This year’s Geneva Motor Show is going to extremes, from environmentally friendly EVs to exotic performance vehicles. And perhaps nowhere is that more apparent than at the Aston Martin stand where two debuts cover both ends of that spectrum.
The British marque’s Valkyrie AMR Pro is a track-only version of the 1,000-plus horsepower Valkyrie hypercar. The Lagonda Vision Concept, meanwhile, reveals Aston Martin’s plan to not only revive the once popular Lagonda nameplate but transform it into a zero-emissions sub-brand.
“Lagonda exists to challenge (conventional) thinking,” said Aston Martin President and Chief Executive Officer, Andy Palmer, who noted that the show car also previews a new design language that will “potentially” return on two Lagonda models planned to reach market by 2023.
Live from Geneva! Click Here for our coverage of the 2018 Geneva Motor Show.)
The Lagonda Vision Concept carries the lines of its short, needle-nose hood straight into the steeply raked windshield before arcing gracefully rearward towards its high back deck. The design features rear “suicide” doors and oversized wheels that are likely to be swapped out or tapered back for production.
While the shape clearly speaks of luxury, it’s a relatively compact design – at least when it comes to the exterior footprint. Though “far shorter and lower than traditional limousines,” there’s a nearly full-size interior, boasted Aston Martin EVP and Chief Creative Officer, Marek Reichman.
‘The electrification revolution means there is no longer any need for horse and carriage design,” added Reichman, “and our new concept shows the scope of design opportunities that open up once you no longer need to provide space for a large power source directly in front of the passenger compartment. In the Lagonda Vision Concept, the batteries occupy the floor of the car. Everything above that line belongs to us.”
It’s a similar approach to what Jaguar has done with the new I-Pace battery-SUV also debuting in Geneva this week.
(Click Here for a look at the all-new Jaguar I-Pace.)
Take a closer look at the Vision Concept and you’ll realize Aston is signaling its new direction by transforming the “O” in the Lagonda badge into a zero, signaling the focus on emissions-free vehicles.
Though details are sparse when it comes to the Lagonda Vision Concept’s drivetrain, Aston is looking at a range of around 400 miles and plans to turn to next-generation solid state batteries, rather than today’s lithium-ion technology. Those new batteries are expected to be lighter, more reliable, longer range and faster charging, addressing many of the current concerns about electric drive. Meanwhile, the concept also features both “intelligent all-wheel-drive,” meaning each of its four wheels could receive 100% of its torque, if necessary.
And the concept adds full autonomy, CEO Palmer explaining that it will handle, “all routine circumstances and all recognizable roads.” But when a driver chooses to engage, the steering wheel and other control pop out of their hiding places to permit manual motoring.
As for the Valkyrie AMR Pro, however, it’s all hands-on. That’s the track version of the planned Aston hypercar and it apparently will get even more punch, according to Palmer, about 1,100 horsepower. That’s a mind-boggling number when you realize the track edition will weigh in at just 2,200 pounds.
To get there, Aston is migrating to carbon fiber just everywhere possible: not only for the AMR Pro’s body, but even its control arms. It will also feature polycarbonate windows and will be stripped of the street car’s niceties, including its HVAC and infotainment systems.
Top speed: around 225 mph, and it will develop up to a vein-popping 3Gs in corners.
We’ve told a few of its secrets, but by no means all,” said Adrian Newey, chief technical officer for Red Bull Racing, Aston’s F1 partner and co-developer of the AMR Pro. “I will leave it to the public to ponder the lap time predictions. Suffice to say they’re quite impressive.”
No word on pricing, but it really doesn’t matter, as all 25 of the Aston Martin Valkyrie AMR Pros scheduled for production have already been spoken for. Deliveries will begin sometime next year.
(Porsche reveals second all-electric model. Click Here for a look at the Mission E Cross Turismo.)