This iconic and much-loved original model Land Rover Defender, which is no longer being produced, has received a rather radical makeover by luxury Italian coachbuilder ARES Design, who have released details of its bespoke Land Rover Defender Spec. 1.2. The Defender has been given an exceptionally high level of customization, as well as a touch of luxury, which in turn has created a modern-day tribute to this much-loved and timeless off-roader.
The exterior of the Defender has received a makeover by the company’s Centro Stile, with a new carbon fiber bonnet, wider wings and all visible body bolts have been cleverly hidden. At the front of the vehicle, the LED-powered lamps are housed in a new one-piece carbon fiber front end and the rear has new style circle LED taillights.
The customised exterior has larger tinted windows, as well as a high-grade panoramic roof and 18” ARES designed rims which give the Defender a tough and commanding modern presence on the road.
The interior has had a serious makeover too, superbly handcrafted in the finest leather and carbon fiber trim which extends to every part of the cabin, from the instrument panel right through to the rear bench seats, giving a real feeling of luxury and quality.
The Defender comes equipped with a new infotainment system, revised and upgraded air conditioning system and electrically operated windows.
The traditional ignition has been dispensed with, and its place is a simple start/stop button as well as modern-era levers to control the lights, windscreen wipers and adjustable and heated door mirrors with incorporated indicators.
Take a look under the bonnet and you will discover extensive engineering work has been undertaken by the ARES team, who have replaced the original 4-cylinder turbo diesel engine with a brand-new 4750cc V8 engine that delivers 280hp and 440Nm of torque, mated to a 6-speed automatic transmission.
Additional strengthening has been carried out on the transmission, axle shafts and CV joints to support the higher speed and power delivery, while the Defender’s braking system has been upgraded with larger performance discs and 6-piston calipers. The ride has also received an upgrade with electronically adjustable suspension offering both soft and sport settings.
ARES Design CEO, Dany Bahar, says:
“We created our first Defender Ultra V8 in 2018 so we have a great knowledge of the vehicle and that has led us to create a second edition with an even more distinctive style and refined finish. Powered by the same V8 engine, the ARES for Land Rover Defender Spec 1.2 retains the characteristics of the new Defender design but beautifully reimagined to express modernity and luxury.”
ARES Design are well known for their traditional Italian craftsmanship and advanced technologies which they use to create one-off, bespoke and unique vehicles all under one roof at their Modena factory, setting new standards for design.
Simon Burrell is Editor of Our Man Behind The Wheel, a member of The Guild of Motoring Writers, professional photographer and former saloon car racing driver.
Photographs courtesy of ARES Design