The Ares Wami Lalique Spyder is a 20-year-old BMW made to look like a Maserati
Just 12 Wami Lalique Spyders will be built, each based on an E85-generation BMW Z4 chassis with a mishmash of ‘50s design cues
As the EV era approaches, more specialist brands are tapping into the appetite for raw, analogue driving experiences that evoke sports cars from years gone by. Some, such as Alfaholics or the suitably named Analogue Automotive, put their efforts into re-engineering past icons to be better-than-new. Italian coachbuilder Ares Modena is taking a slightly different approach with this: the Wami Lalique Spyder. And yes, that is its actual name.
The Wami Lalique is essentially a restyled E85-generation BMW Z4 – a car that turns 20 years old this year and wasn’t exactly renowned for world-beating dynamics at launch. To build the Wami Lalique, Ares layers a new body onto the Z4’s aluminium structure, with a design that draws from the 1953 Maserati A6GCS Frua Spider while channelling ‘the beautiful simplicity of cars like the Ferrari 250 GT California’, according to the firm. We’ll let you be the judge of that.
Despite the retro appearance, the bodywork is made from carbonfibre, with a choice of two exterior paint colours – Amalfi Red or Mediterranean Light Blue. Chrome exhaust tips, bumper overriders and 18-inch wire wheels have been fitted in keeping with the ‘50s design theme.
The Wami Lalique’s power figures are also somewhat out of date, with a BMW 3-litre straight-six generating the same 228bhp and 221lb ft of torque as the Z4 3.0i from two decades ago. This is connected to a six-speed automatic gearbox – presumably the ZF torque converter unit used in the base car.
The cabin architecture and steering wheel will also be familiar to Z4 owners, despite Ares’ efforts to create a more glamorous driving environment with real wood, carbonfibre and Italian leather trim.
Handcrafted crystals decorate the headrests and dashboard, with an Android Auto- and Apple CarPlay-enabled infotainment unit replacing the original BMW system.
Just 12 Wami Lalique’s will be built, and given its bespoke carbon body and extreme rarity, expect it to cost many times more than the £5000 it costs to buy a Z4 3.0i these days.