The Lagonda Taraf is a full-size four-door luxury car produced by Lagonda, a British car manufacturer controlled by Aston Martin since the year 1947. In English, the Arabic term "Taraf" means "absolute luxury." Notably, only 120 automobiles were produced, with each costing one million USD.
Wilbur Gunn developed the Lagonda marque in the year 1906. The Lagonda M45R handled by Luis Fontés and John Stuart Hindmarsh who won the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 1935. The Lagonda Rapide V12, which was released in 1939 became the most expensive vehicle in the U.S. at the time it was released to the public for purchase.
However, the company soon declared bankruptcy due to dwindling customer interest in high-end cars, which include supercars, because of the "Great Depression" and the outbreak of World War II. Hence, Alan Good outbids Rolls-Royce Ltd to acquire the Marque. Even David Brown, who at a point owned Aston Martin, purchased a Lagonda Taraf in 1947.
After decades of inactivity, the brand returned in 1976 with the debut of the Lagonda luxurious saloon, branded as an Aston Martin vehicle. However, the production of the Lagonda Taraf was terminated in the early 1990s, ultimately putting an end to the brand name. In 2009, Aston Martin chose to resurrect the Lagonda brand in order to expand into previously unexplored market sectors and commemorate Lagonda's centenary.
The Lagonda Taraf In The 21st Century
Lagonda entered the twenty-first century with the Taraf four door super saloons. It'll be hand built for its customers in a limited edition of 200, which is comparable to the manufacturing volumes of the One-77. Customer expectations pushed the company to expand production to EU compliant regions, which was originally intended primarily for the Middle East. It's no surprise, given that it's a roomy four-door sedan with the charm of a supercar.
The Lagonda Taraf has a distinguished history that dates back to 1906. It even has a Le Mans triumph to its name. The most recent model before now, however, was the legendary Lagonda of 1976, a four door, low, square, and wedge-shaped design by William Towns also known as Bill Towns. As a result, the Lagonda Taraf super saloon would be the first Lagonda in nearly four decades. It will be based on the adaptable VH body structure, which is bonded and extruded with carbon fiber composite panels on the body, excluding the bonnet.
The new Lagonda has traces of the 1976 design, but with a considerably more artistic appeal, and despite the low, slender, and beautiful appearance there's plenty of space inside for passengers of the four separate seats. Marek Reichman, Aston Martin's chief creative officer, defines it as a "super saloon… for clients seeking the finest in luxury and customization."
The Lagonda Taraf Churns Out An Outstanding Performance
The Lagonda Taraf's engine is a 540 horsepower variant of the 6.0 liter V12 from the Ford-era Aston Martin, which goes all the way back to 1999. The Aston V12 began life as two Ford Duratec 3.0 liter V6s merged together, and it is still constructed in a unique facility at Ford's Motor Company Cologne Engine Plant in Germany. The engine produces maximum power at 6,650 rpm and max torque of 465 lb-ft at 5,500 rpm when linked through a torque tube to an 8-speed ZF Friedrichshafen automatic transmission positioned between the back wheels.
The chassis is based on Aston Martin's VH platform, which is also used by the Rapide. The body panels are carbon fiber reinforced plastic (CFRP) and are painted seven times before final polishing. The purpose of utilizing this material was to save weight. With all the Rapide and DB9 machinery underneath it, the Lagonda Taraf drives like an Aston Martin extended limo. The handling is too aggressive, the engine is just too noisy, the ride is too hard, and there is a lot of road noise.
On the other hand, the big Lagonda Taraf is more enjoyable to drive along a back road than a vehicle its size should be. The motor isn't as sharp as it is in an Aston Martin DB9, but it still offers that beautifully elastic, somewhat turbine-like rush of power that a V12 is known for. The Lagonda Taraf turns nicely and handles well in curved roads, with little roll, and the extended wheelbase dampens fore-aft pitching. The Lagonda Taraf has a reported accelerating time of just 4.4 seconds from 0 to 62 mph, as well as a top speed of 195 miles per hour.
The Lagonda Taraf's Interior Is The Epitome Of Luxury
The interior of the Lagonda Taraf is classic Aston Martin, down to the nearly illegible gauges, push button, console mounted gearbox controls, and the slightly Rube infotainment interface that conceals the HDD SatNav System and a Bang & Olufsen BeoSound sound system.
The back seat has plenty of legrooms, as you would expect in a car nearly as long as a Rolls-Royce, yet the rear-mounted transmission and torque tube mean the Lagonda Taraf is purely a four-seater. Because it's an Aston Martin, and also because it's hand-made in the same part of Aston's Gaydon facility where the One-77 was built, the Lagonda Taraf's interior may be finished in practically any mixture of wood, leather, metal or carbon fiber a buyer chooses.
Sources: Hrowen, AstonMartinLagonda, MotorTrend