The Ares Design S Project is a coach building project that claims to be based on a C8 Corvette. We’re here to inform you it’s probably not going to happen, and the provided specs are virtually impossible. Before we rip into this thing too hard, here’s everything Ares told the folks over at Top Gear about their (rendered?) images of the supercar in the works.
It’s the latest project of Ares Design, who are responsible for the Lamborghini Huracan-based De Tomaso Pantera throwback called the Panther ProgettoUno you may have seen around the internet. As mentioned, it’s supposedly based on the C8 Corvette, but features a completely unique carbon fiber body, and a reworked interior you can’t currently see. Ares intends to have as little trace of Corvette as possible. If that means moving the C8’s greenhouse so far forward that there’s little chance the chassis’ hard points are in the same place, mission accomplished.
Real or fake, however, there’s no denying that this vehicle looks incredible. Lots of Pagani in the front. Lots of Bugatti in the back. What’s not to love about that? The goal of the project is to offer a vehicle with hypercar looks and rarity, but at a more accessible price and performance level. Also, that accessible price is converted from euros to almost $600,000, and only 24 will allegedly get built.
Here’s where the whole thing falls apart. Ares claims the engine is the Stingray’s 6.2 liter V8, but they’ve somehow managed to extract 705 bhp and 715 lb-ft of torque. The LT2 engine will somehow rev to 9,000 rpm. All of these improvements are somehow possible without the addition of turbos or a supercharger, and with the standard 8-speed dual clutch transmission.
Ares claims to be working with an “American supplier” that will modify the engine mechanically, not through software. But no matter how much hardware upgrades are planned, there’s the need for calibration. And that’s where software will need to play a part. And, as we’ve repeated here over, and over, and over again, it’s a part that it’s unwilling to play in the C8 Corvette.
Another issue is the transmission. The Tremec-built unit isn’t meant to handle this kind of output, nor is it designed to spin that fast.
These specs read a lot like the upcoming Corvette Z06’s flat plane crank V8, leading many outlets to incorrectly report this is the Z06 engine underneath, but that will come from a 5.5 liter motor. There’s also no way GM is letting Ares have access to the Z06 before it’s revealed, as the S Project is slated for delivery at the end of 2020. Chances are, Ares design is (incorrectly) guessing the Z06’s specs and (incorrectly) guessing it’ll come to market this year, and base the S Project around it, not the standard Stingray they say is underneath. To us, it sounds like Ares is biting off more than they can chew, and promising a product they can’t deliver.
This isn’t the first time company owner Dany Bahar has done that, either.
If you think back to 2010, Bahar was actually running Lotus, and debuted five concept cars as part of a five year revitalization plan for the iconic UK company. None were ever made, and Bahar was ousted in 2012 for misusing company funds.
The Ares Design Project S has too many conflicts with the C8 Corvette Stingray’s platform and engine to even work in the first place, and we doubt there are 24 people willing to spend $600,000 on a rebodied Corvette that made headlines for its affordable base price.
Like communism, maybe this time it’ll work. But we’ll believe it when we see the real thing running.