Geneva 2009: Aston Martin revives Lagonda to questionable effect  

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Aston Martin CEO Dr. Ulirch Bez wants to see the Lagona sold in more than 100 countries (versus the 32 A-M is currently offered in), with a focus on emerging markets in the Middle East, South America, China, India and Russia. While we have no problem envisioning the Lagonda rolling down the streets of Moscow, we're not sure that its reception will be as warm in Europe and North America. But then again, there's not much playing in this space, and that's the nature of comebacks.

Comebacks are a tough racket, so when Aston Martin announced plans to revive the Lagonda nameplate, we tempered our high hopes with a fair amount of skepticism. Perhaps that's a good thing. These first images of the Lagonda caused a collective sigh from the Autoblog crew here in Geneva, perhaps largely because it takes the form of a crossover – something we weren't really expecting (and something we don't typically associate with either Lagonda or Aston).

At its core, the Lagonda Concept is an avant-garde approach to the crossover we've come to know in seemingly thousands of variations. The front grille and swage lines are an obvious nod to modern Astons, but its near vertical nose, stretched headlamps and bulbous backside attempts to convey a mix of luxury and masculinity. The rear end strikes us as very Bentley, but considering the Lagonda's intended audience, that might not be a bad thing. All four 22-inch wheels are powered by a V12 powerplant of undisclosed displacement and output, and Aston envisions the Lagonda as a long-distance cruiser that offers its occupants a lavish, functional and tech-rich environment.

The Lagonda's return marks the 100th anniversary of the brand, best known for stately sedans and luxurious grand-tourers. Aston wanted an outlet to expand beyond sports cars and GTs (pay no attention to the Rapide in the corner), and the Lagonda's designers took that mandate and ran with it – some might say into a bluff-faced wall.

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