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AC Ace RS electric brings an original British roadster into the EV age

Most of us will have heard of the AC Cobra – the car made infamous by its part in helping convince the UK government that a 70mph speed limit was needed on the motorway. Some, however, may not know that it was based on another, much subtler roadster: the AC Ace.

AC Cars has already electrified the Cobra, with its flared arches and aggressive styling befitting of a classic muscle car. You can buy a Series 1 electric or the altogether more raucous Series 4 electric already, but if those cars are a bit too ostentatious, the AC Ace might just be the car for you.

The original Ace was launched in 1953 and was inspired by Ferraris of the day. Early cars came with AC’s own two 2.0-litre petrol engine and had just 100bhp on offer, with 1956-1961 cars equipped with a more powerful 120bhp 2.0-litre lump from Bristol. In its ultimate guise, the Ace had a 2.6-litre option which could see it achieve 130mph thanks to an altogether sportier 170bhp.

AC has brought the Ace back to life after 20 years out of production, maintaining the classic and distinctive lines of the original, but under the surface being an all-new production car designed to accommodate an electric drivetrain.

Speaking of drivetrain, the AC Ace RS electric ups performance significantly compared to even the most powerful original Ace. A 0-62mph time of around 5.5 seconds with peak power of 308bhp and a hefty peak torque of 405lb-ft mean the RS electric isn’t going to be found wanting for shove, even when compared to contemporary electric – and petrol – sports cars.

A 38kWh battery is small, but as with the other EVs that AC is now producing, the cars aren’t designed to cross continents. An estimated range of around 200 miles is still pretty decent for most people’s needs. Not that anyone necessarily needs an AC Ace RS electric – but there aren’t too many more stylish ways of enjoying zero emissions driving!

Alan Lubinsky, Chief Executive of AC Cars for 25 years highlights this blend of classic styling and a modern, electric powertrain: “Our move to electric power has proved to be more important for the brand than anything else we’ve attempted before. The combination of our pedigree with a new, fully electric drivetrain means that we’re ready to offer brand new cars that are undeniably historic in character yet thoroughly modern in their powertrain and performance.”

Each car can be tailored to a buyer’s needs and desires, though it does come at a price. If you want one of the 37 Founders Edition cars, you’ll have to fork out £129,500. Still, Lubinsky notes that AC’s electric cars have proven popular.

“The interest around the world in our new electric cars has been tremendous and has proved that developing a bespoke EV powertrain is the right approach in ensuring the future success of AC Cars,” he said.

Deliveries will begin in late 2022.

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