Aston Martin design chief: ‘Rolls royce and Bentley are the Ancient Greece today’

Aston Martin has confirmed that it will relaunch the Lagonda brand with a new show to rival the Rolls-Royce Phantom.

To get an idea of what to expect from this bold new proposal, we spoke with the man responsible for the creation of the concept that is going to inspire, Aston Martin Lagonda’s chief designer Marek Reichman.

What is the idea behind the Lagonda?

“It’s a game changer for luxury goods in the future, what luxury could be and what it will be. The world is changing, but look at that luxury is still very traditional. Luxury and technology have not been combined yet.

Watch Rolls-Royce: it is the most luxurious car in the world. Given its roots, its reason for being, essentially, it’s still an internal combustion engine to replace a horse, a cart and a trunk. It is an imperfect luxury package”.

Why go purely electric?

“The electrification, in particular, has enormous advantages for the design of the cars. You can put the weight and the ground where you want it. It is not determined by the story, pushing or pulling a cart. There is a freedom to think differently”.

A history of Aston Martin Lagonda

Has Tesla taken advantage of electric car design?

“No, it’s a not-so-good-looking Aston Rapide. It has the same silhouette as a Rapide. Take advantage of all aspects of the electrification? No. Look at the technology, and no one has combined the luxury and the technology to be a leader. But to give Tesla credit, which have changed the perception of electric propulsion. If you had come this far, there would have been no negative consequences. Tesla sat on the technology of the future with something that we recognized”.

Why so radical with Lagonda?

“Lagonda has always been a disruptor. Has a huge heritage go hand-in-hand with the Rolls-Royce and Bentley. It has always offered a different way and form. Lagonda is the beauty of another planet, but it is not unnatural. It is a brave step – brave as a Lagonda can be and should be. You must be brave. It is a disruptor.”

How are you going to differentiate of Aston Martin Lagonda?

“It’s an old brand of Aston, a sleeping giant. The way that we are getting closer to the mark, it has huge potential for a customer who does not necessarily want to drive. You’re always going to be able to drive an Aston, but not necessarily a Lagonda. Lagonda will have a great feeling and comments if you want. It’s the same team of Aston Martin. But there are huge differences between the Aston Martin and Lagonda in the manner in which the unit and the team understand Aston Martin as Lagonda. We are clear with the engineering of how to adjust each one differently for the attributes that we seek.”

Is Lagonda to be a sub-brand of Aston Martin or your own brand?

“It is not for Aston Martin Lagonda: it’s a Lagonda. Is a member of the family, but not a direct lineage. It is a distant cousin – of the same lineage, but looks differently. Having the two separate is important for the customers.

The Lagonda brand has to be strong and not dilute the Aston Martin. At the time, autonomy and electrification could reach an Aston Martin, but we’re doing all this to protect the normally aspirated V12 in an Aston Martin”.

People may consider it extreme?

“It is an extreme like that really want to show you the benefits of containers and of the differences as a product. The world will be more extreme, and the customers expect. You can’t see Apple or Google executives in a Ghost. You can see them in this.”

What kind of reaction can you expect?

“I’m expecting mixed reactions. That’s good. If we go with something that people could see tomorrow, then we have missed the boat. This shows the relationship between the two brands, which shows how we can be different and showcase the new technology. You need a reaction to be able to explain, rather than hide all that technology. I remember to have seen William Towns Lagonda and thinking that it was out of space.

Cities wanted to change the rule. It is dramatic and controversial today, and remembered it well. The controversy is not always bad. Brave is the word, but then we say brave new world”.

What is luxury today?

“Rolls-Royce and Bentley are found the Ancient Greece of today. I worked on the original Phantom. The brief was to Buckingham Palace on wheels. It is important to make that set. But the world has changed, and the members of the royalty have changed.”

Why Maybach fail in the challenge Rolls-Royce and Bentley?

“Maybach has failed, as it was not a single platform. You have to have the vision for the change, not to be constrained by someone from the platform. You can’t just do badge engineering. Is to bring the intellect and the thinking of Silicon Valley in Warwickshire. For the technology, the people are coming. We are bringing in the house. People are joining us from companies like Ferrari, where they have worked in the traditional architectures and electrified. We are still talking of a technology partner. I was in Silicon Valley last week…”

Do you consider yourselves a start-up?

“Start-ups make the largest jumps as they can do what they believe is right. We have done the research. We know that the customers are out there, and to be brave is the way to do it. Apple creates the future we all move towards. We’re going to be a 180deg competitor of the Rolls-Royce and Bentley. It is guilt-free luxury.”

Read more

Aston Martin Lagonda Taraf review

Aston Martin Vantage WG8 review

Aston Martin DB11 review