The aftermarket company has beefed up its looks, added premium material inside the cabin, and plonked in a V-8 mill under the hood

Land Rover Defender is one of the most popular choices for tuners and aftermarket companies to show off their skills and creativity. This time, it’s Ares Designs’ turn to show off what it could make of this butch SUV. Called the Defender Spec 1.2, it comes with changes inside out. The exterior includes stuff like carbon fiber bodywork and a panoramic roof and the interior benefits from some luxurious touches. Even the four-cylinder engine is swapped in favor of a V-8 engine for that extra grunt and roar.

Land Rover Defender Spec 1.2 Exterior


On the outside, the Defender Spec 1.2 is finished in black and looks a lot brawnier than its usual self, thanks to the widened body. Up front, it features an egg-crate grille with the Ares Design’s badge on it. The entire front-end is made of carbon fiber. The round headlights come with blue circular daytime running lights. There are slim LED fog lamps on the bumper and a huge skid plate underneath it. The hood is also a carbon fiber piece.

The side profile looks pretty big, courtesy of the raised body, the boxy overall shape, and the flared wheel arches. The 18-inch, five-spoke black wheels are wrapped in 305/70 section Cooper Discoverer STT Pro all-season off-road tires. At one end of the running board you can see the dual exhaust pipes peeping out. Certainly adds pizzazz to the aesthetics.

2021 Ares Design Defender Spec 1.2 Exterior
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The rear looks quite funky. The Defender Spec 1.2 comes with a tailgate-mounted spare tire. There are six round LED taillights in total here. Since there is no bling whatsoever, these taillights break the monotony of the otherwise black derriere. Even the rear skid plate is painted in black. In case you didn’t notice, all the windows are tinted, too. All-in-all, the Defender Spec 1.2 looks rogue and butch.

How Big Is It?

2021 Ares Design Defender Spec 1.2 Exterior
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The Defender Spec 1.2 measures 196.3 inches in length, 78.7 inches in width, and 85.6 inches in height. The wheelbase measures 108.3 inches, whereas the front and rear tracks are identically wide at 66.1 inches. The front and rear overhang are rated at 35.6- and 52.4 inches, which seem like they will affect the off-roading capabilities, but a 1.4-inch lift kit makes matters a little better.

Ares Design Defender Spec 1.2 exterior dimensions
Length 196.3 inches
Width 78.7 inches
Height 85.6 inches
Wheelbase 108.3 inches
Track front/rear 66.1 inches/66.1 inches
Overhang front/rear 35.6 inches/52.4 inches

Land Rover Defender Spec 1.2 Interior

2021 Ares Design Defender Spec 1.2 Interior
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On the inside, the Defender Spec 1.2 comes with an interior that looks elegant and premium.

It is crafted in a contrasting velvet red shade that complements the exterior black very well. Some elements, like the spokes on the steering wheel, the infotainment system on the center console, air vents, etc., are retained in their black shades. Apart from the leather, there are a lot of carbon fiber bits in a lot of places all around the cabin.

2021 Ares Design Defender Spec 1.2 Interior
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In terms of features, the SUV comes with stuff like an infotainment system with navigation and Bluetooth. It also supports Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

Then there are electronically adjustable heated side mirrors, start/stop button, panoramic roof and windows, and electrically-operated windows.

Land Rover Defender Spec 1.2 Drivetrain

2021 Ares Design Defender Spec 1.2 Exterior
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The SUV is based on the Land Rover Defender 110 SW chassis. Ares Design has swapped the four-cylinder, turbocharged engine with a 4.75-liter, V-8 naturally-aspirated mill that churns out 282 ponies and 325 pound-feet of torque. It is mated to a six-speed automatic transmission. The Defender Spec 1.2 comes in a four-wheel-drive configuration and three locking differentials. As mentioned earlier, the SUV comes with a 1.4-inch suspension lift kit and coil springs with electronically adjustable shocks.

Ares Design Defender Spec 1.2 specifications
Engine 4.75-liter, V-8 naturally-aspirated
Horsepower 282 HP
Torque 325 LB-FT
2021 Ares Design Defender Spec 1.2 Exterior
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As for the exhaust system, the aftermarket company has equipped upgraded sport cats and downpipes with an exhaust bypass valve and a sport air filter. The braking duties are taken over by AP Racing six-piston calipers with 14.3-inch discs at the front.

Ares Design has not announced the price of this beast, but expect it to run into six-digit figures. The company has said the delivery of the Defender Spec 1.2 is estimated to be around three months. It will be built at the company’s factory in Modena, Italy.

Source: Ares Design

Sidd Dhimaan
Associate Editor and Truck Expert - sidd@topspeed.com
Sidd joined the Topspeed.com team in 2017 as an intern and in less than a year he earned a full-time position as an associate editor and junior automotive expert. He is currently our pickup truck expert and focuses his attention on heavy-duty and off-road vehicles.  Read More
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