Report: Aston Martin Considering Downsized Engines, Still Working on Lagonda SUV

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Aston Martin is still working hard on its controversial SUV project, but will heavily revise the styling compared to the Lagonda concept shown in 2009. Autocar reports that the Aston SUV will be positioned to directly compete with upcoming super-SUVs from rivals Bentley and Lamborghini. The company also will consider moving away from its range of big eight- and 12-cylinder engines in favor of smaller units. The Aston Martin Lagonda concept (pictured) was shown in 2009 at the Geneva Motor Show, but the awkward design language met a mostly critical response. Aston will thus restyle the SUV before it next meets the public eye. The company is still hard at work developing the Lagonda, which like the concept is planned to be built on the Mercedes-Benz GL-Class platform. Aston's familiar 6.0-liter V-12 will likely be the headline engine, while a diesel, downsized gasoline, or even hybrid powertrain could join the mix at a later date. Aston Martin CEO has confirmed that his company would consider building smaller, downsized engines in a bid to improve fuel efficiency. Currently the company only offers V-8 and V-12 engines -- aside from the Toyota-based Cygnet, which has a four-cylinder engine. But if Aston moved away from its traditional big engines, the automaker would reportedly still endeavor to make its new cars "special" and "exclusive." The Lagonda SUV is especially important to Aston Martin's expansion into China, as buyers there show little interest in expensive sports cars. Instead, Chinese buyers tend to favor luxurious sedans and SUVs. Bentley is working on an SUV tentatively called the EXP 9 F, while Lamborghini is developing a sporty SUV called the Urus. The former will offer a range of powertrains including a plug-in hybrid, while the latter could have a turbocharged V-8 engine. There's still no word on when Aston Martin will next unveil a version of the Lagonda SUV, or when the new model might go on sale. Source: Autocar 1, 2

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