Lagonda Vignale

Revealed at the Geneva motorshow in 1993, the Lagonda Vignale is an Aston Martin concept car. Then under the ownership of Ford, the Vignale was built on the Lincoln Town Car platform. The Vignale also had to share a Ford engine, the 4.6 V8 combined with a 4 speed automatic gearbox. The Lagonda Vignale benefited from a clean sheet design as Lagonda had no real consistency in its designs at the time.

Lagonda Vignale
By Alex Wilkie – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0

“We pretty much did what we wanted to do, there wasn’t much DNA to hold onto… We just tried to reproduce a flamboyance about the car”

Moray Callum – Lagonda Vignale Designer

DB7 vs Vignale

The Lagonda Vignale’s distinctive design was apparently well received but that didn’t help it go into production. The Aston Martin DB7 project, revealed at the same motor show in Geneva, was given the green light for production. Aston Martin deemed the obscurity of the Lagonda brand too much of a risk and only one car could be chosen and the DB7 fitted into the heritage of the brand better than the Lagonda Vignale could.

Platform Sharing

At face value the DB7 and Vignale shared little in common, one being a grand tourer, the other a large saloon. Underneath the styling, the two shared a similarity. Both cars used platform sharing extensively, something clearly Ford thought important to share development costs. This was especially important for such a niche car as the Lagonda Vignale.

The Vignale used a 4.6 Litre Ford V8 on a Lincoln town car chassis. The DB7 took sharing parts to the next level. It used the AJ6 Jaguar straight six engine and the chassis was a modified version of the XJS chassis. (Tom Walkinshaw wanted to use this chassis having raced an XJS using it). The DB7 also used switchgear from Ford, Mazda rear lights, indicators from a Mazda MX5 and Citroen wing mirrors. Even the designers themselves were related, Ian Callum in charge of the DB7 and brother Moray Callum doing the Lagonda.

Lagonda Vignale Concept Car Sold

Three Vignale cars were produced, one was sold to the Sultan of Brunei for £1.3m in 1995. This car was fitted with the 6.0 litre V12 later used in the Aston Martin Vanquish rather than the rather asthmatic Ford V8 in the concept car.

Another Vignale owned by Ford was auctioned off and the last one was destroyed once it had served its purpose as a marketing and promotion tool.

While it was a strange looking design, Aston Martin clearly wanted to test the water before investing in a new project, particularly with Ford’s investment now on the line. While it was a strange interlude, the Lagonda Vignale actually helped create the Aston Martin DB7, which was credited with saving the company on more than one occasion.

It would be 2015 when the Lagonda name appeared again, with the very expensive Taraf saloon.

Lagonda Vignale
Engine:4601cc V8
Top Speed:N/A
Price when new:N/A
Production:Concept car

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