Dany Bahar-led Ares coachbuilder reveals G-Class and Bentley Mulsanne-based models

Ares-designed X-Raid

The 18,000-square-metre Modena facility will handle future orders; the X-Raid and Mulsanne coupé are just two current projects

Ex-Lotus boss Dany Bahar’s coachbuilding company, Ares, has revealed two models it is currently working on: an SUV based on the Mercedes-Benz G-Class and a coupé version of the Bentley Mulsanne.

Production will commence in the company’s newly announced 18,000-square-metre facility in Modena, although the X-Raid SUV is already being constructed elsewhere, with production being transferred.

Previously speaking with Autocar, Bahar revealed that a full carbonfibre recladding of an existing car costs upwards of £750,000, and Ares takes commissions for cars that are a long time away or that have not been factored into production plans by the company. The Mulsanne coupé is an example of the latter.

Half of the business is made up of limited-run models such as the X-Raid, while the other 50% will be one-offs. The limited-run cars are priced at around €600,000 (around £539,000), while a one-off costs €700,000-800,000 (£629,000-£718,000). One-offs for original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) can cost around £2 million for a similar service, Bahar says.

The one-offs take around six months to finish, and their prices and build times significantly undercut those of OEM one-offs, making Ares’ set-up much more enticing to customers, Bahar says. Design work is done in-house, although if the customer wants performance upgrades, this work is outsourced.

Bahar plans to reopen an Ares showroom in the Piccadilly area of London, marking the second time the company has increased its square footage to cope with demand. This demand comes from pre-empting or going further than OEMs go, said Bahar: “We’re not trying not to clash with OEMs. Bentley is not focusing on a big coupé – this is a more senior coupé style. As long as they don’t make one, we will continue.” The Mulsanne coupé picks up where the Brooklands left off in this segment, especially since Rolls-Royce ceased production of the Phantom coupé.

Ares’ last big project was a run of 53 Land Rover Defenders that were given a 282bhp V8 under the bonnet and hardcore off-roading upgrades such as a two-inch lift, winches and roofbars.

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Source:: Autocar