Ares Project PonyEnlarge Photo
The Ferrari 412 and earlier 400i and 365 GT4 models were never the prettiest of Ferraris, but their low popularity meant not many ended up being sold, thus making them quite rare today. Coupled with their boxy design that typifies the 1980s era, the cars are now highly sought after in the collector car world.
One fan was so enamoured by the 412 that he or she contacted Modena-based coachbuilder Ares requesting it build a modern version using the GTC4 Lusso as the basis. The result is a car Ares is calling the Project Pony, and anyone willing to front up the $872,470 asking price can have one.
Ares plans to build the Project Pony once it's finished with the Lamborghini Huracán-based Project Panther, which was also inspired by an Italian classic, in this case the De Tomaso Pantera. Ares says the first Project Pony should be ready for delivery by the end of 2018.
Ferrari GTC4 LussoEnlarge Photo
The company will keep the running gear of the GTC4 Lusso stock but the body of the car will be replaced by a unique Ares design made from carbon fiber. Looking at the preview sketch, we can see 412-inspired cues such as angular headlights, a vented hood and a boxy greenhouse. Importantly, Ares will also keep the GTC4 Lusso's 2+2 seating.
Ares will use the V-12-powered GTC4 Lusso as the donor. Its 6.3-liter V-12 delivers 680 horsepower and powers all four wheels. Ferrari of course also has a GTC4 Lusso T, powered by a 3.9-liter twin-turbocharged V-8 with 610 hp on tap. The GTC4 Lusso T also comes with rear-wheel drive.
The news comes as Ares this week opened a new design studio in a former Fiat and Alfa Romeo dealership in Modena, Italy. Ares was founded by former Lotus CEO Dany Bahar and Dubai-based businessman Waleed Al Ghafari. The company's other projects include a Bentley Mulsanne coupe and a rebodied Mercedes-Benz G-Class resembling Mercedes’ Ener-G-Force concept from the 2012 Los Angeles auto show.