You remember Dany Bahar, right? The Red Bull exec turned Ferrari lifestyle guru who took over Lotus, promised the world, trotted out a bunch of concepts and B-list actors, and was later axed then sued? Yeah, that guy. He wants to rebody your car for $1.1 million.
In his first real interview after getting canned, Bahar expounded on how Lotus' then-new owners screwed him over, why debuting five cars made sense, how close the Esprit was to production, and, oh, yeah, he can't talk about that lawsuit that was settled out of court.
What he could discuss was his new project, Ares Performance, where he'll take your Aston Martin Rapide, Lamborghini Huracán, Bentley Continental GT, Rolls-Royce Wraith, or Land Rover, and customize it to your heart's content. And it all starts at around 700,000 pounds (or over $1.1M)
Ares is a new kind of automotive atelier created specifically to cater for people who need a car that's unique, hand-crafted and extraordinary. Maybe you remember Ferrari's Atelier and Special Projects division? That started during my time in Maranello. Now imagine an independent atelier, where you have access to all the brands and can respond to client requests for sports cars, SUVs, shooting brakes… It opens up a whole world of possibilities. We're only changing the parts that are visible to the client, like a total makeover inside and out, and we leave the hard points, the mechanical structure, the electronics infrastructure and the suspension untouched.
To Bahar's credit, he's assembled a solid team, with former AMG COO Wolf Zimmermann and Lotus' former lead design Mihai Panaitescu on board. And the machines on the Ares site look phenomenal, including a shooting brake version of both the Rapide and Continental GT – that's assuming they exist.
The full interview over at Top Gear is worth the read, if for no other reason than to get Bahar's perspective on what went down in Hethel and why he moved to – where else? – Dubai.