MODENA, ITALY - The previous-generation Land Rover Defender is not a vehicle that you’d associate with Italian flair, but thanks to a Modenese coachbuilder called Ares, that could be about to change.
Ares describes its latest creation as a “modern-day tribute to the timeless off-road icon”, and not only does it feature a V8 engine but it also boasts carbon fibre bodywork and a handcrafted interior featuring leather and carbon throughout.
Powering this beast is a 4.7-litre normally aspirated engine that produces 207kW and 440Nm. It’s essentially a reworked version of Land Rover’s old 4.5-litre unit, now featuring upgraded sport cats and downpipes with exhaust bypass valve as well as a sport air filter.
The engine is paired with a six-speed automatic gearbox and four-wheel drive system with three lockable differentials.
The Land Rover’s exterior design has also been given a makeover, with widened wheel arches, 18-inch Ares Design alloy wheels with 305/70R18 Cooper Discoverer tyres and new panoramic roof and rear windows. But the most impressive fact is that all body parts are made from carbon fibre.
Customers are also treated to a 35mm suspension lift kit and ORAM electronically adjustable dampers with ‘Sport’ and ‘Soft’ settings, and the braking system has been beefed up too, with larger discs and six-piston calipers.
Inside you’ll find a new infotainment system, upgraded air conditioning, push-button start and all those aforementioned carbon fibre and leather trimmings.
“We created our first Defender Ultra V8 in 2018 so we have a great knowledge of the vehicle and that has led us to create a second edition with an even more distinctive style and refined finish,” Ares Design CEO Dany Bahar enthused.
“Powered by the same V8 engine, the ARES for Land Rover Defender Spec 1.2 retains the characteristics of the new Defender design but beautifully reimagined to express modernity and luxury.”
Just 15 of these brawny Defenders will be produced by Ares.