Updated: Jul 7, 2021
ARES Design, famous for their bespoke one-offs is back at it again, with their newly announced S1 Project, all set to take on the rising competition.
The ARES Design S1 Project
Ten years after serving as the boss at Lotus, where he introduced five new models to the world, Dany Bahar set out on his own journey, where he started Modena-based ARES Design. ARES Design is known for its bespoke one-offs and its Legends Reborn series (modern supercars inspired by icons of the past), putting out cars like the Panther ProgettoUno, which was build as a homage to the De Tomaso Pantera.
The ARES Design S1 Project takes the internals of the Chevrolet Corvette C8 and puts a sleeker sports car body over it. The chassis and eight-speed dual-clutch gearbox come straight out of the latest Corvette. There's something weird going on with the engine, though. The 6.2-liter V8 allegedly makes 705 horsepower at 6,450 rpm and 715 pound-feet (969 Newton-meters) of torque at 5,150 rpm. It can also allegedly rev to 9,000 rpm.
The prototype on display at Salon Privé in the UK
Clearly, this isn't the Corvette's stock V8 engine. Bahar told Top Gear that he does not intend to reveal the details as it's a "secret" between them and their supplier in the US. Such changes cannot be done through software, which means this car boasts mechanical upgrades. Bahar hinted that the car would sound like old F1 V10 engines. Squeezing out an additional 200 from the Corvette's LT2 V8 and keeping it naturally aspirated and displacing 6.2 liters is going to be a real challenge. Additionally, the claimed 9,000 rpm redline is 2,500 revs more than the existing version. The claimed specs indicate an extensive overhaul for the powerplant.
ARES Design intends to build 24 units of the S1 Project over the course of two years, priced at €500,000. The company also plans to introduce more variants of the model in the future. Few days after they announced the S1 Project and showed off the real life prototye, the company released new images that not only show off the car in a new red colour but also the convertible version dubbed the S1 Project Spyder.
The ARES Design S1 Project Spyder and S1 Project in Red
So far, everything looks good right? Wrong. This is where I'd normally leave the article off, but there's something that's been stirring up a lot controversy lately, and it has to do with the design of the S1 Project. For the average person simply looking at the car, there'd be no problems. In fact, when I fist saw the car, I was amazed. However, the problem comes about when you look at existing car designs, particularly one by an automotive designer by the name of Gilsung Park.
Park had commented on several of my Instagram posts about the S1 Project on the ATN Instagram page @autotech.news asking me to check out the original design on his Instagram account @park_creation. Once I saw his profile, I was in complete shock.
The design that I had been drooling over and commending ARES' design team for is stolen. Don't let ARES' marketing nonsense fool you the way I was fooled. This car may potentially be mechanically impressive (although this is hard to say as there haven't been any extensive road tests), but the design is, without a doubt in my head, a blatant copy. Don't believe me? See for yourself.
PORSCHE Electric Le Mans 2035 Concept by Gilsung Park
Park had designed this car for what seems to be his Master Thesis back in 2014-2015. Looking at the line flow and the proportions of the car, it is seems absolutely clear in my mind that ARES has plagiarised. Still not convinced? Have a look at this.... It's honestly quite hard to tell which one is which for some of these
ARES claims on their website to have designed the car entirely on their own, but it's clear that they've taken "inspiration" from elsewhere. When I reached out to Gilsung, he said that he was completely independent of ARES. I'm not impressed to say the least. This needs to be shared. It's quite sad really, and ARES needs to explain themselves. If the company continues with these plain dirty tactics, they'll lose what remaining respect I have for them, forever. At the end of the day, the S1 Project is just a stolen design on a borrowed chassis.