Ares Design Built the Model S Convertible That Tesla Won't
As clean of a roofless conversion of Tesla's electric sedan as we've seen.
If you fancy some quality top-down time in something wearing the official Tesla "T," we're afraid you're limited to one of the original Lotus-based Tesla Roadsters in used condition or waiting—potentially in vain—for the upcoming second-gen Roadster that's allegedly entering production later this year. It seems not everyone is waiting patiently for a topless Tesla as the majority of the Roadster 2.0's existing reservation holders. One moneyed Tesla enthusiast worked with Modena-based automotive atelier Ares Design to crop the top on their Model S, resulting in a two-door, four-seat cabriolet that Tesla does not and will not build.
Mind you, this is far from the first Tesla to go under the aftermarket Sawzall. A cursory Google search for "Tesla Convertible Conversion" spews forth a number of Frankensteined Model S's and Model 3s in varying degrees of success. A common theme among these conversions is the retention of all four doors, presumably as the cost of a seamless two-door conversion was either wildly expensive or beyond the capabilities of whatever customization shop handled the existing chop-jobs.
Not so with Ares Design. The independent coachbuilder has already proved itself quite the metal shaper with a two-door version of the mighty Bentley Mulsanne, along with an extensive rework of a C8 Corvette into the more Eurocentric S Project supercar; a modern interpretation of the DeTomaso Pantera with the Panther ProgettoUno; and a fleet of modified Mercedes-Benz G-Wagens wearing strangely smoothed exteriors.
Apparently never one to turn down a challenge—or a fat check—the workshop fired up the air tools for the Model S conversion. As you might expect, shortening the door configuration from four- to two-doors is a game of both expansion and compression; the front doors are lengthened and shaved for 'vert duty, while the space for the rear doors is now sheathed in bespoke bodywork. There aren't any images of the Ares' Tesla with the roof up, but it's stowed under a fabulously handsome rear hood panel of Ares' own design.
Based on the photos and the description provided by the coachbuilder, attention to detail is impressive. With the roof and B-pillars removed, additional chassis reinforcement was necessary, so Ares buffed-up the side-member areas between the front seats and the rear passenger space. Overall, it looks remarkably OEM, as the Model S shape adapts to the roofless two-door treatment gracefully.
Since copious bundles of bucks—or perhaps Euros—were already being tossed around, the interior wears full custom upholstery, complemented by the addition of an Ares Design carbon fiber aero kit, revised front and rear fasciae, and a set of handsome five-spoke wheels. There's no mention of any mechanical—er, electrical—upgrades, and we're not privy to what trim of Model S this is, but we'd be surprised if the base car was anything less than the P100D.
For now, the Ares Design Tesla Model S drop-top is a one-off, but we have a sneaking suspicion Ares would be more than happy to build you one if you free up some of your slush funds.