The 18,000-square-metre Modena facility will handle future orders; the X-Raid and Mulsanne coupé are just two current projects

Ex-Lotus boss Dany Bahar’s coachbuilding company, Ares, has revealed two models it is currently working on: an SUV based on the Mercedes-Benz G-Class and a coupé version of the Bentley Mulsanne.

Production will commence in the company’s newly announced 18,000-square-metre facility in Modena, although the X-Raid SUV is already being constructed elsewhere, with production being transferred. 

Previously speaking with Autocar, Bahar revealed that a full carbonfibre recladding of an existing car costs upwards of £750,000, and Ares takes commissions for cars that are a long time away or that have not been factored into production plans by the company. The Mulsanne coupé is an example of the latter. 

Half of the business is made up of limited-run models such as the X-Raid, while the other 50% will be one-offs. The limited-run cars are priced at around €600,000 (around £539,000), while a one-off costs €700,000-800,000 (£629,000-£718,000). One-offs for original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) can cost around £2 million for a similar service, Bahar says.

The one-offs take around six months to finish, and their prices and build times significantly undercut those of OEM one-offs, making Ares’ set-up much more enticing to customers, Bahar says. Design work is done in-house, although if the customer wants performance upgrades, this work is outsourced. 

Bahar plans to reopen an Ares showroom in the Piccadilly area of London, marking the second time the company has increased its square footage to cope with demand. This demand comes from pre-empting or going further than OEMs go, said Bahar: “We’re not trying not to clash with OEMs. Bentley is not focusing on a big coupé - this is a more senior coupé style. As long as they don’t make one, we will continue.” The Mulsanne coupé picks up where the Brooklands left off in this segment, especially since Rolls-Royce ceased production of the Phantom coupé.

Ares’ last big project was a run of 53 Land Rover Defenders that were given a 282bhp V8 under the bonnet and hardcore off-roading upgrades such as a two-inch lift, winches and roofbars.

Read more:

53 bespoke Land Rover Defenders to be created by Italian design house

Land Rover design director vows to put third-party tuners out of business

Italian coachbuilders: why it's not the end of the road

Pininfarina and Touring Superleggera coachbuilders seek more collaboratio

Our Verdict

Mini Cooper S

Now in its third generation, we find out if the bigger, cleverer and more mature Mini can still entertain like it predecessors did

Join the debate


24 October 2017


24 October 2017

...driven by areses. 

24 October 2017

For those who have so much that they have lost touch with the value of money.

24 October 2017

Pass the sick bowl please Jeeves. Only Russian kleptocrats, who have had an esthetic by-pass, need apply. Would look nice on the helicopter deck of their naval frigate look-alike yachts. My guess is that Danny Bahar will do for this bespoke coachbuilding firm, the same as he achieved for Lotus - a disaster. 

Wilson Laidlaw

24 October 2017

Bit harsh - I m not exactly a fan of the off roader, but I ve seen far, far worse looking off roaders from OEMs. The Bentley coupe is quite tasteful. Methinks your dislike of the man is colouring your opinions.


24 October 2017

Did he hire a SsangYong's stylist for the G-Class?

24 October 2017

Sadly there is a Ferrari in one of those photos, which presumably will be mutilated in a similar fashion. 

24 October 2017

He over-licensed the brand when at Ferrari so you got tacky merchandise a bit like you would fine in a turkish bazaar...this is just like a Burberry baseball cap

24 October 2017

that he isn't at lotus any more!

25 October 2017

So that's what happened to the designs Mahindra rejected?

Add your comment

Log in or register to post comments

Find an Autocar car review

Driven this week

  • Audi RS4 Avant
    First Drive
    22 January 2018
    We get our hands on the barnstorming Audi RS4 Avant in the UK to see if this fast family estate can take the fight to the Mercedes-AMG C63 Estate
  • BMW X3
    Car review
    19 January 2018
    The stakes have never been higher for BMW’s mid-sized SUV, now the X3 in its third generation. So can it deliver?
  • Nissan Leaf
    First Drive
    19 January 2018
    Better looks, better value, better range, stronger performance and a quiet and relaxing drive make the Nissan Leaf a leading EV contender again
  • Volkswagen Up GTI
    First Drive
    18 January 2018
    Funky, light, enjoyable and even reasonably priced, the Volkswagen Up GTI is a car to be appreciated on its own compelling terms
  • Skoda Fabia 1.0 TSI 110 Redline
    First Drive
    18 January 2018
    Our first flavour of the 1.0 TSI-engined Skoda Fabia on UK roads shows it’s versatile but not all that sporty