It’s taken years, but the first Tesla convertible has finally arrived. There’s a catch, though: It wasn’t designed or built by the EV maker.
Earlier this week, Italian coachbuilder Ares Design unveiled its latest project, a one-of-a-kind convertible based on the Model S. The stunning custom job reimagines the brand’s top-of-the-line sedan as something far sleeker and more fun, and will also make you wonder why this is the first open-top Tesla we’ve seen.
While it may not be the most head-turning Tesla—that distinction belongs to the Cybertruck, naturally—Ares’s two-door convertible is almost certainly the most stylish. Finished in white, the unique open-top speedster looks much sportier than the fairly generic sedan it’s based on.
The conversion took more work than you might expect. The roof was given the axe, of course, but so was the rear set of doors, along with the car’s B-pillars. After that, a Centro Stile-designed rear bonnet was added to house the convertibles retractable roof when it’s not in use. Because of these changes, further modification was needed to strengthen the vehicle and maintain its structural integrity. In order to make sure the car feels and handles as it did pre-alteration, the chassis was reinforced along the sides and beneath the cockpit and rear seats.
Ares also remade the car’s interior, covering the seats with hand-stitched ice white leather with orange accents to match the exterior. The car was also fitted with a new carbon-fiber aerodynamic elements and accessories, that give it a much more dynamic shape than the standard Model S.
“At Ares, our Co-create philosophy allows clients to work side by side with our designers and engineers to create their very own bespoke vehicle, a service that is unique to ARES. This Tesla project is a superb example of this; it was a pure coachbuilding project which we very much enjoy doing and seeing the results of our uncompromising standards.”
Ares didn’t reveal how much the customization cost, but considering how much work went into the process, and how much some of its other projects can go for, we expect it was pretty steep. While the open-top Model S was a one-off, there’s also the S1 Project Spyder if you’re looking for a slightly less-rare Ares-designed convertible.