Ares Modena Defender is a £200,000 Anglo-Italian restomod

by Nik Berg
6 June 2022 2 min read
Ares Modena Defender is a £200,000 Anglo-Italian restomod
Photos: Ares Modena

Italian coachbuilder Ares Modena – founded by Dany Bahar, the man who guided the branding directions of both Red Bull and Ferrari before heading up Lotus between 2009 and 2012 – has put its mark on the classic Land Rover Defender.

Previous projects have put a new spin on classic models like the De Tomaso Pantera and Ferrari 400 series, but the base for the latest project is very clearly a Defender. Wisely the car’s timeless exterior has been only subtly enhanced with a new carbon fibre bonnet, widened wings, and a set of custom Ares Modena wheels wrapped (in the images at least) in knobbly Cooper tyres.

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The car “retains the iconic characteristics of the imposing Defender design but tempers them with essential and elegant lines, to express modernity and propel the icon into the future,” says Ares. To that end, familiar details like the Defender’s arches and blocky face have been enhanced rather than replaced entirely; the familiar front end, for instance, is now formed from a single carbon fibre moulding.

The Defender’s original rugged interior has been thrown out, replaced by a small forest of wood and a field of cow hide. A panoramic sunroof adds light to the cabin, and the infotainment is upgraded. Again, the shapes are familiar, but you’re more likely to smell cow hide than cow dung.

Under the bonnet sits a 5.3-litre V8 with 335bhp and 383lb ft, sent to all four wheels through a six-speed automatic transmission, with a low-range transfer case and three locking diffs. To accompany the performance boost Ares has fitted new ORAM electronically adjustable suspension and upgraded the brakes.

Called simply the Ares Defender V8, prices start at around £200,000. There’s no shortage of firms out there bringing the Defender up to modern standards, but Ares Modena appears to have executed the job with Italian flair. This or a Brabus G-Wagen?

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