Vanquish 25 by Callum: an Aston Martin with the kinks ironed out

Ian Callum, the designer of the original Aston Martin Vanquish, wasn’t entirely happy with it. His second go – the Vanquish 25 by Callum – is a marvel, says Nicole Garcia Merida.

The original Aston Martin Vanquish and its designer, Ian Callum, have always had “something of an on-off relationship”, says Steve Cropley on Autocar. There were features to be proud of, but also those that Callum was disappointed with, which is why he revealed last year that he was leaving Jaguar after 20 years to launch 25 revised and redesigned Vanquishes, backed by the Swiss R-Reforged group. 

Callum’s work hasn’t been in vain. When you approach the 2020 Vanquish, “its quality hits you immediately”: the “lustre of the paint, the richness of the black chrome window surrounds, the new stance on more prominent wheels”. The 5.9-litre V12 engine has been tweaked to produce an extra 60bhp, taking it to 580bhp. 

It would be easier to list the ways in which the car hasn’t been improved, says Jake Groves on Car magazine. The bodywork “has been cleaned up from nose to tail” and the bespoke exhaust system now has it “singing tenor rather than baritone”. The car starts with a “V12 harrumph” like any other recent Aston, but “when you do stretch the legs of that V12… What a noise”. And the more you drive it, “the more you realise that the ceiling for the car’s talent is high… this 1,800kg grand tourer can hustle just as athletically on a twisty road as plenty of brand-new sports cars”. 

All of the issues that most dated the original Vanquish have been addressed, says Jason Barlow on Top Gear. The dashboard is made from carbon fibre, the console features an eight-inch display that runs Apple CarPlay or Android Auto, and Callum worked with leather specialist Bridge of Weir to develop a signature tartan. Mulberry has created bespoke luggage that fits and matches the car. 

Such painstaking work doesn’t come cheap, says Cropley. The batch of revised Vanquishes is only 25 strong and that’s already half sold. Buyers will pay around £450,000 if they bring their own car, preferably a Vanquish S (worth around £100,000). Alternatively, the team can find a suitable car on the market. What you get is a “whole new level of craftsmanship, albeit for a massive price”. 

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