The Ares Design S Project takes the C8 Corvette and transforms it into a sleeker sports car. While it somewhat strains belief, the company claims the first deliveries could happen at the end of the year, Ares boss and former Lotus CEO Dany Bahar tells Top Gear about the new project.
The chassis and eight-speed dual-clutch gearbox come straight from the latest Corvette. There's something weird going on with the engine, though. The 6.2-liter V8 allegedly makes 705 horsepower (526 kilowatts) 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.
Gallery: Ares Design S Project
Clearly, this isn't the 'Vette's stock V8. Bahar isn't saying what's different, though. "That remains a secret between our supplier in the USA and us. It’s all mechanical modifications though, you can’t do this through software," Bahar told Top Gear. "The sound it makes takes inspiration from old F1 V10s, very high tonality."
Extracting an additional 200 hp (149 kW) out of the Corvette's LT2 V8 and keeping it naturally aspirated and displacing 6.2 liters is going to be a real challenge. Plus, the claimed 9,000 rpm redline is 2,500 revs more than the existing version. The alleged specs indicate an extensive overhaul for the powerplant.
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The S Project wears swoopy bodywork that includes a low nose with prominent fenders that should allow for expansive outward visibility. The flowing roofline features a scoop for sending air to the engine, and there are louvers on all of the fenders. The exhausts rise vertically out of the rear deck. There doesn't appear to be a rear window, but a camera system could solve this problem.
Ares Design intends to build 24 examples of the S Project over the course of two years and sell them for €500,000 ($594,375 at current exchange rates). Eventually, the company would like to introduce more variants of the model.