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Aston Martin Lagonda

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Aston Martin Lagonda
ManufacturerAston Martin
645 produced
DesignerWilliam Towns
Body and chassis
ClassFull-size luxury car (F)
Body style4-door saloon
LayoutFront-engine, rear-wheel-drive
Engine5.3 L (5,340 cc) V8
Wheelbase2,916 mm (114.8 in)
Length5,282 mm (208.0 in)
Width1,816 mm (71.5 in)
Height1,302 mm (51.3 in)
PredecessorLagonda Rapide
SuccessorLagonda Taraf

The Aston Martin Lagonda is a full-size luxury four-door saloon manufactured by British 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.

In 2014, Aston Martin confirmed it would launch a new Lagonda model called the Taraf for the Middle-East market, sold on an invitation-only basis as a successor to this saloon.[1] As of 2022, 113 remain registered in the United Kingdom, though 82 are SORN (unregistered for routine road use).[2]


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 attracted hundreds of deposits and boosted Aston Martin's cash reserves.[3]

The 1976 wedge-shaped styling contrasted sharply with other cars of its day

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 the company. With famous contemporaries like the Lamborghini Countach, Lotus Esprit, and DMC DeLorean, the Lagonda is frequently named among the most striking wedge-shaped designs.[4][5][6] The Lagonda combined striking styling with a premium leather interior and (for the day), advanced instrumentation. Coupled to a Chrysler three-speed "TorqueFlite" automatic transmission, its four-cam carbureted V8 provided poor fuel economy, affected little 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 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.[7] The development cost for the electronics alone on the Lagonda came to four times as much as the budget for the whole car. The Series 3 used cathode ray tubes for the instrumentation, which proved even less reliable than the original model's light-emitting diode (LED) display.

It was named by Bloomberg Businessweek as one of the 50 ugliest cars of the last 50 years[8] and Time magazine included it in its "50 Worst Cars of All Time", describing it as a mechanical "catastrophe" with electronics that would be impressive if they ever worked.[9]


A number of iterations of the Lagonda were produced: the original Series 1 and the wedge-shaped Series 2, 3, and 4. A total of 645 cars were produced in its 12-year production run.

Series 1 (1974–1975)[edit]

The 1st Series Lagonda was essentially just a four-door version of the Aston Martin V8

This long-wheelbase, four-door version of the Aston Martin V8 was announced at the 1974 London Motor Show. Designed by William Towns and based on the DBS, it was the first car to wear the Lagonda name since the 1961 Rapide.[10] The 5.3 L V8 engine was supplied with either a 5-speed manual or automatic transmission.[11] Only seven were sold.[12]

Specifications (Series 1)[edit]

  • Engine and power output: 5.3-L 5,340 cc (326 cu in) DOHC V8, 280 hp (209 kW; 284 PS), 301 lb⋅ft (408 N⋅m) of torque
  • Top speed: 240 km/h (149 mph)
  • 0–97 km/h (0–60 mph): 6.2 seconds
  • Length: 4,928 mm (194.0 in)
  • Wheelbase: 2,910 mm (114.6 in)
  • Width: 1,829 mm (72.0 in)
  • Height: 1,323 mm (52.1 in)
  • Weight: 2,000 kg (4,409 lb)

At least two of the cars (having chassis numbers 12003[12] and 12005[13]) have been upgraded by R.S. Williams Ltd of Cobham to a 7.0-litre version of the original engine, able to generate a power output ranging from 440 to 480 hp (328 to 358 kW) [12] on unleaded fuel.

Series 2 (1976–1985)[edit]

The Series 2 model has pop-up headlights and a design in-line with folded paper wedged shaped trend of the 1970s
The interior of the Series 2 had a futuristic dashboard and controls

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.[14] Deliveries of the Lagonda did not commence until 1979. Series 2 cars were originally fitted with digital LCD dashboards and touch button controls but these features were abandoned in 1980. The Lagonda retailed at £49,933 in 1980, significantly more than a Ferrari 400 or Maserati Kyalami but less than a Rolls-Royce Corniche.[15] The car commenced sales in the US from 1982 with minor regulatory amendments to the front bumper and airdam.[16]

Specification (Series 2)[edit]

  • 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[17]
  • 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)

Series 3 (1986–1987)[edit]

1986 Aston Martin Lagonda Series 3

The Series 3 was produced for only one year with 75 units manufactured. All had fuel injected engines. Cathode ray tube instrumentation was later changed to a vacuum fluorescent display system and shared exterior styling with the Series 2.

Series 4 (1987–1990)[edit]

The 1987 Series 4 had more rounded, but also more slab-sided styling.

The Series 4 was launched at the Geneva Motor Show in March 1987, having been extensively restyled by the car's original designer William Towns. Sharp edges were rounded off and the pop-up headlights were replaced with three headlights on each side of the grille. The side swage line (or character line) was removed and 16-inch wheels were introduced. With production of around one car per week, 105 cars were manufactured through January 1990.[18] 72 of the Series 4 cars were built with left-hand drive.

Special variants[edit]

1987/1998 Roos Engineering shooting-brake Lagonda

Aftermarket variations of the Lagonda included:

  • Tickford Lagonda (1983) – Five Series 2 Lagondas were sold with a bodykit and upgraded interiors.[19]
  • Tickford limousine (1984) – Four long-wheelbase Lagondas were made, at a cost of £110,000 each. On these cars, the rear door window glass was split vertically in half.
  • Rapide (a two-door, short-wheelbase version)[20] – one made with the front triple headlight design of the Series 4.[clarification needed]
  • Shooting-brake (Estate) by Swiss company Roos Engineering – one made in 1998 using a 1987 model.[21][22][23]
  • Lagonda Vantage – a 1985 Lagonda with Vantage engine for an Indian Londoner.[24]


  1. ^ Walker, Steve (25 July 2014). "Lagonda is back! Aston Martin teases new super-saloon". Auto Express. Retrieved 16 June 2015.
  2. ^ "ASTON MARTIN LAGONDA (model family) - How Many Left?". www.howmanyleft.co.uk. Retrieved 12 August 2023.
  3. ^ Chapman, Giles (2009). Illustrated Encyclopedia of Extraordinary Automobiles. DK Publishing. p. 286. ISBN 978-0-7566-4980-7. Retrieved 2 July 2011.
  4. ^ Wedge of Tomorrow: 20 of the Greatest Sports Cars of the '70s and '80s
  5. ^ The Thin End of the Wedge – RAC Cars
  6. ^ 20 Radical Wedge-Shaped Cars – Best Wedge Shaped Vehicles – Road and Track
  7. ^ Dowsey, David (2010). Aston Martin: Power, Beauty and Soul. Antique Collector's Club. p. 58. ISBN 978-1-86470-424-2. Retrieved 2 July 2011.
  8. ^ "Fifty Ugliest Cars of the Past 50 Years: Aston Martin Lagonda". BusinessWeek. Archived from the original on 1 November 2009. Retrieved 4 June 2011.
  9. ^ Neil, Dan (7 September 2007). "The 50 Worst Cars of All Time: 28 of 51, 1975–1989. 1976 Aston Martin Lagonda". Time. Archived from the original on 14 November 2007.
  10. ^ "Octane classic car specs". Classicandperformancecar.com. Archived from the original on 8 July 2011. Retrieved 4 June 2011.
  11. ^ Autocar Motor Show Supplement 19 October 1974
  12. ^ a b c Bonhams (20 April 2016). "1974 Aston Martin Lagonda Series I". Supercars.net. Retrieved 2 February 2020.
  13. ^ Cottingham, Tim. "V8 Lagonda Series I". astonmartins.com. Retrieved 3 February 2015.
  14. ^ Motor 22 October 1977
  15. ^ Autocar 18 October 1980
  16. ^ "Aston Martin Heritage". Astonmartin.com. Archived from the original on 24 January 2010.
  17. ^ "Octane classic car specs". Classicandperformancecar.com. Archived from the original on 8 July 2011. Retrieved 4 June 2011.
  18. ^ "Aston Martin Lagonda (Series 4) (1987–1990)". astonmartins.com. 9 July 2008. Archived from the original on 21 November 2008. Retrieved 2 July 2011.
  19. ^ Cottingham, Tim (ed.). "Tickford Lagonda". Astonmartins.com. Archived from the original on 8 February 2023.
  20. ^ "The Mule, Virage prototype 'DP 2034/1' 1988/90 Aston Martin Lagonda Two-Door Coupé". Bonhams. Retrieved 4 August 2023.
  21. ^ "Estate of Grace" (PDF). Octane. roosengineering.ch. July 2006. Archived from the original (PDF) on 7 July 2011. Retrieved 2 July 2011.
  22. ^ "Roos Engineering archive". Roosengineering.ch. Archived from the original on 7 July 2011. Retrieved 4 June 2011.
  23. ^ "Fahrzeugbezeichnung – Lagonda V8 Shooting Brake" (PDF). Roos Engineering (Press release) (in German). Winter 2000. Archived from the original (PDF) on 30 October 2012. Retrieved 13 May 2016.
  24. ^ Archived at Ghostarchive and the Wayback Machine: "Aston Martin Lagonda Vantage, Factory Original 1 of 1! World Exclusive!". Tyrrell's Classic Workshop – via YouTube.

External links[edit]