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Aston Martin Lagonda revealed (picture galery)

2014-09-08 Read: 325x

Aston Martin has resurrected its Lagonda nameplate for a small production run of limited-edition super saloons.

Official shots of the car, undergoing "Hot Environment Testing (HET)" as part of its sign-off process, show what is effectively a production model undergoing trials on the road in Oman. It's expected that the car will cover some 14,000 miles in its four-week testing period, in temperatures ranging from 30 degrees Celsius to 50 degrees Celsius.

The tests are designed to allow the engineers the opportunity to study the functionality and durability of the car in the hot climate, including aspects like the efficiency of its air-con system and how its interior trims tolerate the heat. Aston Martin says that the test car has covered in excess of 5,000 miles so far, on costal, urban and desert roads, and that it is performing "beyond expectations".

Previously, pictures of the car were released on Oman Air's website, the cargo division of which was responsible for shipping the car to Oman for hot weather testing.The new Aston Martin Lagonda, which is set to arrive in 2015, will be made available to customers on an invitation-only basis.Styling cues come from the V8-engined Lagonda saloon, launched in 1976, which was designed by William Towns.Underpinning the new car is the company's VH architecture, which is used throughout its current line-up.

Official technical details have yet to be released but it is understood that the production models, like the prototype seen earlier this year, use the 5.9-litre V12 from the Rapide S. In the Rapide, the naturally aspirated V12 produces 550bhp and 457lb ft, granting a 0-62mph time of less than 5.0sec and a top speed of 190mph. Power will be sent to the rear wheels, most likely via a six-speed ZF automatic transmission. Sales are by invitation only and official pricing has not been released, with Aston Martin simply stating that "it will be commensurate with the car's exclusivity, quality and luxurious nature".

The Lagonda will also only be offered in the Middle East due to a "specific market demand". Aston Martin Design Director Marek Reichman said: "The new model, like its exclusive siblings the One-77 and V12 Zagato, has been created as a piece of exceptional automotive art. "It has been designed and developed entirely in keeping with the spirit and ethos of previous Lagonda super saloons – notably the William Towns Lagonda – and as a tribute to this car it proudly bears the Lagonda nameplate." At its 1976 launch the Lagonda was notable for, among other things, its use of advanced technology – including LED display panels. The Aston Martin Lagonda, like its forebear, also makes use of modern innovations. For example, it utilises carbonfibre for its exterior panelling.

Each Lagonda will be hand built at Aston Martin's plant in Gaydon, in a building that was previously dedicated to construction of the One-77 supercar. The new Aston Martin Lagonda follows recent bespoke projects including the £500,000 Aston Martin CC100 Speedster, production versions of which were built by the 'Q by Aston Martin' division. Launched in 2013, the Q division is responsible for offering customers the ability to customise existing models to their own specifications, or to commission entirely bespoke cars. An Aston Martin spokesperson had previously said that the Lagonda was part of a series of coach-built models produced by the Q division.

The company also recently secured approximately £100 million in fresh funding, which may go towards the mooted Aston Martin Lagonda SUV. This all-new model has recently been brought back into the limelight following Aston's ongoing discussions and parts sharing deal withMercedes-Benz.

Earlier in the year Aston Martin had trademarked an updated version of the Lagonda emblem, hinting at the imminent return of the nameplate. The company says that the launch of the new saloon revives the Lagonda ethos of "the finest of fast cars".

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