Aston Martin Lagonda Engine
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Aston Martin Lagonda Engines
Aston Martin shocked the Geneva motor show when it unveiled the Lagonda Concept, a V12-engined SUV. It is the first of a new collaboration between Aston and Mercedes-Benz, which will provide the 4×4 hardware and engine tech – from the Mercedes GL SUV. The Lagonda version seats just four and features a V12 engine up front.
Aston Martin was about to go out of business 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 with a brand new V8 engine. As soon as it was introduced, it drew in hundreds of deposits from potential customers, helping Aston Martin’s cash reserves.
In 1933, the manufacturer launched the M45 at the Olympia Motor Show in London, a sporting tourer powered by the Henry Meadows who the designed six-cylinder 4.5-litre engine. The prototype was driven by the aristocrat and enthusiast Edward Russell, Lord de Clifford, from Dieppe to Brindisi in Greece, beating the express train along the same route by some 14 hours. The result was a media sensation.
The M45 quickly became known as a car for the discerning sportsman, fast and capable yet also sufficiently comfortable for long journeys. In its day it had the largest engine in its class, a distinction that attracted owners like the land speed record holder Sir Malcolm Campbell, who had his M45 painted in his signature blue.
The same month, Lagonda was bought by Alan Good, a charismatic British lawyer whose first task was to enlist the skills of engineer W.O. Bentley. The results were the LG45 styled by Frank Feeley that represented the apex of the engineering skills of the time. In 1936, W.O. Bentley designed Lagonda’s first V12, an engine that was perfectly at home in the majestic long-wheelbase version of the new chassis.
The Lagondas of the 1930s demonstrated total harmony between engineering and appearance, including the stately LG6 model introduced in 1937. W.O. Bentley’s diligent innovation and refinement continued throughout the war, and the company developed the LG6 into a V12 model, an even more ‘imposing and dignified’ saloon that sadly ceased production before the start of the war. Simultaneously, the engineer developed a new six-cylinder engine, during the war, the benefits of which were soon to be reaped by Aston Martin.
Aston Martin’s association with Lagonda began in 1947, when David Brown, the marque’s new owner, purchased the company for Â£52,500. The collaboration gave Aston Martin access to W.O.Bentley’s new 2.6L DOHC six cylinder engine, as well as the talents of the company’s long-serving bodywork stylist Frank Feeley.
Feeley was responsible for the elegant drop head variant of the new 2.6 litre, the first Lagonda of the David Brown era, produced from 1948 to 1953. At the end of 1952 the 2.6 litre was developed into the 3.0 litre, which used a revised version of the W.O. Bentley engine.
The clear delineation between cabin, shoulder and flank is strongly reminiscent of the powerful and evocative lines of the 1930s era Lagondas, in particular the V12-engined version of the LG6. Viewed from the front of the concept, the deep, strong grille also evokes the presence and frontage of the cars from the inter-war era. The bold character lines that run along the sculpted flanks to the rear ensure the concept is planted firmly on the road. The large 22″ wheels and cut-away bodywork offer exceptional ground clearance, while the concept’s V12 engine delivers power through all four wheels.
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