Ares Design from Italy launches a new small series of Land Rover Defender with V8. The body is entirely made of carbon fiber material.
Torsten Seppet and Ole Baumann
In fact, Ares Design of Modena in Italy considers itself a classic “bus maker” – a company that reinterprets the current series of vehicles with its own body design, some of which are stunning. Two examples of this are Wami Lalique Spyder or Ares Project Panther. But with the Land Rover Defender, the Italians are taking a different approach. As redesigning the off-road vehicle icon probably wouldn’t be appropriate, after all, the Defender’s classic look is still primarily loved by fans of the brand.
Therefore, Ares approached the Land Rover Defender project differently. With this new small series, it stays (almost) with the original design of the prototype. However, the Ares body will be replaced with a new, faithfully molded carbon fiber chassis. The door and hood external hinges, like the original, do not have any visible screw connections. Ares also enlarges the rear window and installs a large picture window in the ceiling.
V8 engine instead of four-cylinder turbo diesel
The Ares Land Rover Defender is built on top of the current Land Rover Defender 110 Station Wagon, so it’s actually a “Resto-Mod,” not a new car. Of course, there is little left of the original donor car apart from the axle bodies and frame. Ares Design has replaced the popular four-cylinder turbodiesel with V8s in various configurations from British Landy tuning specialists JE Engineering. In the basic version, the original 4.0 and 4.6 liter V8 engines from Range Rover bored out to a displacement of 4,748 cc.
The turbocharged eight-cylinder engine is not intentionally supercharged in order to emphasize the beefy character of the naturally aspirated eight with high torque at low speeds. This is 440 Nm, engine power is 282 hp. If you want more power, you can opt for the 5.3-liter V8, which then delivers 355 horsepower and 519 Nm of torque. V8 units connected to a six-speed automatic. If the customer wants to increase the balance, this is also possible. Then 4.2 liters meet the compressor. In interaction, eight cylinders provide 475 horsepower.
In all cases, both axles are upgraded with differential locks, and the axle shafts are replaced with hardened versions. The original brake system gives way to sporty brakes with larger discs and six-piston calipers.
Exhaust system with sports catalytic converters and bypass valve ends in front of the rear wheels on both sides, so there’s enough entertainment even without the upgraded multimedia system. On the chassis side, the Ares relies on coil springs 35 mm higher than the chain and electronically controlled dampers. Ares Land Rover Defender specifications. 1.2 Stands on 18-inch wheels fitted with 305/70-18 Cooper Discoverer.
Ares defender in the video
When it comes to the interior, Ares is willing to negotiate, and this is where the client finally decides to implement. The Ares Defender featured here is based on red leather, aluminum, and carbon, and you don’t have to do without the checker plate look that’s so popular among Defender fans.
Ares estimates it will take about four months of ordering to build a new Land Rover Defender V8. The price is €235,000 plus taxes but only for transfer work. The right donor car, ideally delivered by the customer himself, comes to the fore.
Yes, design matches functionality.
No, too big, too fun, too much SUV.
The tuner and refinery projects that keep popping up show just how powerful the classic Land Rover Defender is among enthusiasts – even years after production ceased in 2016.