Before the C8 Corvette came along, high-horsepower, mid-engine cars were almost exclusive to the six- and seven-figure price bracket. Thanks to Chevrolet, though, consumers can now get themselves behind the wheel of a near-500 horsepower mid-engine car capable of accelerating from 0 to 60 mph in under three seconds for the low price of just $59,995.
For this reason, the Italian coachbuilders over at Ares Design saw the affordable C8 Corvette as the perfect starting off point for its new supercar, the unimaginatively named Ares Design S1. While the company stopped short of saying the S1 is based on the C8 Corvette, it’s fairly obvious that it plans to use Chevrolet’s new mid-engine sports car as its foundation judging by the dimensions, powertrain and interior design.
Power for the Ares Design S1 will come from a naturally aspirated V8 engine producing up to 715 horsepower. It’s not clear how the company plans to extract more power from the C8 Corvette’s 6.2L LT2 V8, seeing as GM is keeping the motor under an electronic lock-and-key, but it promises the heavily upgraded engine will help enable a 0 to 62 mph time of just 2.7 seconds. The Ares Design S1 will also feature “double-wishbone suspension, forged aluminum axles and adaptive Magnetic Ride Control,” the company says, which is all hardware that can be found on the production C8 Corvette.
As for the over-the-top styling, Ares says it was inspired by “the most iconic racing prototypes of the 70s and 80s,” and builds on these design themes with modern-day touches such as large alloy wheels, LED daytime running lights and carbon fiber accents and trim. Meanwhile, the interior features diamond-stitched leather seats, carbon fiber dash and steering wheel trim and a redesigned center console with a vertically-integrated color touchscreen display.
Pricing for the Ares Design S1 has not yet been announced, but as the old adage goes, if you really have to ask, it’s probably out of reach.