MORE GENEVA AUTO SHOW @ INSIDELINE.COM: www.edmunds.com Aston Martin has dusted off its ancient Lagonda brand on a tallish, quaint-looking four-door concept that departs radically from the company's current portfolio of sleek ultra-sports cars. The Lagonda Concept, created by Aston Martin Design Director Marek Reichman, aims to establish a new benchmark for "performance luxury" cars, while extending the company's global brand reach to new customers. At least that's what the 2009 Geneva Auto Show press material says. But this is one odd duck. Reichman says his four-door, four-seat, four-wheel-drive concept was inspired by classic Lagondas of the '30s, notably WO Bentley's prewar V12, which arrived about 10 years before David Brown acquired Lagonda in 1947. Everything about the new Lagonda Concept is big, from its V12 engine to its 22-inch wheels. With the Lagonda Concept, Aston's current CEO, Ulrich Bez, wants to revive the brand, which has lain virtually dormant for the past 20 years. Bez sees the neo-Lagonda as a platform for new materials and such alternative powertrain technologies as hybrids and low-emissions diesels. More importantly, Bez envisions Lagonda as "a unique performance avant-garde luxury product" that can broaden the firm's base of affluent customers in such global markets as Russia, China and the Middle East.
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