Tesla hasn’t offered a convertible model since it stopped production of the Lotus-based Roadster, its very first car, in 2012. The California-based company has never shown an interest in chopping the top off of the Model S, so an Italian coachbuilder named Ares is boldly taking the matter into its own hands.
Ares has a long track record of turning luxury cars into stunning one-offs; it recently transformed a Ferrari GTC4Lusso into a tribute to the 412 from the 1980s. The Model S project is at the embryonic stage of development but a sketch published on the coachbuilder’s official Facebook page suggests the sedan will lose more than its roof during the conversion. Ares will also remove the rear doors and extend the front ones to transform Tesla’s electric family car into a two-door drop-top with a generous serving of Italian flair.
Turning a sedan into a convertible normally requires solving complex rigidity problems. Starting with a Model S makes the process easier because the car is built around a huge battery pack that’s integrated into the chassis. Ares hasn’t released technical specifications yet but we doubt much will change in that department. If we were ordering one, we’d certainly get the top-spec P100D model, which takes 2.5 seconds to reach 60 mph from a stop and drives for up to 315 miles on a single charge. Those specifications could change during the conversion process.
We’ve reached out to Ares to find out more details about its Model S Roadster, including when production will start, how many examples the firm will produce, and how much each one will cost. We’ll update this story when we hear back.
In recent years, Tesla has wisely chosen to expand its lineup with cars like the Model X, the Model 3, and the upcoming Model Y instead of launching less profitable, low-volume variants of the Model S. Coachbuilders who see the Model S as a blank canvas have taken advantage of this strategy. In 2017, England-based Qwest made a gorgeous, one-off Model S station wagon for a customer who wanted to carry his dogs. Ares also offers buyers with $250,000 to spare a Model S station wagon with a more upmarket interior.