Home Connected Car Self-Driving Aston Martin’s opulent autonomous car concept comes draped in cashmere and silk

Aston Martin’s opulent autonomous car concept comes draped in cashmere and silk

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Aston Martin, like many carmakers around the globe, has pledged to add electric technology to its cars in the near future. After getting off to a rocky start, thanks to a busted partnership with sinking Chinese tech conglomerate LeEco, the British automotive company seems ready to refocus its effort around something new by resurrecting its Lagonda sub-brand and turning it into a marque for electric luxury cars.

Today at the Geneva Motor Show, Aston Martin showed off an initial concept that sets the tone for what it wants to do with Lagonda. Called the Lagonda Vision Concept, it’s a wild wedge of a car with a dazzling interior that’s full of fine materials and lavish touches. Aston Martin expects production of the first cars in this new line of Lagondas to start in 2021, with “potentially two” different models (likely a coupe and an SUV) being released by 2023.

With the Vision Concept, Aston Martin has set the bar very high for Lagonda. It hired David Snowdon, famous furniture designer and nephew of Queen Elizabeth II, to help design the interior. (Fitting, considering Aston Martin’s ties to the royal family.) The result is a strange mix of carbon fiber, handwoven wool, cashmere, and even silk. Ceramic tiles “open and close to alter the ventilation and adjust the volume of the music.” An almost completely glass roof ensures that there will always be enough light to gawk at all these details, too.

On the more technical side, Aston Martin imagines this car having the ability to go 400 miles on a single charge. It also projects being capable of Level 4 autonomy, meaning that it would be able to completely drive itself, but would still keep a steering wheel and pedals in case the owner or passengers still want to drive. To accommodate the autonomous side of things, the two front seats can spin 180 degrees to face inward, creating a more communal feel inside the cabin. In the car’s armchair-style seats, riders will have “unprecedented access to bespoke concierge services and a level of connectivity and cyber-security few enjoy in their own homes,” according to Aston Martin.

Ornamental, elaborate, froofy, pretentious — there are a lot of words that could be used to describe what’s going on here. One thing’s for sure: it’s certainly unique. Aston Martin is calling a very bold shot with the Lagonda Vision Concept. I wish it luck on the followthrough.

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