2009 Aston Martin Lagonda Concept - front three-quarter static view

Automakers are usually pretty decisive. They either build a car or they don't. But Aston Martin has embarked down a bumpier road with Lagonda.

Aston bought the Lagonda marque way back in 1947, but after operating it as a separate brand for a few years, it let the brand peter out in the 1950s and 60s. The moniker was revived as a nameplate on a handful of Aston Martin sedans beginning in the 1970s, but that was pretty much the last we saw of it until the 2009 Geneva Motor Show.

That's when the British automaker unveiled the rather unusual concept vehicle (pictured above) to revive the Lagonda name once again as a separate brand. It was meant to test the waters, and the response was not favorable. So it had appeared that AML was dropping the L from its initials and the entire project along with it. But as a stand-alone niche automaker looking to stay afloat in a rapidly amalgamating industry, Aston needs to produce more than front-engined, rear-drive, two-door GTs. And the Rapide sedan apparently isn't going to be enough, so it looks as if that the Lagonda project could be back on the table.

According to Autocar, the real impetus, however, could be coming from emerging markets in Asia – particularly China, but also the Middle East and Russia. The timing for a high-end luxury crossover built by a company known for its exotic sports cars, however, could prove to be good timing or poor: Maserati, Lamborghini and Bentley are all entering the segment in the coming years, so if Aston wants to get a slice of that lucrative pie pioneered by Porsche, it had better get those wheels in motion.