So, while the revisions to the aesthetics of the car are substantial, the engineering required to deliver them is more involved than first impressions might suggest, given the underpinnings. To be extra certain of its engineering, all of the revisions are tested and approved by the TÜV, Germany’s network of safety inspectors. The finished product delivers suitable visual impact and feels like a fitting interpretation of a modern Pantera.
Beyond the bodywork, the team at Ares has hacked into the Lambo ECU and remapped it, adjusted the dual-clutch transmission to provide smoother and faster gear changes, revised the suspension settings and angles to reduce initial understeer—to make the car feel more agile and responsive—and fitted a bespoke stainless steel exhaust system designed by Capristo.
We’ve arranged to meet Bahar and the team from Ares on one of Ferrari’s test routes to the northwest of Modena. The region is currently recovering from a thunderstorm two days before our arrival, which rained golf-ball-sized hailstones down at skull-cracking velocity, leaving the majority of the early ’90s Fiat Group products in Modena with a hammered finish while somehow leaving most of the German brands and their thicker-gauge steel largely untouched. Call it nature’s impromptu audit of automotive build quality.
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For us, the storm’s effects are threefold: searing heat as the temperature spikes at 44ºC, unbearable humidity, and a camera giving up the ghost to heat exhaustion. Keen to avoid the same fate, Rowan and I duck into an underwhelming-looking restaurant that, as ever in Italy, prefers that the food, rather than the decor, does the talking. Fed, watered, and rapidly googling if it’s possible to buy gnocco fritto in the UK, our research and the sticky humid stillness of the Italian countryside is punctured by the distant yet familiar sound of a V10.