We just saw the presentation of the "new" Mercedes G-Wagen class, which, and this is for sure, is not really "new" - but this is good as it is. The G-Wagen is an icon, next to the Land Rover Defender the oldest manufactured tough offroader until today. In the past years we saw many modifications of the G-Wagen, a car which on Asphalt isn´t really useful but today mostly "the" status symbol if you earn good money, are a celebrity or only need protection around you. Or all together, like G-Wagen Fan Vladimir Putin from Russia (who also uses rally-technology in his armored G-Wagen, because the regular suspension is useless with the armoured-weight).
We saw modifications like the most-sold AMG G-Wagen V8 (within the named clients), pendants from different tuners like Brabus or even 12-cylinder versions. But even with this variety of choices some are getting bored. G-Wagen even with V12 looks good, but it is still a G-Wagen. So time for something totally different - was the idea of the Italian Design-Thinktank "Ares Design". To say it first: You need an investment of 725.000 Euros / 640,000 GBP / 890.000 USD to have a really unique G-Wagen. And this is no study. You can buy it.
While the standard vehicle is impressive, Modena-based Ares Design has used the AMG G63 as the basis for its stunning reimagining of the luxury off-roader, the Ares X-Raid. It 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 4x4’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.
Technical Facts Ares Design X-Raid
Base car model year: 2017
Engine type: V8 twin turbo
Displacement [CC]: 5461
Power [HP]: 720-830
Torque [Nm]: > 930
- 7-speed automatic transmission
- 4 wheels drive
- 3 lockable differentials
- Portal axles
Suspension: KW DDC suspension with 3 different modes
Brake: Movit 6 piston caliper
Wheels: 22 inch
Maximum speed [Km/h]: 210 kmh
Price [Euro]: From €725,000
Production: 12 weeks
Body: All body parts manufactured in carbon fiber
Chassis: Original steel frame with side & cross members
- Fully customized based on customer design request
- Handcrafted artisan interior panels in carbon fiber and leather
- Custom made Nappa leather and alcantara interior and upholstery with inserts
- Instrument cluster with color TFT screen.
- Multimedia system with high definition 17.8 cm color display screen
- The Mercedes-AMG G 63 has an AMG instrument cluster with color TFT screen and AMG main menu and separate gear display.
- Hybrid turbocharger with 30% more airflow
- Electronic control unit upgrade up to 1.2 bar
- Sport cats and downpipes
- Intercooler system with 25% more efficiency
- Engine air intake up to 40% airflow
- Sport air filter
- High performance piston and conrod
Photos: Ares Design
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