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Limited Edition: New Aston Martin 25 by Callum

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Original Vanquish designer redesigns the V12 GT with today’s tech and only 25 will be made.

Aston Martin 25 by CALLUM front left hand view
Aston Martin 25 by CALLUM front left hand view. Photo: Callum Designs

Who is CALLUM?

Ex Jaguar and Aston Martin design boss Ian Callum now has his very own company, CALLUM. Technology and materials have made a lot of progress since his days designing the original Vanquish V12 GT and so one of his first projects under his new company was to take the car he already had a passion for and apply these new world attributes to a limited number of 25 reborn examples only. This explains the 25 by CALLUM.

“It’s rare that a designer has the chance to retell the story of one of their own cars. I’ve wanted to do that for some time and with R-Reforged we could do something special,” says Ian Callum CBE, Design Director. “Materials and technologies have advanced, allowing us to introduce these along with new ideas that weren’t feasible when the car was launched.”

Marek Reichman, Executive Vice President and Chief Creative Officer at Aston Martin, says: “I like that the CALLUM team’s first project is based on the original V12 Vanquish designed by Ian. Aston Martin Lagonda is very proud of the cars created during Ian’s time and they are an important part in both our heritage and evolution.”

Aston Martin 25 by CALLUM front view with headlights
Aston Martin 25 by CALLUM front view with headlights. Photo: CALLUM Designs

Who Is R-Reforged

R-Reforged, is a UK based team which collaborates with Aston Martin Lagonda’s projects and is specialised in building automobiles, which are based on iconic brands, crafted by outstanding designers, created and reforged by a passionate and experienced team. R-Reforged, with its UK based team, has been the driving force of the CALLUM program from the outset and will play a key part in the client experience and liaison process.

The Aston Martin 25 by CALLUM it is the latest in a series of exclusive R-Reforged editions fully endorsed by Aston Martin Lagonda. Customers can choose to upgrade their own existing car or have one sourced, and will be encouraged to play an active role in creating their unique Vanquish.

“R-Reforged is intent on creating mesmerising and bespoke automotive masterpieces,” says Dr Andreas Baenziger, Co-Founder of R-Reforged. “With Ian, we can not only offer such a car but also the prospect of a special customer experience by specifying it with the original designer. With the Aston Martin Vanquish 25 by CALLUM we are very proud to establish another exciting project following the market introduction of the Aston Martin Vantage V12 Zagato Heritage Twins by R-Reforged.”

Aston Martin 25 by CALLUM twin exhaust detail
Aston Martin 25 by CALLUM twin exhaust detail. Photo: CALLUM Designs

Who is AF Racing AG?

R-Reforged is besides R-Motorsport, R-Experience and R-Services one of four brands of AF Racing AG. The Swiss company is also active in motor racing. With its sister brand R-Motorsport it holds the exclusive licence of Aston Martin Lagonda to run and compete in the Class One regulated DTM racing series. AF Racing AG is also involved in Aston Martin’s mid-engine program. Along with Aston Martin Lagonda and Red Bull Advanced Technologies, it is a strategic partner of the Aston Martin Valkyrie hypercar project.

Aston Martin 25 by CALLUM front left side view
Aston Martin 25 by CALLUM front left side view. Photo: CALLUM Designs

OK…..So the Aston Martin Vanquish 25 by CALLUM

After 18 months of development, the Aston Martin Vanquish 25 by CALLUM retains the iconic silhouette whilst benefiting from over one hundred design changes, each offering form and function benefits. Sitting 10mm lower on custom forged 20” rims, the stance and visuals are honed and more assertive with increased stability. Re-profiled front and rear carbon fibre bumpers lift the visuals and increase aerodynamic efficiency whilst new high-intensity LED head and taillights provide a purer light and freshen the aesthetics.

Highlighting the no compromise approach, it features new carbon fibre side strakes, all-new wing mirrors, one-piece carbon window surrounds, re-formed sills, aluminium/carbon fuel filler and bespoke rear diffuser with integrated exhaust box. “We’ve addressed many of the individual areas we feel deserved a second look,” adds Callum. “The overall effect, including the stance, gives the car a new lease of life. Applying our design philosophy of balancing form and function has resulted in what we feel is the ultimate Vanquish.”

Aston Martin 25 by CALLUM tail lights and rear detail
Bespoke rear diffuser with integrated exhaust box. Photo: CALLUM Designs

Chassis

Chassis tuning was a significant area of development for the engineering team, led by Adam Donfrancesco. “We love the original Vanquish but expectations of the performance of a GT car have changed since its launch,” says Donfrancesco. “Today’s GT should blend sports car performance with usability, yet be comfortable enough to eat up a thousand-mile mission without a thought. Our focus was to create a supple and comfortable ride that’s responsive and a chassis that is supportive but not harsh. With stiffer anti-roll bars, tuned dampers, custom springs and lower ride height, we’ve increased steering response and reduced roll but crucially allowed the damping to ‘breathe’ a little more. The car now actually feels lighter than the original and more alive.”

Aston Martin 25 by CALLUM carbon fibre side strakes
Carbon fibre side strakes on the Aston Martin 25 by CALLUM. Photo: CALLUM Designs

Tyres

Engineers worked closely with partner Michelin at its Ladoux test facility to select the optimum Pilot Sport tyres and settings for the custom 20” forged wheels, which, thanks to diameter and offset changes, now fill the Vanquish arches. “Michelin’s cutting-edge tyre technology gives us a step-change in all round performance,” continues Donfrancesco. “Overall grip, steering accuracy and noise have all improved.”

Peter Shaw, Key Account Manager at Michelin, added: “Developments over the past two decades in tyre compound and construction technology have allowed us to deliver the performance, comfort and driving feel to perfectly match the updated Vanquish and suit today’s GT driver.”

Aston Martin 25 by CALLUM vent and paint detail
Michelin Tyres wrapped around 20″ forged wheels. Photo: CALLUM Designs

Brakes

Brakes have also been upgraded with the latest Aston Martin carbon ceramic discs, cooled via 3D printed air ducts. New race-spec hub bearings improve brake pedal feel, an Achilles’ heel of the original car.

Engine

Placing equal emphasis on extracting more performance from the 5.9 litre V12, it now delivers an extra 60bhp over the original 520bhp with new carbon induction and exhaust systems. Illustrating the detailed approach taken, carbon and leather engine dressing, often overlooked by car makers, provides functionality in a beautiful package. Conscious some owners may prefer the effortless nature of a true automatic, a six-speed torque convertor transmission is available as an option.

Aston Martin 25 by CALLUM tail lights and rear detail
Aston Martin 25 by CALLUM delivers an extra 60bhp over the previous 520bhp. Photo: CALLUM Designs

Interior

Advances in materials and technology have made the most dramatic updates to the all-new interior. A carbon fibre dash and centre console houses an integrated eight-inch display featuring Car Play and Android Auto.

In a world-first, Bremont produced an instrument cluster designed by the luxury British watch manufacturer alongside a removable mechanical pocket watch that can be used in and out of the car. Bremont Co-Founder Giles English comments, “Having been fortunate enough to work with Ian Callum for several years now, it’s really exciting for Bremont to be part of this next chapter in his illustrious design career. British manufacturing is something we’re utterly passionate about and so contributing on this level really speaks to the core of what Bremont stands for, the best of British engineering and design.”

Aston Martin 25 by CALLUM dashboard and interior detail
The cars dashboard features a removable pocket watch. Photo: CALLUM Designs

Continuing inside, new sport seats allow for a lower and more cosseting seating position. Combined with a thinner steering wheel and revised paddle shifters, these transform the levels of comfort and usability. Leading leather producer Bridge of Weir Leather Company played a crucial role in creating the sumptuous leather trim that features Callum’s fresh take on tartan. “In all my designs I like to have a key design feature,” adds Callum. “Creating a tartan was something I’ve considered for some time and will be one of CALLUM’s design identities for future creations.”

David Archibald, Managing Director, Bridge of Weir Leather Company, adds: “We are very proud to be working on this project. There is a strong connection between us and the Vanquish: Bridge of Weir Leather Company supplied leather to the original vehicle so we are delighted to contribute our Fine Scottish Leather to this new project. Not only does the interior feature CALLUM’s tartan but the leather’s colour is completely bespoke, matched to a unique palette specified by the design team.”

Aston Martin 25 by CALLUM seats detail
CALLUM signature Tartan leather design. Photo: CALLUM Designs

Harking back to the original V12 Vanquish sketches, “The original concept for the Vanquish was to feature two seats and not a 2+2 layout. It’s allowed us to create a unique rear environment, providing more space as a practical Grand Tourer,” says Callum. A bespoke set of luggage, exclusively made by Mulberry, is a beautiful and desirable feature of the car.

“We were delighted to create bespoke luggage for this project in our Somerset Artisan Studio. The relaunch of a beloved British design icon is a point of alignment between Mulberry and CALLUM, and this project is a tribute to the endurance of British craftsmanship and design,” says Thierry Andretta, CEO, Mulberry.

With the client’s experience just as important as the product, CALLUM and R-Reforged has ensured owners can be part of the story from the start, spending time with Ian and the team. “Customers will regularly join us at the facility, specifying each aspect and ultimately watch the car come together. It will be a journey like no other,” confirms Callum.

The Price

The Aston Martin Vanquish 25 by CALLUM is available to order from £550,000, plus local taxes, including an original vehicle sourced by R-Reforged.

Aston Martin 25 by CALLUM top view
Aston Martin 25 by CALLUM top view. Photo: CALLUM Designs

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Luxury Cars

Ferrari XX Program For Select Owners Returns July

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Ferrari has announced the XX Program is back on track for a July start after the cancellation of earlier events at Monza, Shanghai and Suzuka this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Ferrari Corsa Clienti crew inspecting the vehicles.
Ferrari Corsa Clienti crew inspecting the vehicles. Credit: Ferrari

With Formula 1 being canceled this year and only a lone Charles Leclerc driving the streets of Monaco in a Ferrari SF90 Stradale in recent days, both race fans and Ferrari owners alike have been starved of race action this year but for a few very lucky Ferrari owners it has been announced that the Ferrari XX Program will be back on track to begin from July.

Ferrari XX Programme & F1 Programme combined at Imola Race Track.
Ferrari XX Programme & F1 Programme combined at Imola Race Track. Credit: Ferrari
What exactly is the Ferrari XX Program?

Ferrari’s XX Program is one of the most exclusive invite-only driver programs in the world, with a tiny membership of only around 30 individuals. It evolved out of the idea of involving a special group of customers in the development of the Ferraris of the future and in return, owners can own and use a very limited edition Ferrari FXX car developed exclusively for the track and supply feedback to the Corse Clienti engineers.

Designed for the track but NOT for professional competition use, the research and development team do not have to meet the regular homologation requirements required for racing and are given a lot more to play, offering certain benefits to owners who really want to see what their cars can do.

Time for a fresh set of wheels.
Time for a fresh set of wheels. Credit: Ferrari

Owners in the XX Program are able to take part in both the Corsa Clienti events and various technical test sessions held over the year at 8 or 9 tracks around the world and are closely monitored by Ferrari experts as well as get the chance to meet Maranello’s engineers and professional testers. Another perk for owners is that Ferrari will take care of every single detail regarding maintenance, logistics, and optimization of the vehicles.

Ferrari XX Program participants are given expert driving advice.
Ferrari XX Program participants are given expert driving advice. Credit: Ferrari

To date four models are part of the program: the FXX, the 599X, the FXX K, and the FXX K Evo from 2018 equipped with the brand new Evo kit.

The Ferrari FXX: The First One

The first laboratory-car, the Ferrari FXX, was launched in 2006 and is equipped with a 12-cylinder 6.3-liter engine that makes it capable of electrifying performance. According to the engineers, it is the most “straightforward” in its reactions but also the most difficult model to push to the limit. A development kit (EVO) for the FXX, which incorporates information gleaned from customers, has since improved the car’s already outstanding performance.

Ferrari's Corsa Clienti XX Program cars
The Ferrari 599 XX: The Next One

The second model in the Ferrari XX evolution is based on the Ferrari 599 and appeared in 2009. The Ferrari 599XX is a 700 horsepower vehicle packed with technology and equipped with very sophisticated systems including fans that, by sucking air from the faired bottom of the car and expelling through two rear pipes, make the vehicle stick to the asphalt, creating a perfect ground effect. Once again, performance is thrilling and has been further improved by adopting the EVO kit, which incorporates the suggestions made by tutors and customers, for an extreme car that is even more tailored to its drivers.

Ferrari XX Program 599XX
The Ferrari FXX K: 1000 HP Plus Hybrid

The Ferrari FXX K was officially presented at the Finali Mondiali in Abu Dhabi in December 2014. The letter K stands for “KERS” kinetic energy recovery technology that is used to maximize track performance. The FXX K is equipped with technological innovations that make for an unprecedented driving experience with the huge potential of the car summed up in a few significant figures: 1050 total horsepower, 860 of which come from the 6,262 cubic centimeter V12 heat engine, and 190 from the electric engine with over 900 Nm of maximum torque.

Ferrari's Corsa Clienti XX Programme
The Ferrari FXX K Evo: The Upgrade

The FXX-K Evo was unveiled at the Ferrari Finali Mondiali 2017 in Florence during the Ferrari 70th Anniversary celebration. It is an added aerodynamic package available for the existing Ferrari FXX-K that allows the car to produce 23% more downforce than the standard FXX-K and 75% more than the road-legal LaFerrari due to a modified front fascia, a large rear wing and underbody diffusers.

Ferrari XX Programme Corsa Clienti FXXEVO

While recent FXX Program events had to be canceled earlier this year due to travel restrictions and local authority protocols concerning COVID-19, the remainder of the 2020 season will continue as planned beginning with Corse Clienti activities held at Barcelona on 21 and 22 July, followed by the Ferrari Racing Days at Mugello from 28 to 30 August, and at Spa-Francorchamps from 11 to 13 September.

Following on, the Ferrari XX Program will run at the French Paul Ricard track before the final event in the Middle East that coincides with the Finali Mondiali at Abu Dhabi from 4 to 7 November.

Barcelona, 21-22 July
Mugello, 28-30 August
Spa-Francorchamps, 11-13 September
Paul Ricard, 26-27 September
Abu Dhabi (Finali Mondiali), 4-7 November

To ensure the safety of all participants and crew members, special protocols will be put in place as per the individual local authorities and all events will take place behind closed doors until further notice.

For more information on the Ferrari XX Programme visit the website.

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New LEGO Lamborghini Sián – the Latest Supercar to “Roll off the Production Line”

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The LEGO Lamborghini Sián FKP37 in lime green with gold rims is a miniature version of Lamborghini’s first-ever hybrid electric model production car.
The new LEGO Lamborghini Sián in lime green.
The new LEGO Lamborghini Sián in lime green. Credit: Lamborghini

Lego and Lamborghini have teamed up to create the latest technic creation and delivered the futuristic LEGO Technic Lamborghini Sián FKP 37 in a 1:8 scale model complete with 3,696 pieces for supercar fans to build.

First presented at Frankfurt Motor Show in September 2019, the Lamborghini Sián (which means “flash” or “lightning” in the Italian Bolognese dialect) is Lamborghini’s first hybrid electric model production car and will only be produced in 63 limited editions.

LEGO technic Lamborghini Sian Mini
You must be my mini-me. Credit: Lamborghini

Staying true to the design of the full-size version, the LEGO version features a technic replica of the V12 engine; a moveable rear spoiler; front and rear suspension; and a steering wheel complete with the tiniest Automobili Lamborghini badge you’ll ever find on a Lamborghini.

Slightly larger than the average LEGO wheel.
Slightly larger than the average LEGO wheel. Credit: Lamborghini

Speaking on the collaboration, Lamborghini CEO Stephano Domenicaly commented, “The LEGO brick is an icon in the same way as a Lamborghini super sports car. They both embody the pursuit of design perfection through constant research and development, create different emotions with every interaction, and are valued by generations. Each Lamborghini super sports car can be unique thanks to our Ad Personam personalization program and the specific driving style of each owner, just as LEGO bricks provide builders of all ages with endless possibilities for creation. This outstanding replica of the Lamborghini Sián FKP 37 from the LEGO Group presents a brilliant new building experience for both super sports car fans and LEGO enthusiasts, and Lamborghini is privileged to share this opportunity with the LEGO Group.”

Lamborghini's Head of Design Mitja Borkert comparing the two cars
Lamborghini’s Head of Design Mitja Borkert comparing the two Sián’s. Credit: Lamborghini

Based on the color configuration of the original full-sized version presented at Frankfurt (exterior paint in “Verde Gea” and details in “Oro Electrum”), the bright lime green LEGO Lamborghini Sián with gold rims also comes with the signature scissor doors, which open to reveal the intricately recreated cockpit, with a fully-functioning eight-speed sequential gearbox controlled by a movable paddle gearshift.

Discussing how to make a LEGO version
Discussing how to make a LEGO Technic Lamborghini Sián. Credit: Lamborghini

Made up of 3,696 pieces, the build instructions include special QR codes that can be scanned to reveal 13 special videos from Lamborghini and LEGO experts explaining the inspiration behind each stage of the design. Once completely built, it will measure over 5” (13 cm) high, 23” (60 cm) long and 9” (25 cm) wide.

Lego technic Lamborghini Sian doors up
LEGO technic Lamborghini Sian Rear View
LEGO technic Lamborghini Sian engine bay
LEGO technic Lamborghini Sian top view
All 3,696 pieces of the LEGO Lamborghini Sian
All 3,696 pieces of the LEGO Lamborghini Sián. Credit: Lamborghini

Oh, and if you “pop the hood” you’ll also find an overnight bag along with a unique serial number that offers access to additional special content.

The LEGO Technic Lamborghini Sián FKP 37 will be available directly from LEGO stores, online at LEGO.com starting June 1 and from retailers globally starting August 1, 2020.

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Luxury Cars

McLaren to Cut 1,200 Jobs Including F1 Team Roles

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Supercar manufacturer and Formula 1 team McLaren have announced they will be cutting 1,200 jobs under a proposed restructuring program as it handles the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and impending F1 cost cap.
The McLaren Production Center may look a little quieter in the coming days.
The McLaren Production Center may look a little quieter in the coming days. Credit: McLaren

British supercar maker McLaren currently employs around 4,000 staff although in a sign of the times, are looking to cut almost a quarter of their workforce as they navigate the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic to their business.

The McLaren Technology Center by night.
The McLaren Technology Center by night. Credit: McLaren

In a statement made by the company McLaren chairman Paul Walsh, he noted they had been “severely affected” by the crisis and had worked hard to cut costs and avoid layoffs but unfortunately “we now have no other choice but to reduce the size of our workforce.”

“We deeply regret the impact that this restructure will have on all our people, but especially those whose jobs may be affected. It is a course of action we have worked hard to avoid, having already undertaken dramatic cost-saving measures across all areas of the business.

“But we now have no other choice but to reduce the size of our workforce. This is undoubtedly a challenging time for our company, and particularly our people, but we plan to emerge as an efficient, sustainable business with a clear course for returning to growth.

“This is undoubtedly a challenging time for our company, and particularly our people, but we plan to emerge as an efficient, sustainable business with a clear course for returning to growth” he continued.

Both the British automaker operations at Woking Surrey, and the group’s Formula 1 team will be impacted with layoffs affecting the applied technologies, automotive and racing divisions. Temporary factory closures brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic, along with empty showrooms due to “stay at home” instructions and canceled events, have all contributed to the squeeze McLaren has been feeling.

A Royal visit in 2019 to view the latest technological advancements.
A Royal visit in 2019 to view the latest technological advancements. Credit: McLaren

McLaren’s Formula 1 operations are also expected to lose around 70 staff out of the current 800 strong work-force although this decision is said to be affected more so by the new Formula 1 cost cap reductions that will come into play for the 2021 season.

The McLaren group had previously requested a £150m loan from the UK government and also tried to raise emergency funds by mortgaging its headquarters and historic car collection but were unsuccessful at the time due to a disagreement with shareholders over the bond collateral.

The McLaren Technology Center designed by Foster + Partners.
The McLaren Technology Center designed by Foster + Partners. Credit: McLaren

McLaren’s existing shareholders have however rallied and raised an additional £300m equity to support the long-term strategy of the brand.

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