MEET THE WORLD'S MOST EXPENSIVE SALOON CAR
It's also a 195 mph fridge.
Aston Martin is certainly not shy to pull back the robe and reveal attractive new guises to the world. Hold my martini. Look at when they stretched the DB9 and added two extra doors to give us the Rapide, which referenced the classic 1961 Lagonda Rapide. Or when they released the DBX SUV and Vanquish Zagato shooting brake - continuously surprising us with opulent instruments.
The most famous of all is the series two Aston Martin Lagonda from 1976. You may already know it for its famous razor-edge form and gargantuan size. At nearly 5.3m long, you would struggle to lose it in a car park, but if you somehow do, NASA could probably help locate it from space.
Aston Martin Taraf
It featured state of the art technology. Digital dials spiralled towards the ceiling in jet fighter-like fashion as you pushed the naturally aspirated 5.3L V8 up the rev range. Advanced dashboard switches controlled everything from the sharp pop-up headlights to the cruise control. And whilst the series two Lagonda was a bit of a marvel, it nearly assassinated Aston Martin due to the various electronic gremlins that started to show face. A decision was promptly made to delay production and focus on the problems at hand. The electronics were later re-designed with help from a Texas aircraft electronics supplier, allowing the Lagonda to take to the roads in all of its obscure presence as of 1978.
Keen for another car to proudly wear the Lagonda badge after nearly 40 years, Aston Martin relit the super-saloon torch in 2015 and the Lagonda Taraf was born, from the Arabic word for luxury. Built from carbon fibre composite panels and sharing some design features with its older Lagonda sibling, the Taraf has more sculptural appeal. Under the large bonnet is the 5.9L V12 as found in the Vanquish II, which means you and your other three passengers will be catapulted to 60 mph in just 4.4 seconds and onto a flaming 195 mph top speed. All whilst listening to Beethoven's 9th symphony through your 1000-watt Bang & Olufsen BeoSound system and sipping on cool alcohol-free wine from your in-built fridge.
Aston Martin Taraf
If that doesn't scream success, maybe the price tag will. When launched, the Lagonda Taraf cost £685,000. And yes, you could have a Rolls Royce Phantom instead and still have change left over for a Bentley Mulsanne plus fuel. But unlike the Phantom or Mulsanne, the Taraf was designed originally for the Middle East and only 200 were built. If you are affluent and lucky enough to get your hands on a used one, you will have full boasting rights at any champagne gathering.