Coachbuilder and automotive design company Ares Design co-founded by ex-Lotus boss Dany Bahar has revealed an open-topped Spyder version of the S1 Project, a mid-engined supercar that finds its underlying chassis and powertrain sourced from Chevrolet’s mid-engined C8 Corvette Stingray. As with the coupe, Ares Design is aiming to produce a total of 24 S1 Project Spyder units commencing from January next year.
Key changes compared to the hardtop S1 Project include the removal of not just the roof, but also the full-height windscreen and its canopy-like glasshouse, which here has been replaced by profiled transparent wind-deflectors that are separated by a sleeping of body-coloured panels. This emphasis on splitting the driver and passenger cells is accentuated by the new rear engine cover which now features a double-cowelling that also supports split intake scoops to feed the intake.
Subscribe to evo magazine
In a similar vein to the original C1 Corvette, the engine cover also spills down into the cabin between the driver and passenger, again emphasising the split between driver and passenger revealing a snug cabin with a steering wheel derived from the C8 Corvette, and a bespoke portrait-oriented touchscreen interface.
The design itself is otherwise only mildly changed, with a very exotic and extreme combination of proportions and vehicle height that look to have just jumped straight off a designers notepad. Some might even call the S1 Project almost Porsche-like in its smooth and heavily sculpted surfacing, save for the admissions to aerodynamics in the louvred front arches, and odd forward-facing vents above the rear wheels.
The powertrain will be as in the standard S1 Project, with Ares Design claiming the naturally aspirated 700bhp V8 will rev to 8800rpm – which sounds like quite a lot for a big-block Chevrolet V8 – sending the S1 to 62mph in 2.7sec, or so is suggested. Drive is sent to the rear wheels via an eight-speed dual-clutch transmission that is likely to also be derived from the Corvette, which introduced such a transmission in its latest C8.
There is a curious mismatch that lies in the vast proportional differences between the C8 Corvette and this S1 Project Spyder (and indeed its hardtop brother) though. It only takes a quick look to notice that key hardpoints like the level at which the base of the windscreen sits, and how far forward the cabin is relative to its front axle are so wildly different to the Corvette C8 Ares Design and its Chief executive Danny Bahar insist this car will be based on.
To execute these proportional changes on an aluminium chassis derived from the C8 will take a huge amount of structural change and fabrication. Of course Ares Design has coachbuilt before with the limited-run Panther – itself a re-bodied Lamborghini Huracan – but one look at the proportional similarities between those two models in contrast to the S1 reveals the vastness of the transformation that lies ahead. We’ll look ahead with interest to see if Ares Design will be able to realise this ambitious project.