Rare Rides: Aston Martin's Incredibly Rare 2017 Lagonda Taraf

Corey Lewis
by Corey Lewis
rare rides aston martins incredibly rare 2017 lagonda taraf

Sometimes, motorcars of high specification end up off-limits to some markets due to issues relatively outside the manufacturer’s control: funding, distribution, or perhaps regulation. Aston Marton took a different approach with the Lagonda Taraf, and intentionally limited their super sedan to just one market.

Maybe that was for the best.

The Lagonda name conjures up images of one very specific sedan, but that wasn’t always the case. Lagonda was founded in England in 1906 by an American named Wilbur Gunn, who’d decided he didn’t want to be an opera singer any longer. Gunn drew the Lagonda name from the Shawnee settlement which eventually became the location of his hometown — Springfield, Ohio.

Between 1906 and 1940, Lagonda built expensive cars at their singular factory. The company fell on hard times and was sold to a new investor in 1935, but continued to slowly produce new cars in between wars. No cars were built between 1940 and 1948, and the company changed hands again in 1947. Aston Martin took over, and immediately folded Lagonda in as a subsidiary.

After building less than 800 cars between 1948 and 1958, the company went dormant. Aston Martin brought it back in 1961, with a limited run of 55 Rapide sedans. Another dormant period was followed by a revival, this time of the Aston Martin Lagonda everyone remembers. It’s the one designed in the Seventies with a ruler, and then filled with incredibly [s]complex and reliable[/s] flammable electrics. Rare Rides covered that relatively common sedan in past. The last rectangular sedan was produced in 1989.

For Lagonda’s 100th birthday in 2009, Aston Martin proclaimed there’d be a new Lagonda, as its parent sought to branch out to the luxury sedan market space. Six years later, production began. The new Taraf did not wear the Aston Martin badge at all, as its official manufacturer was Lagonda. The name, Taraf, was selected to appeal to the car’s target market in the Middle East. Meaning “ultimate luxury” in Arabic, the Taraf would be sold only to the super rich in the region.

Power was supplied by a German-built and Ford-assembled 6-liter V12 borrowed from the Vanquish, which generated 533 horsepower and a hefty 465 lb-ft of torque. An eight-speed automatic routed power only to the rear wheels. The considerable 212-inch length of the Taraf rode on the same platform as Aston Martin’s DB9 and Rapide. Zero to 60 arrived in 4.4 seconds, and the Taraf traveled on to a top speed of 195.

The interior received most of its materials and switches from existing Aston Martin cars, and could be perceived as a bit dated these three years later. The few select buyers could choose from various leather and wood interior accouterments. Production lasted from 2015 to 2016, with just 120 examples made. The asking price for each one was $1,000,000. Then Lagonda went dormant once more.

Todays Taraf is surprisingly located in California, where its importation was likely under the Show or Display regulation for limited-production vehicles. With 293 miles on the clock and a sweet Garmin navigation system in the dash, the asking price is on request.

[Images: seller]

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  • SCE to AUX SCE to AUX on Jul 03, 2019

    Beautiful car, but that GPS is a fail.

    • See 2 previous
    • Kyree Kyree on Jul 03, 2019

      @dukeisduke The new Aston Martins (DB11, DBS Superleggera, Vantage) all use Mercedes-AMG electronics, and so probably include Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

  • Bumpy ii Bumpy ii on Jul 03, 2019

    That was nice of AM to put a Genesis G90 concept car into limited production :p

    • Lie2me Lie2me on Jul 03, 2019

      You do have a point, but I still see a lot of Avalon toward the rear of that G90 that I don't see on the Lagonda. Designing a million dollar car that doesn't look like any other car must be challenging, but AM succeeds

  • 3SpeedAutomatic Auto insurance renewal every six months. Ten year old car, good driving record, own my own home, excellent credit score, no teenagers on the policy, etc, etc, etc.Yet, I pay thru the nose!!!!!Adds on the morning news brag about $500k settlements.I paid less when I lived in New York State.
  • Jim Bonham Full EVs are not for everyone, they cannot meet all needs. Hybrids do a much better job of providing the benefits of EVs without most of the drawbacks. I have a hybrid sedan with plenty of room, plus all the bells and whistles. It has 360 hp, AWD, does 0-60 in just over 5 sec.(the instant torque is a real benefit), and I get 29 mpg, average. NOT driven lightly. I bought it used for $25k.Sure, it's a little heavier because of the battery, motor, etc., but not nearly as much as a full EV. The battery is smaller/lighter/cheaper and both the alternator and starter motor are eliminated since the motor assumes those functions. It's cool to watch the charge guage show I'm getting energy back when coasting and/or braking. It's even cooler to drive around part of the time on battery only. It really comes in handy in traffic since the engine turns off and you don't waste fuel idling. With the adaptive cruise control you just let the car slowly inch along by itself.I only wish it were a Plug-in Hybrid (PHEV). Then, I'd have A LOT more EV-only range, along with even more of that instant torque. The battery would be bigger, but still a fraction of the size of a full EV. I could easily go weeks without using much, if any gas (depending upon my commute) IF I plug it in every night. But I don't have to. The gas engine will charge the battery whenever it's needed.It's just not as efficient a way to do it.Electric companies offer special rates for both EVs and PHEVs which lower your operating cost compared to gasoline. They'll even give you a rebate to offset the cost of installing a home charger. You can still get federal (up to $7,500, plus some state) tax credits for PHEVs.What's not to like? My next daily driver will be a PHEV of some kind. Probably a performance-oriented one like the new Dodge Hornet or one of the German Hybrid SUVs. All the benefits, sound, feel, etc., of a gas vehicle along with some electric assist to improve fuel economy, performance, and drivability. None of the inherent EV issues of cost, range anxiety, long charging times, poor charger availability, grid capacity issues, etc. I think most people will eventually catch on to this and go PHEV instead of going full EV. Synthetic, carbon-neutral eFuels, hydrogen engines, and other things will also prevent full EVs from being 100% of the fleet, regardless of what the politicians say. PHEVs can be as "clean" (overall) as full EVs with the right fuels. They're also cheaper, and far more practical, for most people. They can do it all, EVs can't.
  • Ron rufo there is in WaSHINGTON STATE
  • ToolGuy @Chris, your photography rocks.
  • ToolGuy No War for Oli.If you have not ever held a piece of structural honeycomb (composite sandwich) in your own hands, try it.
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