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Despite rumors indicating that Aston Martin had axed plans to build its Lagonda SUV concept and instead go with a Rapide-based sedan, the British automaker appears ready to move ahead with its original product rollout.
At a lecture yesterday in Rotterdam in the Netherlands, Aston CEO Ulrich Bez confirmed that the Lagonda will be a four-wheel drive SUV. Bez even went so far as to say that the production model is “almost complete” and that the company should have more official info to offer by the end of the year.
While the decision to move ahead in the SUV segment seems foolish, it meshes well with Aston’s plan to push ahead of emerging markets like China, Eastern Europe and the Middle East, where a 4WD truck makes more sense. The decision may actually prove fortuitous as SUV sales are once again on the rise in North America.
GALLERY: Aston Martin Lagonda Concept
All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy. Aston Martin‘s design director, Marek Reichman, and their engineering manager, Chris Porritt, will be competing in the Aston Martin GT4 Challenge on August 21st at Oulton Park. The Aston Martin GT4 Challenge is a one-make race series created by the British exotic car maker.
This will be Reichman’s first real event in a Vantage GT4, despite being part of the design team with Aston Martin’s race cars including the LMP1. “The design team has been closely involved in the design of all our race cars, from the works LMP1 prototype to the Vantage GT4,” Reichman said, “but I’ve always longed to get even more closely involved and the Aston Martin GT4 Challenge provides the perfect introduction to GT4 racing for me.”
His co-driver will be Chris Porritt, Aston Martin’s engineering manager. Porritt has experience behind the wheel of a GT4-spec Aston, especially on Nurburgring, and Oulton Park is his home track. Though he’s never raced a GT4 car at Oulton Park, we’re going to guess that he’ll acclimate rather quickly.
We wish our work allowed us to race really expensive cars around on the track… oh wait, it does!
GALLERY: Aston Martin GT4 Challenge Series