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by Adam Lynton
Work is continuing on a luxury SUV based on a Mercedes GL-Class platform.
The Volkswagen Group has demonstrated just how lucrative high-end SUVs can be. Porsche, VW and Audi all hit gold with the Cayenne, Touareg and Q7 models, Lamborghini is readying the Urus and Bentley has been working on refining the EXP 9 F concept it revealed at the Geneva Motor Show in March. Aston Martin has been keen to cash in on the roaring luxury SUV sector ever since it revealed the Lagonda SUV concept at the same event in 2009.
There was a lull in proceedings after a mixed reception from press and public, but it appears Aston Martin is now focused on completely restyling the uber luxury SUV in time for a reveal sometime in the next twelve months. According to Inside Line, the new SUV will be based on a Mercedes GL-Class running gear, as per the Lagonda concept, with a deal already in place for Mercedes-Benz to supply drivetrains, platforms and even engines to Aston. In addition to Mercedes-sourced gasoline, diesel and hybrid models, Aston will also serve up a flagship model powered by the familiar 6.0-liter V12.
Launching a new luxury brand is never easy - just ask Mercedes about Maybach - which is why the British automaker has yet to confirm whether they will risk resurrecting the Lagonda badge or simply market the SUV as an Aston Martin. That could alienate some of the brand's faithful enthusiasts, but the Toyota iQ-based Cygnet has already done a pretty good job of that. On the other hand, those pre-existing notions don't hold as true in developing markets like China, Russia and the Middle East - markets which Aston is keen to tap into with an exotic luxury SUV the way its sportscars could not.