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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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Special edition Land Rover

Special Land Rover Defender stars in new James Bond film

The special Defender features several 007-inspired touches.

Land Rover

James Bond and British vehicles go together like bread and butter. The spy's most well-known rides come from Aston Martin, but Land Rover isn't sitting out on the action. The 25th film in the Bond series, No Time To Die, premiers in just a few weeks, and with it, a new special edition Land Rover Defender. Land Rover's SV Bespoke division created the special Defender, which in addition to making an appearance on the silver screen, will be on sale for a limited run to 300 lucky Bond fans willing to shell out the cash.


2022 Land Rover Defender V8 Bond Edition The Defender gets exclusive infotainment animations.Land Rover


The villainous Defender is powered by a supercharged 5.0-liter V8 that produces 518 horsepower and 461 pound-feet of torque. An eight-speed automatic transmission is standard, and Land Rover says the powertrain is strong enough to push the hefty off-roader to 60 mph from a stop in just 5.1 seconds. The V8 is a recent addition to the Defender line, and comes paired here with unique suspension and transmission tuning, bespoke spring and damper rates, and a new electronic active rear differential.



2022 Land Rover Defender V8 Bond Edition The 007 Defender V8 get special puddle lights.Land Rover


Unique touches to the 007 Defender include "Defender 007" treadplates, special infotainment animations, and "007" exterior puddle lamps. The interior will get a laser-etched detail plate to denote its number among the 300 vehicles. No Time To Die will feature the Defender front and center, but it's not the only Land Rover in the film. Two Range Rover Sport SVR SUVs will also make an appearance, along with a Range Rover Classic and a Land Rover Series III.


2022 Land Rover Defender V8 Bond Edition You'll need to be really into Bond to truly appreciate the special Defender.Land Rover


If you're more interested in seeing the Defender's time on screen than you are in getting behind the wheel, it hits theaters in the U.S. starting on October 8, 2021. The film will be the fifth and final movie to feature Daniel Craig as Bond. However, if you're really excited about the Defender, get ready to pay up. Prices start at $114,600 and supplies are extremely limited.

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Electric vehicles

Three new EVs we can't wait to see

The F-150 Lightning is just one of several new EVs we'll see soon.

Ford

With all the crazy news coming out of the auto industry this year, it'd be easy to believe that the rollout of new models is slowing to a snail's pace. The pandemic and ongoing microchip shortage have slowed vehicle production, to be sure, but they haven't put the brakes on automakers' push to roll out exciting new electric vehicles. In the next few months alone, we'll see several new electric trucks, cars, and SUVs hit the market, some of which will break new ground and help define their segments. We're on board with this trend 100 percent, and to help you get excited, we've rounded up a few of our favorites.

Here are the three upcoming electric vehicles we're most excited to see.

Ford F-150 Lightning

One of the world's best-selling and most popular vehicles is going electric. The Ford F-150 Lightning is set to arrive in 2022 with a fully electric powertrain, forward-looking technology, and a familiar style that will make any truck lover feel at home. We don't have full details on the truck, but Ford has shared some awe-inspiring performance numbers. The Lightning will offer around 563 horsepower and 775 pound-feet of torque, which should push the truck to 60 mph from a standstill in just four seconds. Payload capacity comes in at up to 2,000 pounds, and towing will reach 10,000 pounds for specific configurations.


Ford F-150 Lightning The Lightning will offer impressive capability in a familiar package.Ford


The Lightning's starting price will come in under $40,000, but don't get your hopes up about actually buying one for that amount. Ford says the entry-level Lightning is a commercial truck that will be a stripped-down work-ready vehicle, which likely means features like vinyl seats and far fewer of the desirable tech goodies that you'll want. To get the truck you and your family will want to drive, you'll need to spring for the XLT model, which starts just shy of $53,000. That's quite a bit more, but it is still a somewhat reasonable price to pay for what will surely be a capable electric pickup.

Mercedes-Benz EQS

The S-Class is a unique model in Mercedes-Benz's lineup. The car typically showcases the automaker's latest technologies and design techniques and offers a glimpse of the features that eventually trickle down to the rest of Mercedes' vehicles. Soon, we'll see the EQS, a fully electric flagship sedan that paves the way for the brand's other electrified offerings. The car will have a range of well over 400 miles on a charge, up to 516 horsepower, rear-axle steering, and breathtaking technology.


Mercedes-Benz EQS The EQS will usher in a new electric era at Mercedes.Mercedes-Benz


The EQS is expected to land sometime late in 2021 and will carry a price tag that matches its premium brand name and top-notch feature set. Pricing for the "entry-level" EQS 450+ will come in at around $100,000, while the top EQS 580 4MATIC will land well north of that number. Remember, though, that Mercedes offers a long list of ultra-desirable options for its cars, so you'll likely shell out more than the base price to get the features you want.

Hyundai Ioniq 5

The Hyundai Ioniq name is nothing new, but the way it will be seen in the automaker's lineup will change significantly going forward. Rather than being a model name within the Hyundai catalog, Ioniq will split off and become its own sub-brand, covering a line of electric vehicles of all types. The Ioniq 5 is the first such vehicle and will be offered in single- or dual-motor configurations that generate 225 or 320 horsepower. The car's futuristic design is attractive and features a pixelated look for the front-end, lighting features, and rear. Inside, the vehicle is clean but comforting and offers the features buyers expect in a family crossover.


Hyundai Ioniq 5 The Ioniq 5 is the first in what will be an entire line of new EVs from Hyundai.Hyundai


The Ioniq 5 should go on sale in late 2021 and is expected to cost between $40,000 and $50,000.

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