IAN CALLUM HAS REDESIGNED THE ASTON MARTIN VANQUISH

A long time ago in a galaxy, well this galaxy in fact, a pokey little motoring show reviewed the original V12 Vanquish. In the review, the Vanquish was put through its paces and the consensus was less than complimentary. The gearbox was a major failing for the Vanquish and it didn't seem to have a real place in the Aston Martin lineup. Still, designer Ian Callum considers it to be one of his favorite cars that he's had a part in creating. Now that Mr. Callum has left Jaguar to create his own company, he's giving the Vanquish a second life. The Vanquish 25 is a new remix to the old V12 formula.

For some time Callum has wanted to revisit some of his older designs and give them a modern spin. With the passage of time, materials and technology advances, giving designers and engineers more flexibility with their work. Callum's rapidly expanding company has done just that with the Vanquish 25.

Starting with the exterior, Callum wanted to give the Vanquish 25 a more muscular, aggressive look. The grill has been updated and new vents have been added to the front fascia for better ventilation. The wheels have increased in size from 19 inches to 20 inches. The design was kept the same because, don't fix what ain't broke right?

New side-skirts have been added and the rear has been given a major once over. New taillights replace the old ones and a new massive venturi tunnel has been cut into the rear diffuser to provide better aerodynamics. Specially designed exhaust tips are present in the rear as well, with "Made you look" written underneath. This is the que to move onto what makes the Vanquish 25 so much more special than just a refresh.

Ian Callum is a designer with a passion for not just cars, but art and design. He also has a little bit of a sense of humor, if you couldn't tell from the aforementioned exhaust tip easter egg. The gas cap - I bet you'd never think the gas cap would be a point of interest - has "Rebel Rebel" stamped into it. As a David Bowie fan, is can be easily summized that Callum included this detail to pay an homage to the late singer. Mr. Callum views it more as a way to better represent the frame of mind he and his team entered the project with. Going against what was expected and making the Vanquish what he had always envisioned.

Subtle design elements find their way into the vents on the hood and flanks of the car. Rather than fitting a normal honeycomb grill for each, Callum designed a new, more abstract pattern for the vents. Even the tires have a new design pattern added to them. This same patter follows into the interior of the Vanquish 25 which has been given a major redesign.

The interior of the Vanquish has always been a major failing of the car. An awkward seating position, an HVAC system borrowed form another car and switchgear from the Aston Martin parts-bin have always held the Vanquish back. With the 25 however, Callum has gone wild with bespoke details everywhere. Bridge of Weir was enlisted to create a new signature tartan leather for the seats and interior trim, which has also lead to the ultimate deletion of the two rear seats. Replacing any rear passengers is a bespoke luggage set designed by Callum himself. British watch company Bremont was hired for the switchgear, which includes a detachable mechanical pocket watch that sits on the top of the center console.

The paddle shifters and steering wheel have also been updated to make them more tactile in the driver's hands. Drivers will also sit lower down in the 25 for a better driving experience. Anti-roll bars have been stiffened, dampers have been tuned and custom springs add a lower ride height to make the 25 feel more alert and alive. The brakes have been updated with 398mm in the front and 360mm in the back. A new induction system and exhaust help boost power from 520 to 580 horsepower. The gearbox remains the same single-clutch as before, but an optional torque converter can be fitted as well.

The Vanquish 25 is a representation of the recent trend in automotive revitalization. Old models being remixed, remastered, re-imagined or whatever you want to call it is a big part of the car business right now. Ian Callum has taken his past creation and finished the job. With every car designed and built, there are hundreds of hands that have a part in the final product. Some designs are excluded to meet deadlines or to satisfy the bottom line. Mr. Callum, now given the opportunity to post-Jaguar, has taken his design back and ran with it. The Vanquish 25 is a fantastic example a phoenix reborn from the fires of mass-production.

All photos from "Top Gear"