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Aston Martin Callum Vanquish 25 by R-Reforged breaks cover with 350 changes

The Aston Martin Callum Vanquish 25 by R-Reforged is the first Ian Callum-designed model to come to market after his stint at Jaguar Land Rover

Photo courtesy of R-Reforged

This isn’t a case where a few bits and bobs were added for show. The Aston Martin Callum Vanquish 25 by R-Reforged features over 350 engineering, material, and design changes from the original Aston Martin Vantage, all overseen by legendary auto design Ian Callum.

Callum, a Scottish car designer who has histories with Ford, Aston Martin, TWR, and Jaguar Land Rover “retired” in 2019 to pursue work at his own, new firm, Callum. The design and engineering business, which focuses on bespoke creations, has this new model as the first public offering result of the new company - just nine months after the project was announced.

Aston Martin Callum Vanquish 25 by R-Reforged

Photo courtesy of R-Reforged


Since it was first announced in concept form in 2019, the company has revised its interior, added trim options, and a given the model a definitive chassis and powertrain setup. The result is a model that transforms “the much-loved car into a more practical and relevant GT”.

In development, the model covered over 20,000 miles of testing on a wide variety of U.K. roads, of varying quality, in addition to time at Michelin’s Ladoux proving ground. The result is a crisper setup that delivers a classic GT driving experience. This is achieved by giving the car highly tuned rebound and compression of the Bilstein dampers, stiffer antiroll bars, a 10 mm lower ride height, up to a 60 mm wider track, and specific Michelin Pilot Sport tire compounds.

The result, says Callum (the firm), is “a rock-solid track feel that contemporary GTs often lean towards”. Handling is guided by the driver with a new, more slender wheel in hand, seated in a lower position. Adding suspension improvements, Callum said in a release, created a “more versatile GT eminently suitable for everyday use.”

"After a year of piling on the miles in our development prototype, I'm confident we've hit the targets we set ourselves of a very responsive but supple car," says head of engineering at R-Reforged, Adam Donfrancesco. "There was a perception that much of what we planned was aesthetic but the way the car drives, feels, goes, stops and sounds is actually where a lot of our efforts have been focused.

We've defined a set up that finesses the composed, big Aston Martin GT feel but sharpens and hones it in line the progress that new tires, suspension and knowledge brings. It's got to be a car you want to use and be adaptable; laid back and comfortable enough to soak up a 300-mile trip across Europe but equally engaging and rewarding on a 20-minute run to meet friends at an informal cars and coffee meet. That versatility and accessible performance is something many contemporary GTs lack. We have all missed the chance to just go for a drive for pleasure in the past few months. This is now the car to make the most of those precious times."

Clients can worth directly with designer Ian Callum, either remotely or at the Warwick, England facility where the model is assembled to specify their purchase. The company offers an unlimited number of paint colors, eight trim options, three transmission variants (manual, automatic, and semi-automatic), and three bespoke 20-inch wheel choices.

The car’s interior highlights British brands. The leather trim is provided by Bridge of Weir Leather Company, while Bremont's removable pocket watch, an industry-first, remains prominent in the interior that now includes brushed or polished dark chrome details, and a walnut veneer option instead of carbon. Mulberry has developed the luggage to fit snugly in the rear of the cabin.

The under-bonnet revisions are courtesy of R-Reforged. The region features carbon and leather dressing, a bespoke carbon intake system, and tuned equal length stainless steel primary collectors. Oh, and the 580-horsepower V12 engine.

The first batch of cars will be built in September with initial designs destined for Europe and Latin America.

"Too often design studies are revealed only for them to disappear, or for deliveries to end up being years later, leaving customers disillusioned about the viability of coachbuilding such cars," adds Callum. "With partner R-Reforged, we have delivered on our promise with the first cars in build in September. It's been an unpredictable time for the entire world but it's now an exciting moment as the refreshed cars come to life in our workshops."

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New driver assist technology is coming to the Lexus lineup later this year.

Photo courtesy of Lexus

New Lexus Teammate driver assistance technology will debut on the 2022 Lexus LS 500h later this year. Its availability is constrained to all-wheel drive models.

The technology was developed based on the Mobility Teammate Concept. This automated driving concept is unique to Toyota sough to enhance communication between drivers and cars, "enabling them to reach out to each other for mutual assistance". The concept sees cars and humans interacting and partnering rather than having automation take over for drivers. This approach allows drivers to enjoy the experience of driving but allowing the vehicle to take over some functions of driver's duties at times. In this way, the tech works as both guardian and chauffeur.

2022 Lexus The company's flagship sedan will get the technology first.Photo courtesy of Lexus

2022 Lexus LS 500h

On the 2022 Lexus 500h, Lexus Teammate will offer two functions: Advanced Drive and Advanced Park.

Advanced Drive is design to "accurately detect driving conditions to plan and execute acceleration, braking, and steering commands to maintain the vehicle within the lane, follow other vehicles, change lanes, navigate certain interchanges and traffic jams and overtake slower vehicles." It's a Level 2 functionality that "allows for driving on limited-access highways with partial hands-free, eyes-on-the-road operation".

This description makes it sound a lot like the suite of lane keeping, lane centering, and adaptive cruise control technology that Hyundai offers rather than true Level 3 technology that General Motors's Super Cruise delivers.

Lexus will show operation of the technology on a screen with information displayed like this.Photo courtesy of Lexus

Advanced Park operates similar to how the Genesis GV80's hands-free parking assist technology works. The Lexus tech automatically controls steering, acceleration, braking, and gear changes with parallel parking or backing into a parking space. It uses a combination of 360-degree sensing technologies and a bird's eye view display to perform the task while allowing the driver to monitor progress.

"We are very proud of Lexus Teammate, which is the culmination of five years of close collaboration between our technical centers in Japan and the US. We conducted simultaneous development and rigorous testing in both markets with the goal of achieving industry-leading advanced driver assistance functionality," says Derek Caveney, executive engineer at Toyota Motor North America's Integrated Vehicle Systems team.

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The 2021 Ford Explorer Enthusiast ST gives buyers more performance at a lower price.

Photo courtesy of Ford Motor Company

The Explorer lineup is getting a three-model enhancement for the 2021 model year. The Explorer Enthusiast ST, Platinum, and Platinum Hybrid will be making their way to dealership lots later this year in a targeted attempt to identify customer desires.

The new models join the just-announced 2021 Ford Explorer King Ranch, also a new addition.

2021 Ford Explorer Enthusiast ST

The Enthusiast ST grade takes a lot of what customers like about the existing Explorer ST and delivers it at a far cheaper price. The Enthusiast ST has a starting MSRP of $48,750 as opposed to the ST, which starts at $52,830.

Setting it apart from there Explorers is the Enthusiast ST's quad chrome exhaust tips, 20-inch machined aluminum wheels with painted pockets, and sideview mirrors with ST projection lamps.

The new model comes equipped with the same 3.0-liter EcoBoost engine that's in the Explorer ST that churns out 400 horsepower and 415 pound-feet of torque. A 10-speed automatic transmission completes the powertrain.

Ford has given the model a sport-tuned suspension and a top track speed of 143 mph. A standard Class III Trailer Tow Package provides towing capability of up to 5,600 pounds.

The cabin of the Enthusiast ST is complete with leather seating surfaces, unique Miko micro-perforated inserts, and City Silver accent stitching with the ST logo. There's a 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster, heated sport-style steering wheel with the ST logo, and paddle shifters.

The Explorer Enthusiast ST also features standard Ford Co-Pilot360 technology.

2021 Ford Explorer Platinum

2021 Ford Explorer Plat Ford has two new Platinum models coming to a dealership near you.Photo courtesy of Ford Motor Company

2021 Ford Explorer Plat

The new Explorer Platinum is powered by a 3.0-liter engine and comes standard with rear-wheel drive. Four-when drive is available.

To make the Platinum version worthy of its upscale price tag, its packaging includes door handles with satin aluminum insert, liftgate appliqué, lower bodyside cladding insert, roof-rack side rails, a twin-panel moonroof, and a unique grille with satin aluminum finish. Its cabin is fitted with leather seats, and a leather-wrapped steering wheel, dashboard, door rollovers, and door and front console armrests.

The 2021 Ford Explorer Platinum has a starting MSRP of $52,480. The hybrid version of that model starts at $53,085.

All the models are currently available for order via Ford dealerships. Deliveries are expected to begin this summer.

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