GRR

This is the last petrol-powered car from AC

13th October 2021
Bob Murray

It’s the ultimate AC mix ‘n match: petrol or electric, Ace or Cobra body styles. This week the company, one of Britain’s longest established car-makers, completes its continuation set with the Ace RS, its pretty ‘60s sportscar with a good old petrol lump under the bonnet. AC says it’s likely to be the last petrol-powered AC ever.

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The Ace RS joins the previously confirmed Ace RS electric in the line-up, sharing the same pert looks (and Union flag livery) but swapping a 268PS (200kW) electric motor for a 350PS (261kW) 2.3-litre four-cylinder engine.

Details are scant but like the other variations on an AC theme the new model is seemingly based on a traditional ladderframe chassis with a composite body which as the pictures show closely mirrors that of the 1960s original. As with the petrol Cobra, it’s thought the four-pot motor is the Ford unit from the Mustang.

On AC’s figures, the Ace RS will be a little lighter (at 1,000kg), a tad slower (5.8 rather than 5.5 seconds for 0-62mph) and quite a bit cheaper than the electric Ace. That lists at £129,500 whereas opt for petrol power and you will save yourself £40,000.

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“The original Ace was the archetypal British sportscar – fast, light and nimble and a real classic of its generation,” says AC Cars chief executive Alan Lubinsky. “Our new AC Ace RS has all those virtues and more besides, brought together in an updated package which retains traditional feel and driver appeal.

“The AC Ace RS may well be the last ever new AC model to be powered by a petrol engine. Already, virtually every one of our current model range offers an electric driveline as we at AC lead the sports car industry into greener territory”.

How are these latter-day continuation models selling? No word on that so far, but AC wanted to sell 58 petrol Cobras and 58 electric versions, along with 37 electric Aces. There is no number put on AC’s swansong to petrol power, with the company promising first deliveries for summer 2022.

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