Aston Martin has now moved into the former Royal Air Force base at St Athan – and, during an open day for locals and owners at the new Welsh factory, the firm revealed a new limited-edition aviation-themed car. Based on the Vanquish S, the coupe modified by the company’s bespoke Q division has fittingly been named after the RAF's own aerobatic unit, the Red Arrows.
Only 10 cars will be made, each painted in 'Eclat Red' as a nod to the livery applied onto the Hawk trainer aircrafts. The predominantly red body is contrasted by an exposed carbon fibre roof adorned with the 'charge' pattern to resemble the canopy design of a fast jet, while the Union Jack enamel wing badges are also unique.
Aston Martin’s Q team has applied a white 'smoke trail' finish onto the side strake along with a host of white and blue carbon accents. Rounding off the changes on the outside is the titanium exhaust system fitted as standard equipment.
The interior also takes inspiration from RAF and Red Arrows, with the Pinewood green insert ingeniously reminiscent of a flight suit. The fabric applied onto the seats evokes the Martin-Baker ejection seat and there are also green webbing seatbelts. An engine inspection plaque, bespoke side sills, and the Royal Air Force Aerobatic Team logo embroidered onto the transmission tunnel have all been added to make it a tad more special.
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In order to make it live up to its bespoke special edition status, Aston Martin borrowed the steering wheel from the exclusive One-77 and created a stowage area behind the seats for a pair of racing helmets. Even the door cards have been modified to feature a graphic depicting the 'Vixen Break', which is a nine-aircraft formation.
Those fortunate enough to claim a Vanquish S Red Arrows will also receive a bunch of extra cool items, including racing suits and helmets, along with a luggage set, unique embroidered bomber jackets, and even a car cover. Not only that, but Aston Martin will also throw in a build book as well as a 1:18 die-cast model of the car and the Hawk aircraft.
Aston Martin has promised to give the 10th car to the RAF Benevolent Fund charity to help former servicemen and women and their families: you can buy a ticket for £20 to be in with the chance of winning it.
As a final note, Aston Martin mentions the Red Arrows edition is 'a fitting culmination to this iconic model's production run', so it probably serves as the swansong for the current-gen Vanquish.
Source: Aston Martin
Gallery: Aston Martin Vanquish S Red Arrows Edition
Q BY ASTON MARTIN: VANQUISH S RED ARROWS EDITION
Spectacular British aviation skills are the inspiration for Aston Martin's latest Q by Aston Martin creation; the Vanquish S Red Arrows edition.
Just ten examples of the Red Arrows inspired cars are being commissioned by Aston Martin Cambridge, each with special design features, hand-crafted interiors and graphic elements that draw on the visual language of aviation, as well as the skill and agility of the RAF's globally acclaimed official aerobatic unit, the Red Arrows.
Founded in 1965, the Red Arrows quickly achieved a reputation for incredible precision and awesome spectacle. Beginning with the Folland Gnat trainer before adopting the iconic BAE Systems Hawk in 1980, the team continues to demonstrate the very best in piloting prowess. The nine pilots of the Red Arrows represent a true team effort, transforming the razor-sharp reactions of fast-jet flying into spectacular displays that have thrilled crowds the world over, from the Goodwood Festival of Speed to important state occasions in the UK and abroad.
The Q by Aston Martin Vanquish S Red Arrows edition is finished in striking Eclat Red, mirroring the instantly familiar livery of the Hawks and referencing the word 'Eclat,' the Red Arrows' motto. A host of subtle details enhance the bodywork and interior, from white and blue carbon livery detailing to the white 'smoke trail' feature on the side strake. An exposed carbon fibre roof panel includes an inlaid 'charge' pattern mimicking the canopy design of a fast jet, while Union Jack enamel wing badges and a titanium exhaust complete the exterior package.
Inside, Red Arrows and RAF inspired details are used throughout, such as the Pinewood green inserts that evoke the design of the classic flight suit and Martin Baker Ejection Seat fabric, together with the green webbing seatbelts. The signature Red Arrows emblem of nine aircraft in classic 'diamond' formation is embroidered on the seat backs, along with unique sill and engine inspection plaques. The latter will be signed, 1 through 10, by the equivalent number 'Red' pilot in the squadron. The Royal Air Force Aerobatic Team logo is embroidered on the transmission tunnel, and the rear of the cabin is finished in the 2+0 configuration, allowing for rear-mounted stowage of twin racing helmets, both finished in the Red Arrows livery.
The One-77-derived steering wheel is paired with a bespoke centre rotary toggle switch inspired by aviation instrumentation and switchgear, including black/yellow hatched design pattering on seat fold and door pulls. The door cards are embroidered with a graphic of the iconic 'Vixen Break,' a spectacular high-G 9-aircraft formation.
The Vanquish S is a high-performance masterpiece, a fitting culmination to this iconic model's production run. One of the most agile road-going Aston Martins ever built, it delivers muscular performance with a finely grained analogue connection between driver and road. Just as the BAE Systems Hawk communicates every facet of the flying experience to its pilot, the Vanquish S provides a truly visceral drive, making it a perfect match for the spectacularly aerobatic Hawk.
Each Q by Aston Martin Vanquish S Red Arrows owner will receive truly bespoke accessories that could include racing helmets, racing suits, bespoke embroidered bomber jackets and a Vanquish S bespoke luggage set, together with a highly-detailed die-cast 1:18 model of their car and the Hawk aircraft. A specially designed car cover and Build Book will also be issued. Fittingly, nine Vanquish S models mirrors the nine-aircraft formation made famous by the Red Arrows. The tenth car is being gifted to the RAF Benevolent Fund, the charity established to provide support to former servicemen and women and their families.
The Q by Aston Martin Vanquish S Red Arrows edition is the ultimate showcase of how tailor-made design and detailing can shape a truly special automobile. Developed by the designers and craftspeople at Q by Aston Martin - Commission, the Red Arrows car marks another signature collaboration between Q by Aston Martin and its global dealership network, illustrating how special features and design elements can create authentic, intriguing and highly desirable limited run cars that appeal directly to their customers.
Marcus Blake, Aston Martin’s UK & SA Regional President said, “It’s fantastic to see the UK dealer network embrace our personalisation service, Q by Aston Martin to commission beautiful, limited editions. The ‘aviation series’ by Aston Martin Cambridge is a great example and we look forward to bringing future commissions to the UK market in the future.”
The limited edition is the third Q by Aston Martin - Commission from Aston Martin Cambridge, following on from the success of last year's V12 Vantage S Spitfire 80 Edition, marking 80 years of the Supermarine Spitfire's first flight, and the earlier Vantage S Blades Edition, developed in collaboration with the Blades Aerobatic Display Team.
The Q by Aston Martin Vanquish S Red Arrows edition was announced at the handover of the former RAF St Athan facility in South Wales, soon to become Aston Martin's second manufacturing site in the UK. Strictly limited to just nine customer cars, Reds 1 through 9 are available to purchase through Aston Martin Cambridge.