CALLUM, Aston Martin, and R-Reforged work some magic on the Vanquish
Racing team and fabricator R-Reforged has announced plans to build 25 examples of the Aston Martin Vanquish 25 in collaboration with Aston Martin and CALLUM, the design and engineering firm founded by Ian Callum, who recently retired from his position as Jaguar’s head of styling. Prior to Jaguar, Callum had a stint at TWR, where he was responsible for styling the original Vanquish in 2002.
“It’s rare that a designer has the chance to retell the story of one of their own cars. I’ve wanted to do that for some time and with R-Reforged we could do something special,” said Callum, who was named Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) by Queen Elizabeth during the monarch’s birthday celebrations earlier this year. Callum said that in the time since 2002, “Materials and technologies have advanced, allowing us to introduce these along with new ideas that weren’t feasible when the car was launched.”
Customers can have their existing Vanquishes upgraded or R-Reforged will find one for them.
There are over 100 design changes, which CALLUM says are functional as well as stylish. The Vanquish 25 has a more aggressive stance than the original, sitting 10-mm lower with more aerodynamic front and rear bumpers and custom-forged 20-inch wheels. Headlamps and taillights are now based on high-intensity LEDs. The flanks of the car have new carbon-fiber side strakes, new side mirrors, one-piece CFRP window surrounds, different sills, and a special underbody rear diffuser with an integrated exhaust box—which, like Formula 1 cars, uses the exhaust gases for aerodynamic advantage. As a light-hearted touch, the lower surface of the exhaust tips is inscribed, “Made You Look.”
“We’ve addressed many of the individual areas we feel deserved a second look,” said designer Callum. “The overall effect, including the stance, gives the car a new lease of life. Applying our design philosophy of balancing form and function has resulted in what we feel is the ultimate Vanquish.”
Stiffer sway bars and custom springs improve handling, while the dampers have been tuned to keep the lowered chassis from riding harshly. Tire technology has changed since 2002, so the 20-inch rims are mounted with Michelin Pilot Sport tires specifically chosen for the Vanquish 25. In addition to enjoying improvements in performance and driving feel, the Vanquish 25 hunkers down on bigger tires and rims for an even more aggressive look.
“We love the original Vanquish but expectations of the performance of a GT car have changed since its launch,” said Adam Donfrancesco, CALLUM’s engineering director, who was responsible for mechanical upgrades.
Under the hood, the 5.9-liter V-12 has been upgraded with a new carbon-fiber intake and a less restrictive exhaust system, boosting power by 60 horsepower up to 580 hp. New dress-up for the engine compartment also includes a vintage touch with the use of leather augmenting the carbon-fiber trim. Both manual and automatic transmissions will be available.
To handle that increased power, the Vanquish 25 will come with Aston Martin’s latest carbon-ceramic brake rotors, cooled with air flowing through 3D-printed ductwork. To improve brake pedal feel, a shortcoming on the original Vanquish, the wheel hubs have been upgraded to race-spec bearings.
The interior is all-new, with a carbon-fiber dash and center console. A modern, eight-inch touchscreen controls the infotainment system, which includes both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity.
Aston Martin must realize that there is some intersection between the worlds of exotic cars and high-end timepieces. The custom instrument panel was designed by British luxury watch maker Bremont, and the dashboard clock is actually a mechanical Bremont pocket watch that can be removed for use outside of the car. Neat.
New sport seats sit a little bit lower for a “more cosseting” position. These friendly seats are upholstered with bespoke colored leather from Bridge of Weir, which worked with Ian Callum to come up with a tartan pattern for the supplemental trim, something the designer says will be a signature CALLUM design element going forward.
The original V-12 Vanquish was planned as a grand tourer, not a 2+2 layout, so Callum removed the rear seats for a more practical cargo area, which now comes with custom-fitted luggage by Mulberry.
This being 2019, a wide range of custom personalization will be available on the Vanquish 25, and customers will be invited to come to the 20,000-square-foot CALLUM studio in Warwick to participate in planning their car’s specific features.
Pricing begins at $665,500, which includes an original V-12 Vanquish sourced by R-Reforged.