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Aston Martin Confirms 2-3 Lagonda Models

From a recent interview given to Car Magazine by Aston Martin’s CEO Ulrich Bez, we learn that the British automaker is working on “two or three” new Lagonda models: a sporty crossover, a high-end luxury sedan and an Allroad-type crossover.

He added that the Lagonda brand cannot survive “as a one-model brand” and for this reason they’ll launch several cars. The sporty crossover will ride on 21-inch wheels and will feature a low-riding chassis, while the Audi Allroad-type model will be aimed at the odd Range Rover customers. As far as the luxury sedan is concerned, it will combine the traditional luxury of the brand along with a sophisticated drivetrain and advanced packaging. We shouldn’t be surprised if the model will be powered by a hybrid powertrain coming from Mercedes-Benz.

Source: carmagazine.co.uk

Aston Martin & Mercedes Team Up For Future Lagondas And Maybachs

Aston Martin Lagonda Concept

According to our colleges from caranddriver.com, Aston Martin’s CEO Dr. Ulrich Bez wants to resuscitate the Lagonda marquee by rolling out a Rolls Royce Ghost-sized luxury four-door. Creating an entire new platform would be very expensive and hard to do for such a small manufacturer like Aston, but by teaming up with another manufacturer, it could happen.

The British car manufacturer contacted BMW and Mercedes, but discussions with the first one broke down at the beginning of last year. They did find a partner in Mercedes and they’ve signed a deal at the end of 2010 from which we find out that Aston Martin will build the next Maybach (I never would have expected this in a million years). This agreement also calls for the German automaker to provide Aston with an SUV, some engines, and possibly a platform to replace Aston’s aging VH architecture that has been used since 2004 with the DB9 model.

Let’s face it; the Maybach was never an attractive car and probably now more than ever it needs some significant updates. It wasn’t a hit among rich people and Mercedes even thought of killing the brand, but after the significant economic boost in China, Maybachs are starting to become more popular there so for this reason the German car manufacturer has decided to give the brand another chance.

To keep costs down to a minimum, the forthcoming Maybach will use the 2013 S-Class’s hardware and platform, and it will be made in England at Aston’s factory in Gaydon. Sources inside Mercedes say that by making the new Maybach at Aston’s plant (instead of Stuttgart) will cut down the production costs by approximately 50%. We will probably see a concept of Aston’s Maybach at the Frankfurt auto show this year.

Aston Martin will use for its Lagonda sedan the platform of the Maybach/S-Class, along with the chassis, transmission and the safety equipment. The Aston Martin Lagonda will have a base price of about $350,000 and it will have to face up some serious competition coming from Rolls-Royce, Bentley, and of course, Maybach.

The British car manufacturer will also roll out an SUV based on the Merc’s ML/GL-Class unibody SUV platform. It will most likely be fitted with a V8 4.7-liter turbocharged engine, good for 429 hp, an engine that was recently introduced in the Mercedes CL550. Aston’s SUV will also be available with a hybrid powertrain and some diesels borrowed from its German partner.

Source: caranddriver.com

Top 50 Worst Cars In All History PART 3

Welcome back to the third part of our article where we will present another 10 cars that will go down as some of the worst vehicles ever made. For those of you that visit the website for the first time, have a look at the first and second part of the article.

Ford Pinto

Let’s begin the article with the Ford Pinto. It wasn’t particularly a very bad car but it is worthy of a place in our top because of its volatile nature. By volatile nature we mean that it had the tendency to erupt in flames if it was involved in a rear-end collision. The Blue Oval spent $121 million in order to reinforce the rear end of the Pinto, in comparison to only $50 million for the potential payout to victims.

Jaguar XK-E V12 Series III

The Jaguar E-Type will remain one of the most beautiful cars in the world, a 150-mph capable supercar with one of the sexiest bodywork ever created. In 1974 the E-Type transformed into this thing, the XK-E V12 Series III. In the United States, there were new power-sapping emission requirements so Jaguar had to switch the impressive 6-cylinder 4.2-liter engine with the massive 5.3-liter V12 monster. Another decision made by the British was to stop making the coupe version and they made only the LWB (long wheelbase) 2+2 and the convertible. If this wasn’t enough for massacring the looks of the car, people over at Jaguar plumped up the fenders, ruining the smooth looks of the car. In an embarrassing attempt to meet the 5-mph bumper standards, the car was equipped with awful rubber bumpers which ruined forever the looks of a once beautiful car.

Bricklin SV 1

Here is a car that had a let’s call it modern design for its time, the Bricklin SV 1 (Safety Vehicle 1). One of the special things about it was the 100-lb gullwing doors, inspired from the Mercedes Gullwing. The body of the car was made out of dent-resistant, brightly-colored plastic. Probably the most important safety feature of the car was the fact that it was a very slow car, “thanks” to its extra weight gained by the materials used for the bumpers and panels. However, there were almost 3,000 people that ordered it, they probably liked the doors, we don’t.

Morgan Plus 8 Propane

Here is another beautiful car in our opinion that died because of the U.S. emissions and safety requirements imposed in the early 70s. We all know that Morgan is one of those manufacturers that make cars the old-fashioned way, with sliding-pillar front suspensions and wooden-frame bodies. These cars are not bad but this one pictured above ran its impressive Rover V8 engine on propane, thanks to Bill Fink, who is a Moggie-phile and dealer. For a couple of years, a few of these bombs on wheels were sold and they had tanks of liquid propane that hung perilously right behind the rear bumper. And they said that the Pinto was dangerous…

Triumph TR7

Here is another Triumph unfortunately, this time the TR7 which had in my opinion a rather interesting design. The TR7 and TR8 were the last cars that were sold in the United States and also among the last models that were ever made by the company until it closed its doors in 1984. The car wasn’t a flop because of the rather strange design or because of the engineering, but because these were very bad made. The carburetors worked very rarely, the sunroof leaked instantly, and those concealed headlights you see in the picture rarely wanted to come out and play. One unfortunate owner of the TR7 said that the rear axle fell out.

Trabant

If you live in Europe, you definitely heard about the Trabant, East Germany’s response to the VW Beetle. Powered by an 18 hp engine, the car was made out of fiberglass-like Duroplast and recycled fibers like cotton and wood. Although the car smoked like there was no tomorrow, it was a hit as many East Germans bought it, mainly because it was very cheap.

Aston Martin Lagonda

Here is a manufacturer that we wouldn’t have thought it will make it into our top – Aston Martin. Just like any other car from this British manufacturer, the Lagonda was without any doubt a really beautiful vehicle. However, the mechanical part was a disaster. The car featured computer-driven electronics (remember, it was built in the 70s) and cathode-ray displays which definitely would have been quite cool back then but there was one minor flaw: they didn’t work!

Chevrolet Chevette

The Chevrolet Chevette is one of those cars that although was very bad, it had a few fans, just like the Yugo and the Pacer. This three-door hatchback had a 51 hp engine linked to a 4-speed manual gearbox, that’s it. The car was very loud and quite uncomfortable inside due to the limited space available. Plus, it looked awful in this diaper-brown color.

AMC Pacer

Speaking of the Pacer, it is a definitely a car worthy of a place in our top 50 of the worst cars in all history. Hagerty Insurance asked automotive enthusiasts about the worst car design ever made – the AMC Pacer was the proud winner. The guy responsible for the Gremlin is also the creator of this awful-looking vehicle. Driving the car during the hot summer days would have been a real adventure due to the non-existing air conditioning and if you were very attentive, you could have spotted the fumes of volatile petrochemicals out-gassing from the cheap-looking plastic dashboard.

Corvette 305 California

The last car in our article is another victim of the 70s United States emissions requirements that killed many muscle cars. The Corvette 305 California was fitted with a V8 engine that managed to produce only 180 hp. If it wasn’t enough to kill this car, the engine was linked to a 3-speed automatic transmission. Too bad as the car still looks great after 40 years.

Join us tomorrow for the fourth part of our article where we will continue to present another 10 automotive flops that will remain in history.

Aston Martin scraps Lagonda SUV plans, might launch Rapide-based Lagonda sedan


It seems that the huge negative backlash after the reveal of the Lagonda SUV has made Aston Martin reconsider launching the ghastly concept we saw last year.

According to a new report, Aston Martin won’t pursue the Lagonda SUV plans as existing customers have sent a lot of negative feedback about the awkward concept.

Instead, Aston might still revive the Lagonda brand, but with a different type of model. It seems that the British carmaker is planning a Lagonda sedan, which will be based on the existing Rapide.

Not much is known, but according to the same report, the Lagonda-branded Rapide will arrive much later, in 2014 at the least, in order to give the Aston Martin version time to expand its sales. This date might also hint that the Lagonda will be based on the second generation Rapide, and incorporate some of its improvements.

Still, at least we should be happy that Aston Martin has scrapped the whole Lagonda SUV project.

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Aston Martin plans six new and refreshed models until 2016


Aston Martin is by far one of the most respected carmakers in the world, but, sadly, this hasn’t been paying the bills lately at the Gaydon HQ.

As such, the British sportscar manufacturer is planning some serious shakeups to its lineup, in order to become more profitable but also to meet the strict fuel and emissions regulations that will be adopted by the EU and in the USA.

Luckily for us, the blokes at Autocar have gotten their hands on Aston Martin’s six-year plan. Even if some of the entries were already known, there are still quite a lot of interesting tidbits of information.

First off, 2011 will see the introduction of the Aston Martin Cygnet city car, essentially an upmarket Toyota iQ, designed for AM fans that want something to zip around town. It’s small engine and low weight will definitely improve the fuel average across the lineup.

Next up, the iconic DB9 is set to get a drastic overhaul in 2013, as its VH aluminum alloy chassis will be upgraded. The main goal is to decrease weight yet ensure great handling. A key role will be played by an optimized version of the V12 engine, currently under the bonnet of the DB9. It will also be put on a diet and will see the addition of emission-reducing and fuel-saving technologies.

2014 will see the same treatment be applied to the Vantage model. Even if sales of this specific car have suffered from the economic downturn, Aston is confident that with the right upgrades and a strict diet, the Vantage will continue to shine among the opposition.

Still in 2014, Aston Martin will push the Lagonda brand front and center. The first model will be a luxury SUV, in the vein of the concept we saw last year. Before you worry, Aston has revealed that the design will be overhauled, in order to give it a sense of class. It is expected that the British carmaker will borrow the GL Class chassis from Mercedes-Benz.

The Aston Martin DBS will also receive its own refresh, in 2015. More power will definitely be added, while the weight will be reduced. Given the high sales of this specific model, it’s safe to say that not a lot of things will change.

Last but not least, in 2016, Aston might also refresh the Rapide super sedan. The fate of the model will rest with the sales figures it will achieve up until then. Given the shared chassis with the DB9, the same changes are also expected to hit the four-door model.

As an overall design line, expect cues to be taken from the recent One-77 hypercar, as well as a few other internal projects from Aston.

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Hybrid Aston Martin models won’t appear, Lagonda or Cygnet more likely


Aston Martin CEO Dr. Ulrich Bez recently talked about hybrids and revealed some very interesting facts about his company and how it will tackle the trend.

I’ve got some bad news for those of you who want a stunning Aston Martin design but with a heart of gasoline and electricity, as Bez denied any hybrid Aston Martin sportscars. He did say that such a technology is being researched, and has a high chance of ending up on the newly revived Lagonda sub brand, which has already seen a, shall we say, controversial concept in the form of an SUV, which are a prime target for hybrid powertrains.

He also tackled the small Cygnet city car, which at heart is a Toyota iQ, and revealed than an all-electric powertrain might be implemented in the future.

Overall, these are some pretty interesting tactics Aston is considering to lower its fleet-wide fuel economy and emissions average, but I’m not so sure they’ll get their money’s worth, considering the debates the two concepts have sparked. What do you think? Share your view below.

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