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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

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 luxury car

BMW sends its V12 engine off in style

BMW will build its final V12 engine this June.

BMW

Most automakers are focused on building EVs and extracting the best fuel economy from gas engines possible, so it’s not surprising to hear that BMW is pulling the plug on one of its biggest and most iconic engines. In June 2022, BMW will build its very last V12 engine for use in a super-limited-production special edition 7 Series model. The ultra-rare cars will carry a starting price of $200,995.

BMW 760i xDriveThe last V12 will power a very special (and very expensive) 7 Series car.BMW

Only twelve lucky customers will have the option to nab a V12-powered BMW, which will be called the M760i xDrive. Displacing 6.6 liters, the twin-turbocharged beast produces a massive 601 horsepower. An eight-speed sport automatic transmission and all-wheel drive are standard. BMW says the powertrain is strong enough to push the hefty 7 Series car to 60 mph from a standstill in just 3.6 seconds.

The final-run cars will feature little more than a special “V12” badge at the rear to differentiate them from standard 7 Series models. Inside, the car features a serialized plaque with the car’s production number out of the 12 units planned. The engine itself features a nameplate with “The Final V12.”

Beyond the badges, BMW’s 12-cylinder last-hurrah will come standard with 20-inch M double-spoke wheels, a choice of any available BMW full Merino leather color, M Sport brakes with black or blue calipers, a panoramic LED roof, remote control parking, a Bowers & Wilkins surround-sound system, and adaptive LED headlights.

BMW 760i xDriveOnly 12 of the cars will be built, with a starting price of more than $200,000.BMW

Though it hasn’t been BMW’s most popular engine over the years, the V12 has been a part of the automaker’s catalog for 35 years. The first 12-cylinder engine showed up in 1987, producing 295 horsepower in the original 750iL sedan.

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Updated premium crossover

2022 Infiniti QX50 picks up new standard features

The new QX50 gets more tech and safety features.

Infiniti

Infiniti is one of a handful of automakers that have continued developing and building cars instead of focusing only on higher-profit and much more popular SUVs and trucks. That said, Infiniti's catalog is crossover- and SUV-heavy. Its smallest and least expensive crossover, the QX50 gets a handful of new features for 2022, and today Infiniti announced pricing.

Infiniti offers the 2022 QX50 in five trims: $40,025 Pure, $43,375 Luxe, $47,825 Essential, $52,525 Sensory, and $57,975 Autograph. All trims get Infiniti's variable compression (VC-Turbo) engine that makes 268 horsepower and returns up to 26 mpg combined. The advanced engine shifts its compression ratio to match the driver's behavior. When more power is needed, the compression changes, and when efficiency is the priority, it changes again. It's a marvel of engineering, but it's not as fuel-efficient as a hybrid. Power reaches the front or all four wheels through a continuously variable transmission.

2022 Infiniti QX50Pricing starts at around $40,000.Infiniti

Beyond the new standard features for 2022, buyers of the new QX50 will have to step up to the Luxe trim to get the most desirable features such as auto-folding exterior side mirrors, power lumbar support, and perforated leather upholstery. Standard comfort gear includes eight-way power front seats, dual-zone climate controls, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, and a Wi-Fi hotspot.

Infiniti stuck with its dual-screen infotainment configuration with the 2022 QX50. The top eight-inch screen handles wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto duties, as well as navigation. The bottom seven-inch screen handles vehicle controls, radio stations, and other settings. Though the system looks great and adds a high-tech feel to the cabin, two screens can be distracting and confusing while driving. The good news is that the QX50 gets an excellent 16-speaker Bose stereo starting with the Luxe trim.

2022 Infiniti QX50ProPilot Assist and Wireless Apple CarPlay/Android Auto are now standardInfiniti

The 2022 QX50 hasn't been crash tested by either major ratings organization yet, but the 2021 model performed well. It earned Good ratings in crash testes and a Superior score for its standard crash prevention systems. The 2022 QX50 comes standard with Infiniti's ProPilot Assist system, which brings advanced adaptive cruise control functions that can center the car in its lane, brake, and accelerate. Other standard tech includes blind spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alerts, rear automatic braking, predictive forward collision warnings, and forward automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection.


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