Aston Martin Vanquish S Red Arrows | Spotted

About as close as you can get to becoming a Red Arrows pilot without leaving the ground…

By Cam Tait / Tuesday, 6 September 2022 / Loading comments

Surely nothing resonates with our inner child quite like a car and jet fighter collaboration. These two vehicles have absolutely zero in common, other than they’re both extremely cool. That, and some carmakers have corporate connections with the aerospace world, as we’ve all seen with the old Saab fighter jet ads. Sure, you know there’s barely any tangible link between a 9-3 and a 39 Gripen jet, but Saab owners have been dining out on the fighter-inspired ‘night panel’ for years.

That’s (probably) why we see so many jet-themed special editions. There was the Bentley Continental GT ‘inspired’ by the Breitling aerobatics team, a Porsche 911 turbo S designed to look like a private jet and Lamborghini’s Huracan Avio, which was essentially a new paint colour and a couple of stickers. None of these is particularly egregious, but they’re all just a bit… half-hearted. The same cannot be said for Aston Martin’s brief tie-up with the Red Arrows, however. 

Launched in 2017 as part of the firm’s Q special operations team, which at the time was still in its infancy, the Vanquish S Red Arrows Edition was a celebration of the legendary aerobatics team that you could drive about. Mechanically it’s a standard Vanquish S, meaning you get a naturally aspirated 5.9-litre V12 developing 600hp, that, coupled with an eight-speed automatic ‘box, can hurtle you down a runway faster than most commercial airliners.

So yes, the Red Arrows Edition focused purely on cosmetic upgrades, but the changes are many. In contrast to Aston Martin’s typically muted colour options (well, for this era of Aston at least), the Red Arrows Edition comes in Eclat Red, mirroring the same shade used on the Hawker jets. White highlights can be found around the edge of the carbon fibre air duct at the front of the car, above the diffuser and around the side skirts. There’s also a white streak emanating from the side vents, serving as a subtle nod to the smoke trails emitted by the aircraft. For the aviation geeks, each car has a five-digit code on the side vents relating to the registration of one of the jets.

Things get really nerdy on the inside. Not only is the plane registration number embroidered on the dashboard, but you’ll also find yellow ‘rescue’ ribbon serving as the inside door handle, a button mimicking the design of the RAF roundel and another with similar colours to an ejector seat handle (correct us if we’re wrong, aviation enthusiasts). Obviously, it doesn’t come with a real ejector seat, so no Bond antics for the buyer, although the arrow-shaped charges you find on the Hawker jet’s canopy are referenced on the car’s headliner, along with an image of a Red Arrow inverted above you. Might be a bit much, that. Aston also chucked out the rear bench, replacing it with carbon fibre moulds to carry two matching Red Arrows-themed crash helmets – not that any of them will likely ever find their way on to a racetrack.

That’s because just ten were produced, one for each of the nine jets that form the Red Arrows plus one more that was gifted to the RAF Benevolent fund. The one we have here seems to be Red 5, complete with a signature from pilot David Simmonds on the front bumper. Remarkably, it hasn’t worn off, but that might be because this Vanquish S has only covered 101 miles. In five years. At £315,000 it carries a pretty hefty premium over a regular Vanquish S, but, for the right buyer, it might be worth it to drive about in something so obviously crammed with acrobatic easter eggs.


SPECIFICATION | ASTON MARTIN VANQUISH S RED ARROWS EDITION

Engine: 5,935 V12
Transmission: 8-speed automatic, rear-wheel drive
Power (hp): [email protected],000rpm
Torque (lb ft): [email protected],500rpm
MPG: 21.6
CO2: 302g/km
Year registered: 2017
Recorded mileage: 101
Price new: N/A
Yours for: £315,000

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