The best car designers are assuredly abundant artists, but ones who are afterpiece to sculptors than musicians. They rarely get the adventitious to revisit accomplished triumphs or to apprehension out amazing free-form riffs on beforehand themes. Yet that’s what Ian Callum has managed with an adapted and heavily revised adaptation of one of his best acclaimed cars, the 2001-2007 Aston Martin Vanquish.
The activity began a few years ago aback Callum bought a Vanquish S. Up to that point, he didn’t absolutely own any examples of his own star-studded aback catalog, and Vanquish ethics in the United Kingdom were ascent at a amount that meant they would anon be unaffordable. He started to drive it consistently and was anon thinking, as he puts it, of how to accord the car “the facelift it never had.”
Such affairs were absolutely personal, but about that aforementioned time Callum was advertent his abandonment as Jaguar’s architecture director. He began to altercate ambience up a new aggregation with a baby accumulation of added JLR veterans, and so the abstraction of an adapted Vanquish acquired accessible relevance. Having absitively on a name for the new business—Callum—a absolute makeover of the Vanquish became its aboriginal project, with a plan to body a bound run of 25 cars.
The aboriginal acceptance was that flush audience would accelerate their age-old steeds to be transformed, but that has alone happened in a boyhood of cases. “For abounding of the buyers, it’s absolutely not a case of either/or,” Callum’s engineering bang-up Adam Donfrancesco said. “They are accepting one in accession to an absolute Vanquish. They adulation the aboriginal car, but they appetite article a bit added appropriate and added avant-garde as well.” For barter who don’t already own a Vanquish, Callum will antecedent one. The assignment is done at R-Reforged’s 30,000-square-foot Warwick, England, facility.
Photo credit: Callum
While it is absolutely acceptable to catechism the argumentation of spending almost alert the amount of a aboriginal Aston DBS Superleggera on a restomod adaptation of an earlier car, the up-close absoluteness of Callum’s demonstrator is appealing stunning. Finished in Roxanne Red—Ian Callum loves ’70s pop-culture references—the car looks both accustomed and new. While the amount metalwork is unchanged, appealing abundant every alien detail has been altered, from the appearance of the grille and the accession of a abundant rear diffuser (with new bumpers advanced and rear) to avant-garde projector headlights and LED taillights. The adapted car sits 0.4-inch lower than the original, with the auto pushed out accession 2.4 inches. And although the auto are a actual agnate architecture to the aboriginal ones, they are beyond at 20 inches advanced and rear.
Changes in the berth are added obvious. Callum admits he never admired the aboriginal car’s interior, and the alterations are afterpiece to a abounding adjustment than a redecoration. There is a new carbon-fiber centermost assemblage with an chip touchscreen interface, appropriately accident the first-generation Jaguar XK HVAC controls of the aboriginal car. The seats are new and positioned lower, and the new metal aperture handles are substantial. A Bremont automated watch is army to the top of the dashboard—it can be alone to be beat alfresco the car—and there’s a redesigned council caster with a narrower rim. The standards of fit and accomplishment are acutely high, with the “deconstructed tartan” trim referencing Ian Callum’s Scottish roots. But the best agitative change is the attendance of a chiral accessory selector amid the seats.
Photo credit: Callum
That’s because the aboriginal Vanquish was congenital with a roboticized automated single-clutch chiral of bound clarification and frequently abrupt temperament. Callum is alms Vanquish 25 buyers the advantage to stick with that, change to a six-speed General Motors torque-converter automatic, or install the aforementioned chiral about-face that Aston Martin Works has been alms as an accustomed advancement for added than a decade.
The chiral gearbox brings both a abundant clamp pedal and a beefy about-face activity that requires authentic aim to baddest the appropriate gear. But it’s anon bright that authentic alternative isn’t abnormally important accustomed the authority of the artlessly aspirated 5.9-liter V-12. The big 12 pulls abundantly from little added than abandoned and with the breadth defective in a added avant-garde turbocharged unit, beef coil harder as revs increase. Peak achievement increases by 60 application over the aboriginal Vanquish S acknowledgment to freer-flowing assimilation and bankrupt systems and revised agent mapping, with the best 580 application accession at a aureate 7000 rpm. On an empty, accessible alley there is absolutely no admiration to about-face anywhere beneath that point.
Photo credit: Callum
The Callum’s abeyance absolutely feels softer than our abroad memories of the hard-riding aboriginal Vanquish S, with the abstraction actuality to advance clarification while bigger managing the car’s accumulation with upgraded Bilstein dampers. Like the aboriginal car, this one does afterwards electronically adjustable suspension, but the Bilsteins accepted accomplished at befitting the car’s adipose accumulation beneath bound discipline—even over a analysis avenue that included abounding of the fast but abominably alike anchorage frequently acclimated by Aston and JLR’s development engineers. Stability is absorbing at speed, which is advantageous because the dull-witted old absorption ascendancy alone intervenes afterwards the rear arbor has amorphous to slide. The Michelin Pilot Sport 4S tires advice bear added anchor than the Vanquish anytime had, forth with added accelerating breakaway aback you’re arena about at lower speeds. The council is excellent—direct and bristling with a akin of acknowledgment that best avant-garde electric systems assume bent to clarify out. The new carbon-ceramic brakes, taken anon from Aston’s accepted lineup, action adamant endlessly ability and acceptable pedal feel. It’s actual abundant an analog sports car.
You will be unsurprised to apprehend that, in added areas, a car that was essentially developed during the 20th aeon is now activity appealing old. At artery canoeing speeds there is a lot of wind babble from the top of the windshield and additionally added alley barrage than would ability the berth of a avant-garde equivalent. Although lowered, the active position still feels a mite too high, and taller occupants ability attempt for headroom. The aftermarket touchscreen interface additionally lacks in accuracy compared to the bigger OEM systems. We couldn’t stop it from admonishing us every time we abandoned a acceleration limit, alike by a distinct mile per hour. It was a naggy day.
The aboriginal Vanquish S amount $255,000 aback we collection it aback in 2004. The reimagined adaptation costs the agnate of $600,000 afterwards the amount of a donor car, but that abrupt amount hasn’t beat several United States buyers we’re told accept already ordered cars. Of course, you’d additionally accept to pay essentially added to accept to the Rolling Stones alive than you would accept bare to aback “Paint It Black” was afresh written. On that basis, the Callum Vanquish 25 is the agnate of a claimed concert in your own garage.