In my previous article we discussed the reimagining of the Maserati Shamal, noting that the car wasn’t exactly top of the range in terms of engineering, but its styling was something to be traced back to the technology of the day. In contrast, there’s the Aston Martin Vanquish, a first-generation car that was in production from 2001-2005. It’s a benchmark in its field. This car is as perfect as it gets. Is it worth touching? Remodel it? Modernise it? In any case, they’re trying, the results speak for themselves.

In September 2019, Ian Callum Design (the company founded by Ian Callum, the designer of the first-generation Vanquish) unveiled the Vanquish 25 to the public. This is a revamped version of the first generation Vanquish to “make the Vanquish the Grand Tourer of the 2020s”,. In all, 25 cars will be built by the British R-Reforged company. The 5.9-litre V12 engine has been tuned and is now advertised as producing 580bhp, a 60bhp increase in power over the Vanquish S. The car is available with the original six-speed, single-clutch Speedshift automated manual transmission, a six-speed GM-sourced torque-converter automatic, or a conversion of the six-speed manual transmission already offered by Aston Martin Works.
Ian Callum was formerly the designer of Jaguar and was responsible for models such as the X-Type, S-type, XJ update, providing a modern design in contrast to the retrograde lines of the previous Lawson era. He set the modern design path for Jaguar.
In early June 2019 Callum announced his departure from Jaguar, but will remain with the company as a design consultant. “Designing Jaguar cars has been a lifelong dream for me and I’m delighted to continue to be involved with the brand as a consultant,” he said in an interview. Shortly afterwards, he founded an independent car and product design agency in Warwick, simply called Callum, specialising in bespoke and limited edition products

Callum was appointed a Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) for services to the British automotive industry.
It is rare that a designer has the opportunity to retell the story of their car,” explains Callum. “I’ve wanted to do this for a while. Materials and technologies have evolved, allowing us to do these with new ideas that weren’t feasible when the car was launched.
The team behind the car claims to have made more than 350 changes and the difference is immediately tangible. Some of the changes are simple, but extremely effective: the rim of the steering wheel is thinner, so it better conveys what’s happening on the road. You also sit lower, so you always feel like you’re sitting on top of the Vanquish,
now you’re really in it. It has always been and remains a relatively heavy car – 1,810kg, up from 1,875kg – but now it controls its weight much more effectively.

Most notable among the exterior changes is the re-profiled nose section with new carbon-fibre bumper and high-intensity LED headlights. The rear end also gets a new bumper and taillight treatment, with a unique rear diffuser and exhaust silencer. There are also new carbon fibre side straps, unique exterior mirrors replacing the original off-the-shelf elements, one-piece carbon fibre window frames, new door sills and aluminium/carbon fuel filler. It looks tighter, punchier and more contemporary. Meanwhile, the clenched fist defining the volume of the Vanquish’s rear wing is one of the best design features on any car, ever. Needless to say, you can order the Vanquish 25 in any colour you like (although Mr Callum will surely appear like Mr Benn, the shopkeeper from the Seventies children’s show, to steer you in the right direction for the brand).
The price is very peppery at around £450,000 , plus other taxes , duties and charges. The first run will be a very limited run of about 25.

Adam Gubán

Subscribe to our newsletter

Provide your e-mail address and click the button below to receive special deals and premium offers