The Aston Martin Lagonda is a full-size luxury four-door saloon which was manufactured by British automobile manufacturer Aston Martin between 1974 and 1990. A total of 645 were produced. The name was derived from the Lagonda marque that Aston Martin had purchased in 1947.
There are two distinct generations, the original, the short lived 1974 design based on a lengthened Aston Martin V8, and the entirely redesigned, wedge-shaped Series 2 model introduced in 1976 along with subsequent evolutions.
Aston Martin was facing financial pressure in the mid-1970s and needed something to bring in some much-needed funds. Traditionally, Aston Martin had worked on 2+2 sports cars, but the Lagonda was a four-door saloon. As soon as it was introduced, it drew in hundreds of deposits from potential customers, helping Aston Martin’s cash reserves.
After the production of seven Series 1 cars, the Lagonda was designed from the ground up in 1976 by William Towns as an extreme interpretation of the classic 1970s “folded paper” style. It was an unconventional design practice for Aston Martin and still is. Together with famous contemporaries like the Lamborghini Countach, Lotus Esprit, and the DMC DeLorean, the Lagonda is frequently named among the most striking wedge-shaped designs of all. Car enthusiasts are fiercely divided on the car’s aesthetic value. The Lagonda combined striking styling with premium leather interior, and advanced instrumentation for its time. Coupled to a Chrysler three-speed “TorqueFlite” automatic transmission its four-cam carbureted V8 provided poor, often single-digit, fuel economy, little improved by the change to fuel-injection in the Series 3.
Throughout the history of the marque, the hand-built Lagonda was amongst the most expensive luxury saloons in the world. The only other production cars to approach its price tag were the Rolls-Royce Silver Spirit/Silver Spur and the Bentley Mulsanne.
The Lagonda was the first production car to use a digital instrument panel. The development cost for the electronics alone on the Lagonda came to four times as much as the budget for the whole car.
Series 2 (1976–1985)
The wedge shaped Lagonda V8 saloon was launched in 1976 at the London Motor Show and was a total contrast to the 1974 model, sharing little but the engine. Deliveries of the Lagonda did not commence until 1979. Series 2 cars were originally fitted with digital LED dashboards and touch pad controls, but the innovative steering wheel controls and gas plasma display were abandoned in 1980. The Lagonda retailed at GB£49,933 in 1980, significantly more than a Ferrari 400 or Maserati Kyalami but less than a Rolls-Royce Corniche. The car commenced sales in the US from 1982 with minor amendments to the front bumper and airdam due to regulations.
Specifications (Series 2)
- Engine and power output: 5.3 L 5,340 cc (326 cu in) DOHC V8, 280 hp (209 kW; 284 PS) at 5,000 rpm 302 lb⋅ft (409 N⋅m) of torque at 3,000 rpm
- Top speed: 230 km/h (143 mph)
- 0–97 km/h (0–60 mph): 8.8 seconds
- Length: 5,281 mm (207.9 in)
- Wheelbase: 2,916 mm (114.8 in)
- Width: 1,791 mm (70.5 in)
- Height: 1,302 mm (51.3 in)
- Weight: 2,023 kg (4,460 lb)