ARES Design X-Raid
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 4×4’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 looks is a significant performance upgrade to the Mercedes-AMG 5,461cc twin-turbo powerplant. In its standard form this unit develops 571PS yet ARES Design’s talented technical staff have been able to add a stunning 259PS and 190Nm of torque to bring its total output to a Tarmac-rippling 830PS and 950Nm.
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 1500PS 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 calliper 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 from €725,000
On-sale: January 2018
Prices are indicative only due to the nature of coach-building and the creation of bespoke automotive projects.
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