Despite its penchant for high-end launches, ARES can do subtlety too. This week, the newest member of the ARES family – a supercharged ARES Defender Spec 1.2 – made its debut in the Modenese hills surrounding the home of the Italian coachbuilder.
And it happened largely unnoticed.
At first glance, there isn’t much that seems to have changed. Aesthetically, the ‘beefed up’ SUV mainly echoes the design of ARES’s recently launched, naturally aspirated Defender Spec 1.2. The interior remains the same, with its hand-crafted leather upholstery and bespoke carbon fibre. On the exterior, the new additions are the rear bumper and reversing sensors.
But, on closer inspection, it is the larger radiator that hints at the beast that lies beneath.
Because, underneath the hood, is a powerful, supercharged 4196cc V8 unit. The vibrantly coloured red powerplant gives the ARES Defender Spec 1.2 a whopping 354kw/475hp - almost 200hp more than the standard 1.2. Apart from boosting its 0-60 and top speed, the result is a visceral, chest-thumping growl roaring above its supercharge whine.
One of kind. For now.