These days, Ares Design is perhaps best known for its high-octane supercar transformations and wild one-off retro builds, but let’s not forget the company’s pièce de résistance: coachbuilding. Having sent the automotive world into a full-on frenzy with its Wami Lalique Spyder project, this time Ares is taking a decidedly lower-profile approach. But that’s not to say it’s any less eye-catching.
On the contrary, the latest build to emerge from the Italian automaker is a Land Rover Defender Spec 1.2 that shows just how versatile Ares can be. When it comes to the exterior, the Spec 1.2 is simple and free of any extraneous adornment — down to the rivets. Instead, it’s been given a carbon fiber hood, widened wings, as well as sporty LED lamps fore and aft. Under the hood, the stock powerplant has been replaced by a 4.8L V8 engine. Mated to a 6-speed automatic transmission, it’s good for 280hp and 324lb-ft of torque. Inside, it features a completely bespoke interior, with supple leather and carbon trim throughout, as well as an entirely new infotainment system, power windows, and even air conditioning. Riding on a set of custom 18″ Ares Design rims, it makes for a case study in subtlety.
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