Aston Martin Rapide To Be Replaced By Global Lagonda Sedan And DBX Crossover
Introduced in 2010 as a spiritual successor to the Aston Martin Lagonda (1976-1990) and updated in 2013, the Rapide isn’t a sedan I’d consider old, not even by today’s standards. Yes, the VH platform it’s built on is long in the tooth, but, thanks to its exterior design, interior, and powerful engine, it can still hold its own against competition. However, it seems the Rapide won’t be around for much longer, as Aston Martin won’t include it in its future plans. Specifically, the Brits want to retire the nameplate at the end of its life cycle and replace it with not one, but two vehicles. That’s right, Aston’s future includes two four-door products, one of which will grant the company access to a market it has yet to explore.
I’m talking about the crossover previewed by the DBX Concept, which will hit the production line as a five-door and with various changes styling-wise. The second vehicle is a Lagonda sedan. Don’t let the name fool you, it’s not the same Lagonda Taraf the brand is selling in the Middle East and certain markets in Europe and Asia, but a new sports sedan built on Aston’s new platform. Unlike the Taraf, the new Lagonda will be offered globally, according to Aston Martin CEO Andy Palmer, who confirmed both vehicles to Car and Driver at the 2015 New York Auto Show.
Continue reading to learn more about Aston Martin’s future Lagonda and crossover models.
Although the DBX Concept depicts a coupe-like hatch on stilts, the production version will see the light of day as a taller, five-door crossover with enhanced luggage space, according to Palmer. He also said there’s a plan to keep the coupe-like design of the roof, while offering sufficient headroom and seating room.
"There’s probably more work to do on the interior. And we’ve got to keep that beauty. Got to keep that rail going in that arc," he stressed.
Speaking of the DBX’s drivetrain, Palmer made it clear there won’t be an all-electric version of the sporty crossover. At least not in its first years on the market. "It’ll have a gasoline engine and a plug-in hybrid. And if we can and if we prove that electric works, it would be a nice place to go," he added.
*Current Lagonda Taraf depicted here.
As for the new Lagonda sedan, Palmer had very little info to share besides pointing to a Lagonda pin on his lapel, which pretty much confirmed the name. He did explain, however, why the current Lagonda Taraf can’t be sold in the United States.
"The Taraf, which is the car you know as the Lagonda today, will not come to the United States unless it is going to a private collection. To homologate that for the U.S. requires a full suite of crash tests, and I’m not going to waste [any of the 200 planned units] doing crash tests," he noted.
That said, it’s obvious that the next Lagonda will be developed to meet the stringent U.S. safety requirements and hit dealerships as a regular model rather than a limited-edition sedan with a long waiting list.
Why it matters
After more than a decade of using the same VH architecture and building the same models, with minor exceptions such as the One-77, the Cygnet, and the Lagonda, Aston Martin is on the verge of a revolution. Starting 2016, all of its models will ditch the current styling as well as the VH platform for a new styling language and redesigned, lighter underpinnings that will stick around for at least a decade. What matters here is that Aston Martin is looking beyond its current lineup in order to reach new markets and achieve higher profit margins. Of course, purists might not agree with an Aston Martin-badged crossover, but the DBX needs to live as production car to give the British brand the financial stability it requires.
Read more about the current Aston Martin Rapide in our full review here.