Ares Design’s gifted auto specialists are no strangers to the aftermarket realm. Since the company’s relatively recent birth, the Italian craftsmen never failed to amaze gearheads with their fascinating works of mechanical art.
A few of Ares’ most notable undertakings have honored the autoevolution pages with their presence, including a bespoke Porsche 911 Turbo with 425 hp on tap and a Tesla Model S-based convertible masterpiece. As you examine these beasts, it’s fairly safe to conclude that Modena’s experts mean business.
Given the fact that we can’t seem to get enough of this firm’s surreal wizardry (and I’ll bet you feel the same), we’d say a closer look at their Land Rover Defender Spec 1.2 is a welcome feat. At the end of the day, transforming an undistinguished previous-gen Defender into a V8-powered monstrosity with eerie vibes is no walk in the park. In fact, I encourage you to sit down and take a deep breath because this bad boy will make you weak at the knees.
In Stock form, the SUV is brought to life by a 2.2-liter turbodiesel inline-four engine with four valves per cylinder head and a healthy compression ratio of 15.6:1. At about 3,500 rpm, the mill produces as much as 121 hp along with a respectable torque output of up to 266 pound-feet (361 Nm) at 2,000 revs. This oomph is distributed to all four wheels by means of a six-speed manual transmission, enabling the Defender to reach a top speed of 90 mph (145 kph).
Now that we’ve covered the standard vehicle’s main characteristics, let’s proceed with a thorough analysis of Ares Design’s leviathan. The very first thing you’ll notice is a sinister widebody kit that manages to look just about as rad as it gets. At the front, the new bodywork consists of a carbon fiber grille that doubles up as a headlight housing for the car’s new LED items, as well as a beefy hood with integrated air inlets.
On the flanks, we spot a set of muscular fender flares arching over the tuner’s rugged 18-inch five-spoke hoops. To add even more visual bulk, Italy’s pros went about installing a stealthy pair of tubular side steps in between. Furthermore, the colossus also received enlarged rear windows, a panoramic roof, and circular LED taillights to round out (no pun intended) the cosmetic pizzazz.
Inside, the cabin has been meticulously reupholstered with top-grade leather, but the use of premium materials doesn’t end there. An assortment of carbon fiber trimmings tastefully complements the new upholstery, while a state-of-the-art infotainment system supporting both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto adorns the dashboard. Ares’ high-tech goodness is concluded by an engine start-stop button, electric windows, and heated side mirrors hosting fresh turn signals.
Last but not least, the Defender’s humble 2.2-liter turbodiesel powerplant has been discarded in favor of a naturally aspirated 4.8-liter V8 behemoth producing no less than 282 wild ponies and 324 pound-feet (440 Nm) of twist. To ensure the additional force is handled with ease, the V8 predator has been coupled with a six-speed automatic gearbox. On the other hand, stopping power is taken good care of by six-piston calipers from AP Racing.
The finishing touch comes in the form of a suspension lift kit, which increases the SUV’s ground clearance by 1.4 inches (35 mm). Should you be looking to purchase your own Defender Spec 1.2, Ares Design claims that your order will be delivered in approximately three months. However, pricing information remains undisclosed at the time of this publication.
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Article Credit: Silvian Secara
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