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Aston Martin Lagonda goes testing in Oman

The Aston Martin Lagonda has kicked off its hot-weather testing program in the Omani desert.

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The British luxury sports car maker released a fresh batch of images of its ultra-exclusive new saloon undergoing testing in the Middle Eastern sun, giving us our best look yet at its exterior design and a sneak peek inside its cabin.

The pictured car, which is the first Lagonda verification prototype, was transported from Aston Martin’s home in Gaydon to Muscat via Oman Air late last month.

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Aston plans to clock up more than 22,500km across the four-week testing program in temperatures ranging from 30-50 degrees Celsius, allowing its engineers to assess the durability and functionality of the car in the gruelling climate.

The car maker deliberately chose to finish the prototype in black paint to maximise the punishment. A heat soak test will push the temperature of the cabin trim up to 80 degrees Celsius.

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The Aston Martin Lagonda will be hand-built in very limited numbers and offered to select customers in the Middle East by invitation only from 2015.

The Lagonda is based on the brand’s existing VH architecture, and while no official specifications have been released at this stage, it’s understood to be powered by the Rapide S sedan’s 5.9-litre V12, which produces 410kW and 620Nm in its current tune.

Aston has not announced pricing at this stage, but says the Lagonda’s positioning “will be commensurate with the car’s exclusivity, quality and luxurious nature”.