In a world that’s seemingly awash with huge 4x4s there’s one example that’s stood the test of time better than most, the Mercedes-Benz G-Class.
ARES DESIGN "X-Raid" for Mercedes-Benz G63 AMG
In a world that’s seemingly awash with huge 4x4s there’s one example that’s stood the test of time better than most, the Mercedes-Benz G-Class. It’s an indomitable machine equally at home on- or off-road and in its G63 form it’s a pretty devastating performer. While the standard vehicle is impressive, ARES DESIGN has used the G63 as the basis for its stunning reimagining of the luxury off-roader, the ARES X-Raid.
The ARES X-Raid combines the undoubtable excellence of the G63 and its venerable twin-turbo 5.5-litre V8 with a unique take on the G-Class’s styling along with a luxurious complete revamp of the 4x4’s interior.
Externally the boxy design of the original G-Class has been extensively restyled for the 21st century with sweeping changes to its design. Through CAD modelling ARES’s designers and technicians have thoroughly remodelled the original design and the X-Raid has an entirely new body constructed from carbon fibre and aluminium, trimming 200kg from the original car’s kerb weight.
To accompany the X-Raid’s aggressive yet harmonious new look is a significant performance upgrade to the Mercedes-AMG 5461cc twin-turbo powerplant. In its standard form this unit develops 571hp yet ARES Design’s talented technical staff have been able to add a stunning 259hp and 170Nm of torque to bring its total output to a Tarmac-rippling 830hp and 930Nm. A 720hp version can also be specified.
Achieving such impressive figures requires a significant amount of work and ARES’s technicians start the process by stripping the engine down. A set of bespoke high-performance pistons and rods are installed while the crankshaft is balanced to enable increased boost pressures. The engine’s air intake system has been thoroughly re-engineered to increase air flow by 40 per cent while the intercooler has been redesigned and water cooled. Additionally, the engine has 25 per cent more cooling throughput thanks to a higher flow water pump and a larger cooling circuit.
The turbochargers themselves have been replaced with hybrid units that allow for a 30 per cent increase in airflow and these have been teamed with new downpipes and 200 cell catalytic converters. The last piece of the puzzle is a thorough software update to extract the best from the engine. To ensure long term reliability ARES specified that the engine’s new components would be capable of withstanding 1500hp and 1500Nm of torque.
To emphasise the X-Raid’s stance and off-road ability ARES has fitted axle portals which raise the ride height, and these have been combined with KW’s Dynamic Damping Control coilovers that allow for a three-way electronic adjustment of the suspension. To ensure the X-Raid has the stopping capacity for its new-found performance potential a Movit six-piston caliper high performance braking set up has been installed and these are covered by a set of ARES 22-inch forged alloy wheels complete with a tyre pressure control system.
No ARES transformation would be complete without a thorough re-imagining of the interior by ARES’s skilled craftspeople and the X-Raid’s cockpit has been swathed in the finest Nappa leather while the rear bench has been replaced with a pair of individual VIP seats. The steering wheel is a bespoke ARES-designed item while the dash architecture itself has been remodelled to better integrate the infotainment screen to give the cockpit a significantly more cohesive look.
With its stunning new lightweight suit and the performance and luxury to match, ARES DESIGN’S X-Raid brings the Mercedes G-Class thoroughly up to date with a level of style and sophistication that showcases the Modena-based company’s skill set to the full.
ARES DESIGN "X-Raid" for Mercedes-Benz G63 AMG specification
Base car model year: 2017
Engine type: V8 twin-turbo
Displacement [cc]: 5461
Power [hp]: 720-830
Torque [Nm]: 930
Transmission: Seven-speed automatic transmission, four-wheel drive with three lockable differentials, portal axles
Suspension: KW DDC suspension with three electronically adjustable drive modes
Brakes: Movit six-piston calipers
Maximum speed [km/h]: 210 km/h
Production: 12 weeks
- All body parts manufactured in high quality carbon fibre.
- Original steel frame with side and cross members.
- Fully customised based on customer’s requirements.
- Handcrafted artisan interior panels in carbon fibre and leather.
- Custom made Nappa leather and Alcantara interior and upholstery with inserts.
- Instrument cluster with colour TFT screen.
- Multimedia system with high definition 17.8-cm colour display screen.
Off road capability:
- Portal axle lift conversion.
- Hybrid turbocharger with 30 per cent more airflow.
- Electronic control unit upgrade up to 1.2 bar.
- Sport catalytic converters and downpipes.
- Intercooler system with 25 per cent more efficiency.
- Engine air intake increased by 40 per cent.
- Sport air filter.
- High performance pistons and