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The most powerful Mercedes G-Class you can buy from the factory is the V12-powered G65 AMG, which delivers 621 horsepower (463 kilowatts) and is able to sprint to 60 miles per hour (96 kilometers per hour) in just 5.1 seconds. But Ares Design, a Modena-based coachbuilder founded by former Lotus CEO Dany Bahar in 2015, isn’t content with anything less than 700, it seems.

The company today released its new X-Raid – essentially a 760-hp (566-kW) coachbuilt G-Class with a dramatic-looking new body. Based on the Mercedes-AMG G63, the Ares X-Raid uses the same AMG-sourced 5.5-liter V8, but in this case it has been tuned to produce the aforementioned 760 hp (566 kW), with a limited top speed of 155 mph (249 kmh).

Ares X-Raid
Ares X-Raid

The body panels are constructed of lightweight carbon fiber and aluminum, which sheds nearly 440 pounds (200 kilograms) over the factory version. The rims are a custom set of 22-inch bespoke Ares Design forged wheels, and the interior is fitted with a custom X-Raid steering wheel, including a "completely new cockpit," says the company. Features like Nappa leather and single VIP seats in the rear give the X-Raid a more upscale feel.

This is the first vehicle in the proposed new Ares lineup, and will be followed by a Bentley Mulsanne-based coupe in just a few months. Both cars will be built at the company’s new Modena facility, with a full production plan expected early in 2018, and inclusive services like detailing of client cars, one-off commissions, and more.

Gallery: Ares X-Raid

"Our ambition at ARES Design is to provide a unique offer to car enthusiasts," said Ares boss Dany Bahar in an interview with Top Gear. "A blend of skills, service and technologies through a network of artisans and craftsmen working under one roof with our own design and technology team."

Source: Ares Design

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The classic G-Wagon gets the ARES interior and exterior makeover and becomes a rare and headturning piece of art. Based on the Mercedes G63 the car retains the superb engineering and marries it with the coachbuilding mastery of ARES.

There is no doubt that the X-Raid is a big and powerful car that’s not for everyone. It has an impressive, almost aggressive, stance on the road and wherever it’s seen, it becomes the talk of the town. The added power and the exquisite interior adds to the ARES Design experience.

In 2017 ARES moved into an 18,000m2 state of the art factory in the heartland of Italian automotive engineering in Modena. This video showcases the first ARES X-Raid and offers glimpses of the new factory and X-Raid No. 2. 

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