With Grand Tourers becoming increasingly overpowered and over-reliant on turbocharging to achieve those figures, the idea of going for something older sounds appealing. Particularly if the car in question has been reworked for 2020 without spoiling the original character.
That’s the ethos of the Aston Martin Callum Vanquish 25, which is being shown in production form for the first time following an initial reveal last year. The project is a joint venture between Ian Callum - the Vanquish’s original designer - and Swiss coachbuilder R-Reforged.
It’s just as pretty as the car Aston Martin starting building nearly 20 years ago, with a few tweaks adding some aggression and a sense of freshness. The important alterations are underneath, though - in all, there have 350 engineering changes.
The new Bilstein dampers - which were extensively tested at Michelin’s Ladoux proving ground - drop the ride height by 10mm. The track width is up by 60mm, and each of the 20-inch wheels is wrapped in a Michelin Pilot Sport 4 S tyre.
Thanks to an ECU tweak, the 5.9-litre naturally-aspirated V12 is good for 580bhp. It’ll both sound and look better, too, due to the fitting of carbon fibre and leather (yes, leather) engine dressing, a carbon intake manifold and equal-length stainless steel exhaust manifolds.
The 12-banger feeds the rear wheels via one of three methods, depending on the buyer’s desires. You can use either a six-speed manual, a conventional six-speed torque converter automatic, or the much-maligned semi-automatic system the Vanquish was sold with new. We suspect the latter will have been improved, though.
Inside, there’s posh trim supplied by the Bridge of Weir Leather Company, and an “industry-first” removable pocket watch from Bremont. There are multiple interior options and infinite body colours available (you can have it in any hue you want, from the sounds of it), with Callum himself on hand to help you choose the ideal spec.
If you’re thinking this all sounds quite pricey, you’re right - prices minus local taxes start at £550,000, although that does at least include the donor car. The cars will be built at a new facility in Warwickshire, with the first customer cars set to be delivered in September.