Rolls Royce and Aston Martin get into a bit of a tiff over luxury

Interesting, News, Rolls Royce | March 15th, 2018 by 19
Lagonda Vision Concept 2 830x553

Is it just me or, when you think of uber-luxury British car brands fighting, do you think of two classic English Gentleman smacking each other …

Is it just me or, when you think of uber-luxury British car brands fighting, do you think of two classic English Gentleman smacking each other in the face with white gloves, properly in turn? Apparently, they actually argue in a much more normal, modern way. And it’s happening right now between two of the most luxurious and stylish British brands of all time — Rolls Royce and Aston Martin.

The latter just recently debuted its Lagonda Vision Concept, an all-electric super luxury sedan. This will mark the first vehicle of Aston Martin’s new all-electric luxury sub-brand, Lagonda, and a return of the famous nameplate. It looks exciting and futuristic, like something you’d see in Blade Runner 2049. The interior is also supposed to make a Rolls Royce Phantom seem positively low-rent. Although, at least in concept-phase, it looks more high-tech minimalism than uber-luxury. Still, that hasn’t stopped Aston Martin’s head of design from taking a shot at Rolls.

2018 Rolls Royce Phantom California 11 830x553

“Look at Rolls-Royce: it’s the most luxurious car in the world,” Reichman told Autocar. “Given its roots, its reason for being, it’s essentially still an internal combustion engine to replace a horse, a carriage and a trunk. It’s an imperfect package for luxury.” He calls both Rolls Royce and Bentley ancient compared to the Lagonda. “Rolls-Royce and Bentley are Ancient Greece today. I worked on the original Phantom. The brief was Buckingham Palace on wheels. It was important to do that to establish it. But the world has changed, and the royals have changed.”

And he does have a point, as both Rolls and Bentley do traditional luxury, with miles of leather and wood, tons of weight and imposing size. However, Reichman feels that Lagonda is moving in a new direction, a better direction. “Electrification in particular has huge advantages for the layout of cars,” he said. “You can put the weight and the powerplant where you want it. It’s not determined by history, pushing or pulling a carriage. There’s a freedom to think differently.”

Lagonda Vision Concept 830x467

Since then, Rolls Royce has fired back. During an interview with the Financial Times, Rolls-Royce CEO Torsten Müller-Ötvös  said “They really don’t understand our segment, they really don’t understand the customers,”. In fact, Müller-Ötvös feels as if Lagonda is in a different segment altogether. “They are in a complete different league on pricing, they have zero clue what’s going on in the upper, upper segment – zero. I am sorry to be so blunt.”

Forget about glove slapping, these two brands are at each other’s throats. To be honest, though, I have to agree with Rolls Royce. The Lagonda concept is very cool and very exciting. It shows off radically new body work and interior design, as well as an all-electric powertrain, autonomous driving and the ability for the driver to take control if they so choose. So it’s a very interesting concept and I, personally, like it a lot. But Rolls Royce is for a different customer entirely. The Lagonda is a techy and intriguing newcomer to the luxury segment but the Rolls Royce Phantom is the definitive luxury car. Nothing can match the opulence, luxury and class of the Phantom.

[Source: Carscoops]

19 responses to “Rolls Royce and Aston Martin get into a bit of a tiff over luxury”

  1. Icebreakerr says:

    aston martin fell off since they started getting engines from other car brands lmao and the new astons look like a mx5

  2. jason bourne says:

    Is that a car or a luxury street sweeper?

  3. Giom says:

    If Aston was smart, they wouldn’t get into a tiff with RR. It’s literally like the student challenging the professor in his field. Very silly!

    • Central Lifestyle says:

      Exactly. RR is established as the segment’s definitive word. Even Bentley price their cars a band under RR’s. There’s room in segment for AM Lagonda, if they correctly target their marketing. They won’t convert the “old money” folks but they might have a chance at “new money” buyers from entertainment, hedge funds, techies, lottery winners etc.

      • Senne says:

        Just like you said, even Bentley knows that Rolls-Royce is above them. What does Aston Martin have today? Nothing that even comes close to say a 7 Series or S Class, let alone a Rolls-Royce, the most luxurious brand in the world, PERIOD.

        Aston makes luxury GT’s, gorgeous, slightly sporty, quick Coupes and Convertibles. They shouldn’t try to take on a fight with brands that have been about sheer luxury for 100 years or more. That’s naive and arrogant.

        • disqus_8YchtRit8p says:

          Aston taking on Rolls reminds me of the Koreans trying to compete with BMW by hiring their staff, building new rwd. turbo (V)6, and name-dropping them in their p.r.

    • PK says:

      i wouldn’t underestimate aston martin though. their brand and image of luxury is still there. they can may give rr and bentley a run for it’s money.

  4. John says:

    Both are high value British icons. The British are famous for making good looking luxury cars which are desired by other manufacturers and hence the collaborations

  5. Senne says:

    For one it’s extremely bad looking, secondly it doesn’t look luxurious at all, even in concept form. This will NEVER come even close to the luxury and presence of any Rolls-Royce. The classic form of luxury is still the most perfect form of luxury today. If there’s a moment in time where a fully electric vehicle can have a range of at least 500 km and be fully charged within 5 minutes, THEN it might become more luxurious than an internal combustion engine. For now, the V12 still reigns.

    • Senne says:

      Actually, when looking at the photos, the only luxurious material I see are the carpets. I don’t even see leather anywhere. I mean come on. They could’ve at least tried a bit harder.

      • Kaisuke971 says:

        I usually agree with you but I went 20 years back reading your comments here. Luxury is about the experience, not the materials themselves. Just like making a car with leather interior and a big engine doesn’t make it luxurious, something like this without a big engine (well no engine at all) and basically no conventional materials doesn’t mean it is not a luxury vehicle.

        While I think that Aston-Martin Lagonda should be way above taking direct shots against Rolls-Royce like they did, they do have an actual point. Luxury as we conceive it today is a very old-fashioned concept, we have to move past the classic idea that a full grain leather lacquered wood chauffeur-driven V12 car is the ultimate machine.

        The people I’ve seen taken a close look at this concept were all impressed by what they’ve seen, and I’m not surprised since there is already an established luxury car that has taken a similar approach, for decades: the Toyota Century.

        I would like mainstream manufacturers to try something else, even if it is just at the beginning an alternative to the classic perceived as exclusive car interior, but something seriously done. High quality fabrics, alternative more natural feeling trims.

        And it’s not like we don’t know how good Fabrics can feel, the Château de Versailles has no leather seats or couches.

        • Giom says:

          I have no problem with the concept car. I think it is very futuristic in an aerodynamic sort of way. Very slick and quite stunning. I just feel it’s unnecessary to take swings at RR. It exposes an element of ignorance on their side.

        • Senne says:

          I can see your point Kaisuke, and I 100% agree that luxury isn’t JUST about certain materials and that the way we think about luxury today might be a bit old-fashioned.

          However, I do believe that this old-fashioned way of thinking about luxury is still a very good one. If it weren’t, Bentley would be considered more luxurious than Rolls-Royce, because they have more tech (although the new Ghost does have a lot of tech, except for autonomous features, that is). Or even the Mercedes-Maybach, which is packed with tech. No, the old-fashioned Rolls-Royce is still considered the most luxurious brand in the world. And rightfully so.

          It’s about not having any vibrations inside, about having hardly any sound at all (and that’s why electric motors might become a good alternative to the V12 engine in the future), every single material you touch has to feel just right, has to be gorgeous to the eye as well, pleasant to touch, the design of the car should be very imposing, like nothing else on the road. It’s a cocoon of luxury.

          I love how the doors inside any Rolls are still designed like they were before the ’90s when BMW basically invented the 3 dimensional doors. The fact that they STILL use this design after all those years must mean something. It means that, even though it might look a bit old-fashioned, it still looks and feels satisfying. Every button. Every inch. It’s all just right.

          Let’s see what they can do when this actually comes to the market. One thing is for sure though, this is just like any other concept that will never make it into the production… The doors are another thing. We don’t want doors that go up like a Lambo (or rather a Tesla Model X) in a 400-800K über luxurious limousine, do we? I know, it’s a Concept, but still. To me, simplicity rules for things like that. Make them open and close with the push of a button, yes please.

          Besides all that, I really don’t like the looks of this thing… But that’s just personal, naturally. :)

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