Aston Martin Vanquish: Improving An Icon

It is rare that a car designer gets the opportunity to improve upon one of their creations, let alone when that design is as recognisable as the Aston Martin Vanquish. Two decades after it was first penned, its revered designer, Ian Callum CBE, has retold the iconic model for today’s GT driver.
Aston Martin Vanquish

“It’s the refresh the car always deserved,” says Ian Callum, Head of Design at eponymous design and engineering outfit, CALLUM.

“It’s over 20 years since I first sketched the car, and during that time, materials and technologies have advanced significantly. We had to make certain choices back then due to restrictions, but now there are much greater possibilities. Together with quite a few more years of design experience under my belt, it’s meant we’ve been able to introduce new ideas along with some that just weren’t feasible when the car was first launched.”

And that design experience hasn’t just been gleaned from anywhere; Callum spent two decades at Jaguar, creating the F-Type, F-PACE and the World Car of the Year Award-winning I-PACE, amongst many others.

The result is the Aston Martin CALLUM Vanquish 25 by R-Reforged – a limited production run of just 25 cars. The CALLUM business and manufacturing partner, R-Reforged, has made over 350 engineering, material and design changes to update and upgrade the car’s form and function.

“The icon lines of the Vanquish remain, but now they have been refined to create a sharper and more purposeful look,” explains Callum.

“It’s wider, lower and has more presence on the road. It has a whole new lease of life; I feel that this is the ultimate Vanquish.”

From an engineering perspective, the car sits 10mm lower, has a revised suspension setup that includes stiffer anti-roll bars, tuned dampers and custom springs that have sharpened the ride without being too stiff for Grand Touring.

New custom forged 20” wheels are shod in Michelin Pilot tyres that deliver better steering accuracy, while 3D printed ducts feed air to the new carbon ceramic brake set up, that brings stopping power right up to date.

In the beautifully detailed engine bay, the team has extracted more performance from the 5.9-litre V12 engine to deliver an extra 60bhp. Manual and fully automatic gearbox options are also available alongside the automated manual.

The result is a GT that blends sports car performance with usability.

“It can comfortably complete a thousand-mile journey across Europe, but equally offers this rewarding, responsive and supple experience in a 20-minute run,” says Callum.

“Compared to the original, the driving experience is transformed. Turn in, push on, or lean on the brakes, it’s got plenty in reserve.”

Inside, Callum is confident that owners will appreciate the significant improvements made. R-Reforged and CALLUM have partnered with British watch manufacturer, Bremont, to create the brand’s first automotive instrument cluster that sits in the central console.

Bremont has also produced a removable mechanical pocket watch that can be used in and outside the car.

For those enjoying the true purpose of the Vanquish – a long journey – Mulberry has created bespoke luggage at its Somerset Artisan Studio. This perfectly complements the interior of the Vanquish 25, which features the CALLUM abstract tartan design.

With revisions to the seats, it now has a lower, more sculpted and cosseted driving position, complemented with a finer steering wheel and more tactile gear shifters.

A revised centre console with new infotainment further enhances the driving experience.

Elsewhere, Callum has also added playful design touches such as the fuel filler cap, which is embossed with ‘Thunder Road’, a nod to his love of music as a creative medium.

“This car is an absolute delight to drive,” says Callum.

“Alongside the aesthetic changes, the setup and driving feel have been transformed: it now feels composed, taut and sharp. This is a car you will just want to drive for the sheer pleasure.”

Owners of the 25 limited edition models will get the opportunity to specify their Vanquish alongside Callum and his team.

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