Here’s an Italian take on America’s sports car

Ares S1 Project Spyder reskins a mid-engine favorite

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Ares S1 Project Spyder
Italian design with American mechanicals beneath | Ares Design photos

Any guess as to identity of the car shown above? 

OK, so it’s an Ares S1 Project Spyder, and the first barchetta design by the Italian coachbuilder Ares Design, but underneath that sleek, windshield and roofless styling are the mechanicals from the mid-engine Chevrolet Corvette Stingray C8.

If it can find customers, Ares plans to build a run of 24 such cars, basically the roofless versions of the Ares S1 Project coupe.

“Based on the company’s recently launched S1 Project, the S1 Project Spyder’s clean top line is enriched by the absence of the car’s windscreen and roof,” the Italian company announced. 

“To assure the ultimate driving experience, the company’s Centro Stile designed two wind deflectors. Elegantly emerging from the streamlined bodywork, the deflectors redirect the air current over the passengers into the air intakes behind the headrests; creating a virtual canopy and a calm yet unfiltered driving experience. 

“In the absence of the windscreen, the sinuous carbon-fiber bodywork takes on a life of its own as it flows into the cockpit area, dividing and cocooning its passengers in the bespoke hand-crafted interior. Richly finished 

with the highest-grade Napa leather and Alcantara interior details reveal elegant lines with the HMI (human machine interfaces, aka switchgear and instrument displays) located on the central console and dashboard. “

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Ares adds that the car is designed “to ensure ultimate aerodynamic performance, timeless driving experience and a captivating aesthetic.” 

We had always planned a Spyder version of the S1 Project and since we revealed that car last month the reaction has been fantastic, so we are very pleased to release details of the S1 Project Spyder,” said Dany Bahar, Ares co-founder. “We wanted to create a model that is a true tribute to the pleasure of sport driving. This new Barchetta version adds more charm to the S1 Project design as it takes additional inspiration from the world of motorsport and the racing cars of the past.”

Beneath the coachwork are a naturally aspirated V8 that with Ares tweaking will spin to 8,800 rpm, produce 715 horsepower, and accelerate the car to 62 mph in 2.7 seconds. 

Pricing was not announced, but figures to be more expensive than the also-Corvette-based S1 Project coupe, which reportedly starts at around $580,000.

If retro is more your style, Ares also is ready to provide an updated but first-generation Corvette as part of its Legends Reborn series.

Based in Modena, Italy, Ares Design is the company that won a court case that allows it to produce new versions of the famed Ferrari 250 GTO.

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A former daily newspaper sports editor, Larry Edsall spent a dozen years as an editor at AutoWeek magazine before making the transition to writing for the web and becoming the author of more than 15 automotive books. In addition to being founding editor at ClassicCars.com, Larry has written for The New York Times and The Detroit News and was an adjunct honors professor at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University.

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