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Bahar returns with Ares Design coachbuilding company. Image by Ares.

Bahar returns with Ares Design coachbuilding company
Ex-Lotus chief unveils Ares Designís bespoke car company plans to the world.


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What's all this about?

Do you remember Dany Bahar, the man who was in control of Lotus and promised a whole wave of new cars, only to then be unceremoniously sacked by the Norfolk-based sports car company? Well, he's back with a new project.

Lord almighty. What is it called?

Ares Design. And it's a coachbuilding company based in, of all places, Modena in Italy. Yes, that Modena. Co-founded by Bahar three years ago, Ares says it has taken ownership and developed a bespoke factory as part of a new business model, that sees coachbuilding projects begin and end at a dedicated global headquarters. The six cars in question, Known as the Super Six, were all developed, designed and constructed through a network of suppliers under instruction and guidance from Ares Design. The sextet then came back to Modena in January for a final technical and quality sign-off.

Right, so what are the cars in question?

There's a limited production run on the first project, a Bentley Mulsanne four-door that's been converted into a coupe, which is somewhat appropriate as Bentley has long associations with coachbuilding through its history. Then there's a one-off C2 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray, built to show off the full range of what Ares can do to a ca. In this instance, it has been modernised in terms of its drivetrain, chassis and interior appointments. Or you could go for the 964 Porsche 911 Targa.

I'm sorry to say you're wrong there - that car in the picture is clearly a 997 Targa...

Ah, but that's the point; it isn't. It's a 1991 Carrera 2 Targa that's been made to look like a 997 version. Although the factory Porsche model doesn't have those awkward slashes on the front wheelarches... but we digress.

And what about the SUVs I can see?

Well choose from the Ares Design X-Raid, a Mercedes-AMG G 63 with overhauled looks inside and out, or two bespoke versions of the Land Rover Defender - built in conjunction with Landie specialist JE Motor Works - which offer upgrades and a powertrain that comes with either normal aspiration or supercharging. So, presumably, we're talking V8 engines. Apparently, 53 examples of these Land Rovers will be built.

Anything else?

Bahar, CEO of Ares Design, said: "Presenting our amazing new facility and 10 Ares projects either on the road, in-build or at concept phase and due for release later in 2018, was an incredibly proud moment for me and our shareholders. We believe we have found a sweet spot for bespoke automotive production: both in our location in Italy at the heart of the world of luxury cars, and in the market place for coachbuilding. Our technological advances and global headquarters allow for new levels of personalisation that deliver cars in weeks, not years, at prices that respect our clients. We have seen great interest in our projects for 2018 and it was amazing to see our first cars take to the roads."

Matt Robinson - 9 Feb 2018

2018 Ares Super Six. Image by Ares.2018 Ares Super Six. Image by Ares.2018 Ares Super Six. Image by Ares.  

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