The most powerful Mercedes G-Class you can buy from the factory is the V12-powered G65 AMG, which delivers 621bhp and is able to sprint to 60mph in just 5.1sec. But Ares Design, a Modena-based coachbuilder founded by former Lotus CEO Dany Bahar in 2015, isn’t content with anything less than 700, it seems.
The company today released its new X-Raid – essentially a 759bhp coachbuilt G-Class with a dramatic new body. Based on the Mercedes-AMG G63, the Ares X-Raid uses the same AMG-sourced 5.5-litre V8, but in this case it has been tuned to produce more power, with a limited top speed of 155mph.
The body panels are constructed of lightweight carbonfibre and aluminum, shedding nearly 200kg over the factory version. The rims are a custom set of 22-inch bespoke Ares Design forged wheels and the interior is fitted with a custom X-Raid steering wheel, as well as a 'completely new cockpit', says the company. Features like Nappa leather and single VIP seats in the rear give the X-Raid a more upmarket feel.
This is the first vehicle in the proposed new Ares lineup and will be followed by a Bentley Mulsanne-based coupe in just a few months. Both cars will be built at the company’s new Modena facility, with a full production plan expected early in 2018.
Gallery: Ares X-Raid
'Our ambition at Ares Design is to provide a unique offer to car enthusiasts," said Ares boss Dany Bahar recently. 'A blend of skills, service and technologies through a network of artisans and craftsmen working under one roof with our own design and technology team.'
Gallery: Ares X-Raid
The classic G-Wagon gets the ARES interior and exterior makeover and becomes a rare and headturning piece of art. Based on the Mercedes G63 the car retains the superb engineering and marries it with the coachbuilding mastery of ARES.
There is no doubt that the X-Raid is a big and powerful car that’s not for everyone. It has an impressive, almost aggressive, stance on the road and wherever it’s seen, it becomes the talk of the town. The added power and the exquisite interior adds to the ARES Design experience.
In 2017 ARES moved into an 18,000m2 state of the art factory in the heartland of Italian automotive engineering in Modena. This video showcases the first ARES X-Raid and offers glimpses of the new factory and X-Raid No. 2.