Ares Design is rebodying at least one 812 Superfast in neo-classic style.
The letters GTO carry such cachet that Ferrari can't help but bring them back every so many years. After the legendary 250 GTO from the 1960s came the 288 GTO in the 1980s and the 599 GTO in the earlier part of this decade. Now the name is coming back again, but it's not a current Ferrari executive that's behind the revival this time. It's a former one.
The company is creative outlet of one Dany Bahar, perhaps best known for his controversial years at the helm of Lotus. But before that, he was a senior vice president at Ferrari. His new coachbuilding operation Ares Design has reinterpreted everything from the Mercedes G-Wagen (which it calls the X-Raid) to the De Tomaso Pantera (reborn on the basis of a Lamborghini Huracan). But the revival of the most iconic of classic Ferraris could be Bahar's and Ares' most ambitious undertaking yet.
The 812 on which Ares' revived GTO is conceptually based boasts a 6.5-liter naturally aspirated V12.
Sending 789 horsepower and 530 lb-ft of torque through a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission with a trick four-wheel steering system, the Superfast lives up to its name with a 0-62 time quoted at 2.9 seconds, a 211-mph top speed, and a Fiorano lap time of 1:21.5 – nearly a second quicker than the preceding F12 Berlinetta.
The project has reportedly been commissioned by a solitary private customer. But Ares could make as many as ten of them for about €1 million (including the donor car) – if it finds enough interested customers, and if – big "if" – Ferrari approves.
The factory has been increasing its own neo-classic coachbuilding efforts of late with models like the Monza SP1 and SP2, also based on the 812, and holds its heritage in a tight grip. If it doesn't give its former VP its blessing, Bahar and company could not only be forced to do without the vaunted Prancing Horse badge, but have trouble securing suppliers under pressure from Maranello, similar to what the notoriously protective supercar manufacturer brought to bear on the Lancia Stratos project.