There’s been a flurry of news recently about companies converting classic cars to electric power, allowing historic motoring but without the fumes. However, Britain’s oldest car manufacturer, AC Cars, is taking a different approach to EVs by producing brand new iconic cars that come straight from the factory with high performance electric power.
Continuing a run of recent announcements, the Norfolk based company has just revealed the AC Ace RS electric, which marks the return of one of most influential models of all time. A definitive British sports car in the post-War years, the original AC Ace was unveiled in 1954 and continued to evolve until production finally finished in 1962.
It captured car buyers’ attention with its undeniable beauty and spirited performance, but its real claim to fame is the car is spawned. Despite its svelte looks and almost Italian lines the AC Ace led directly to the development of the brutal AC Cobra.
In 1962, racing driver and team boss Carroll Shelby experimented with fitting a Ford V8 into the Ace, in a bid to out-perform the Chevrolet Corvette. The result was a car with revolutionary performance, that won race after race and cemented a legendary status.
The return of the Ace is the first time the name has been used in 20 years, but the new cars remain faithful to the original with one major exception – they’re all electric. Working with a specialist company in the UK, Falcon Electric, the AC Ace RS electric is engineered from scratch to be an EV. The motors, battery packs, controls systems and even the software have been built for the task, to ensure it drives like an AC should.
This means the AC Ace RS electric is expected to deliver a 0-62mph time of around 5.5secs and possess an impressive 500Nm of torque (peak), However, you also get around 200 emissions-free miles on a single charge.
Each example will be hand-built by experts AC Heritage, based at the UK’s historic racing circuit Brooklands, Surrey. This is especially poignant as the original Ace was constructed in nearby Thames Ditton, and AC Heritage employs some of the original tooling from the old factory.
Just 37 Founders Editions of the AC Ace RS electric are planned, starting at £129,500, and for that customers will get a brand-new, hand-built, fully registered car that can trace its linage back to the cars of the 1950s.
Would you prefer a classic car converted to electric power, or one built as an EV at a factory? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.