, famous for its connection to movie spy James Bond, surpassed 5,000 deliveries last year for the first time since 2008. The revival may help to pave the way for a targeted share sale valuation of 5 billion pounds ($6.8 billion) that would put it on a par with Ferrari.