Aston Martin Lagonda Limited, famed for its high performance GT sports cars favored by the likes of James Bond, reckons its future lies far to the east of MI6 headquarters in the garages of China's rich and famous. By reviving the much-critiqued Lagonda SUV concept last shown in 2009, the braintrust at Aston Martin seeks to follow the footsteps of other luxocar manufacturers who've found China is the promised land.
China's nouveau riche have money to burn, but low-slung supercars in the classic Ferrari mode don't make the same impression there as they do in other parts of the world. In China, size DOES matter and hulking, blinged-out SUVs are a preferred way to flaunt one's success. Just ask Porsche, who've experienced great success with their Cayenne Turbo S.
The recent Beijing Auto Show underlined the rising stock auto fans place in SUVs, as the Bentley EXP 9 F “Falcon” concept and the Lamborghini URUS were well-received in their debuts. As the ranks of China's upwardly mobile expand, so will the market for super-luxury SUVs... or so Aston Martin hopes.
“The traditional markets for supercars - the U.S. and Europe - are still depressed,” states IHS Automotive analyst Colin Couchman. “Although the Chinese market remains buoyant, that won't feed through to Aston because the Chinese don't yet see the value of displaying their wealth through owning an expensive sports car.”
An expensive SUV, on the other hand, is another kettle of fish altogether and the Lagonda SUV concept is going to be one very expensive kettle. Current plans are to establish the Lagonda brand's flagship model as a premium SUV priced from $160,000 to $500,000.
The final cost for each Lagonda SUV will be contingent upon the buyer's need for luxury, with armor-plating an available (and possibly essential) option for Admiral General Aladeen types in the Middle East. Whale-skin hubcaps by special order only. (via Jing Daily and Autocar)