AC Ace RS launched as run-out combustion special

The Ace RS could be AC Cars’s final combustion-powered model in its 120-year history

Surrey-based AC Cars has turned its focus to electrification in recent times, with almost every model in its lineup now available in pure-electric form. But before battery becomes the norm, it’s decided to reveal what might well be one of its final combustion-engined models with the new Ace RS continuation. Order books are open now, with prices starting from £89,500. First deliveries are expected in summer 2022.

Originally produced by AC Cars from 1953, the Ace was the car that eventually became the iconic Cobra, with Carroll Shelby having negotiated a deal to shoehorn a Ford V8 into its small body in 1961. This 2021 continuation model is based on the model from the following year, but ditches its in-line six-cylinder for a potent four-cylinder.

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The turbocharged 2.3-litre four-cylinder engine in use has been tuned to 350bhp and a healthy 325lb ft of torque, a power unit familiar from the Ford Mustang and Ford Focus ST. AC Cars quote a 5.8sec 0-62mph time – this puts it three tenths and 44lb ft behind the pricier all-electric variant, but power-to-weight is on the side of the combustion-powered Ace. Both variants have a kerb weight of around 1000kg, but the EV’s low 268bhp output put it quite some way behind.

Company CEO Alan Lubinsky said: ‘The original Ace was the archetypal British sports car – fast, light and nimble and a real classic of its generation which was the inspiration for the global classic, the iconic AC Cobra. Our new AC Ace RS model has all those virtues and more besides, brought together in an updated package which retains a traditional feel and driver appeal within a low overall weight to just 1,000kg. The AC Ace RS is similar in detail and identical in appearance to the original 1962 AC Ace.’

You’ll pay £89,500 for the AC Ace RS, but consider the £130,000 price tag of its all-electric sibling and it doesn’t seem quite so steep. Order books are open now with first deliveries set for summer 2022.

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