Ian Callum’s Vanquish 25: production version revealed

The production version of the Vanquish 25, the debut project of former Jaguar design boss Ian Callum’s new Callum design group, has been officially revealed ahead of the start of customer car construction later this year.

Part of a series of R-Reforged edition cars fully endorsed by Aston Martin, the Vanquish 25 will arrive with more than 350 styling, material and engineering changes from the 2001 original Vanquish V12 that Callum designed while he worked for the British marque. 

Mechanical upgrades include a 10mm-lower ride height, a track up to 60mm wider and specific Michelin Pilot Sport tyres – following more than 20,000 miles of testing on UK roads and at Michelin’s proving ground in Ladoux, France – that aim to turn the car into “a more practical and relevant GT”.

“After a year of piling on the miles in our development prototype, I’m confident we’ve hit the targets we set ourselves of a very responsive but supple car,” said R-Reforged engineering head Adam Donfrancesco. “There was a perception that much of what we planned was aesthetic, but the way the car drives, feels, goes, stops and sounds is actually where a lot of our efforts have been focused.”

The company plans to offer an “infinite” number of body colours, eight bespoke trim colours, three bespoke 20in wheel choices and the choice of manual, automatic and semi-automatic transmissions. The Bridge of Weir Leather Company has been brought on board to upholster the interior, while Mulberry has designed a bespoke set of luggage. In addition, the engine recieves carbon and leather visual upgrades over the original car.

UK-based R-Reforged has previously worked with Aston Martin on other projects, and it will play a key role in the Callum project’s customer experience. Customers are able to upgrade their existing Vanquish or have R-Reforged source one for them.

Each finished car is expected to cost £550,000, including a sourced Vanquish. Delivery of finished cars is due to start late this year, with the first models destined for customers in Europe and Latin America. The full batch of 25 should be completed and delivered at the end of 2020.

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Donor Astons for the Callum treatment will come either from existing owners or the company will source suitable cars itself. A fairly restricted series of colours and interior treatments will be offered: Ian Callum and his colleagues aren’t keen to over-decorate their cars or offer wide colour or trim palettes. They hope customers will accept ”design guidance” and customer reaction so far seems to back that up. “Put it this way,” said the designer bluntly: “If we don’t like it, we won’t build it.

Opinion: This is design done differently

It’s easy to view Ian Callum’s new design house, Callum, as one of those places that set out to change everything about a car, and to charge a lot for doing it, for very little rhyme or reason. Such places exist. But Warwick-based Callum already looks very different.

This first Vanquish project shows what they’re about: a design group with the restraint and good taste of those used to setting the best OEM (original equipment manufacturer) standards, freed from big group conservatism to display originality and creativity that has had to be masked.

Ian Callum has had a burning ambition to improve the original Vanquish for at least a decade and has tackled the problem with subtlety and restraint. This is going to be a beautiful car, not ‘hot-rodded’ like so many aftermarket conversions but improved, updated and made more beautiful. The original designer will preserve the soul of his original fine car and he has other similar plans in mind.

Steve Cropley