Niederwil (Switzerland) / Warwick (UK) 2nd September 2019 – R-Reforged is proud to announce a new unique project today, the Aston Martin Vanquish 25 by CALLUM. CALLUM has revisited one of Ian Callum’s most iconic creations. A limited run of 25 reborn vehicles, it is the latest in a series of exclusive R-Reforged editions fully endorsed by Aston Martin Lagonda. Customers can choose to upgrade their own existing car or have one sourced, and will be encouraged to play an active role in creating their unique Vanquish.
“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,” says Ian Callum CBE, Design Director. “Materials and technologies have advanced, allowing us to introduce these along with new ideas that weren’t feasible when the car was launched.”
Marek Reichman, Executive Vice President and Chief Creative Officer at Aston Martin, says: “I like that the CALLUM team’s first project is based on the original V12 Vanquish designed by Ian. Aston Martin Lagonda is very proud of the cars created during Ian’s time and they are an important part in both our heritage and evolution.”
R-Reforged, which collaborates with Aston Martin Lagonda’s projects, is specialised in building automobiles, which are based on iconic brands, crafted by outstanding designers, created and reforged by a passionate and experienced team. R-Reforged, with its UK based team, has been the driving force of the CALLUM programme from the outset and will play a key part in the client experience and liaison process.
“R-Reforged is intent on creating mesmerising and bespoke automotive masterpieces,” says Dr Andreas Baenziger, Co-Founder of R-Reforged. “With Ian, we can not only offer such a car but also the prospect of a special customer experience by specifying it with the original designer. With the Aston Martin Vanquish 25 by CALLUM we are very proud to establish another exciting project following the market introduction of the Aston Martin Vantage V12 Zagato Heritage Twins by R-Reforged.”
R-Reforged is besides R-Motorsport, R-Experience and R-Services one of four brands of AF Racing AG. The Swiss company is also active in motor racing. With its sister brand R-Motorsport it holds the exclusive licence of Aston Martin Lagonda to run and compete in the Class One regulated DTM racing series. In addition to its ever growing presence in motor sports AF Racing AG is also involved in Aston Martin’s mid-engine programme. Along with Aston Martin Lagonda and Red Bull Advanced Technologies, it is a strategic partner of the Aston Martin Valkyrie hypercar project.
Aston Martin Vanquish 25 by CALLUM
After 18 months of development, the Aston Martin Vanquish 25 by CALLUM retains the iconic silhouette whilst benefitting from over one hundred design changes, each offering form and function benefits. Sitting 10mm lower on custom forged 20” rims, the stance and visuals are honed and more assertive with increased stability. Reprofiled front and rear carbon fibre bumpers lift the visuals and increase aerodynamic efficiency whilst new high-intensity LED head and taillights provide a purer light and freshen the aesthetics.
Highlighting the no compromise approach, it features new carbon fibre side strakes, all-new wing mirrors, one-piece carbon window surrounds, re-formed sills, aluminium/carbon fuel filler and bespoke rear diffuser with integrated exhaust box. “We’ve addressed many of the individual areas we feel deserved a second look,” adds 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.”
Chassis tuning was a significant area of development for the engineering team, led by Adam Donfrancesco. “We love the original Vanquish but expectations of the performance of a GT car have changed since its launch,” says Donfrancesco. “Today’s GT should blend sports car performance with usability, yet be comfortable enough to eat up a thousand-mile mission without a thought. Our focus was to create a supple and comfortable ride that’s responsive and a chassis that is supportive but not harsh. With stiffer anti-roll bars, tuned dampers, custom springs and lower ride height, we’ve increased steering response and reduced roll but crucially allowed the damping to ‘breathe’ a little more. The car now actually feels lighter than the original and more alive.”
Engineers worked closely with partner Michelin at its Ladoux test facility to select the optimum Pilot Sport tyres and settings for the custom 20” forged wheels, which, thanks to diameter and offset changes, now fill the Vanquish arches. “Michelin’s cutting-edge tyre technology gives us a step-change in all-round performance,” continues Donfrancesco. “Overall grip, steering accuracy and noise have all improved.”
Peter Shaw, Key Account Manager at Michelin, added: “Developments over the past two decades in tyre compound and construction technology have allowed us to deliver the performance, comfort and driving feel to perfectly match the updated Vanquish and suit today’s GT driver.”
Brakes have also been upgraded with the latest Aston Martin carbon ceramic discs, cooled via 3D printed air ducts. New race-spec hub bearings improve brake pedal feel, an Achilles’ heel of the original car.
Placing equal emphasis on extracting more performance from the 5.9 litre V12, it now delivers an extra 60bhp over the original 520bhp with new carbon induction and exhaust systems. Illustrating the detailed approach taken, carbon and leather engine dressing, often overlooked by car makers, provides functionality in a beautiful package. Conscious some owners may prefer the effortless nature of a true automatic, a six-speed torque convertor transmission is available as an option.
Advances in materials and technology have made the most dramatic updates to the all-new interior. A carbon fibre dash and centre console houses an integrated eight-inch display featuring Car Play and Android Auto.
In a world-first, Bremont produced an instrument cluster designed by the luxury British watch manufacturer alongside a removable mechanical pocket watch that can be used in and out of the car.
Bremont Co-Founder Giles English comments, “Having been fortunate enough to work with Ian Callum for several years now, it’s really exciting for Bremont to be part of this next chapter in his illustrious design career. British manufacturing is something we’re utterly passionate about and so contributing on this level really speaks to the core of what Bremont stands for, the best of British engineering and design.”
Continuing inside, new sport seats allow for a lower and more cosseting seating position. Combined with a thinner steering wheel and revised paddle-shifters, these transform the levels of comfort and usability. Leading leather producer Bridge of Weir Leather Company played a crucial role in creating the sumptuous leather trim that features Callum’s fresh take on tartan. “In all my designs I like to have a key design feature,” adds Callum. “Creating a tartan was something I’ve considered for some time and will be one of CALLUM’s design identities for future creations.”
David Archibald, Managing Director, Bridge of Weir Leather Company, adds: “We are very proud to be working on this project. There is a strong connection between us and the Vanquish: Bridge of Weir Leather Company supplied leather to the original vehicle so we are delighted to contribute our Fine Scottish Leather to this new project. Not only does the interior feature CALLUM’s tartan but the leather’s colour is completely bespoke, matched to a unique palette specified by the design team.”
Harking back to the original V12 Vanquish sketches, “The original concept for the Vanquish was to feature two seats and not a 2+2 layout. It’s allowed us to create a unique rear environment, providing more space as a practical Grand Tourer,” says Callum. A bespoke set of luggage, exclusively made by Mulberry, is a beautiful and desirable feature of the car.
“We were delighted to create bespoke luggage for this project in our Somerset Artisan Studio. The relaunch of a beloved British design icon is a point of alignment between Mulberry and CALLUM, and this project is a tribute to the endurance of British craftsmanship and design,” says Thierry Andretta, CEO, Mulberry.
With the client’s experience just as important as the product, CALLUM and R-Reforged has ensured owners can be part of the story from the start, spending time with Ian and the team. “Customers will regularly join us at the facility, specifying each aspect and ultimately watch the car come together. It will be a journey like no other,” confirms Callum.
The Aston Martin Vanquish 25 by CALLUM is available to order from £550,000, plus local taxes, including an original vehicle sourced by R-Reforged.