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AC Car Group Limited

 

AC Car Group at the British International Motor Show

 

17 October 2000

 

Ferrari, Lamborghini, Caterham, TVR beware!

AC 212 S/C: world’s fastest 0-100-0 production car?

 

AC Car Group Limited today launched what could be the world’s fastest accelerating production car.

 

Its new model, the AC 212 S/C 3.5 Litre V8 Twin Turbo, is a Lotus-powered, carbon fibre bodied car which could well be a contender for top honours in the coveted 0-100mph-0 stakes.

Since the car has not yet been properly tested over this gruelling acceleration and braking challenge AC is not claiming that its new model will be the fastest, merely that it will certainly be one of the very fastest cars in the world. A 0-60mph time of around 4.0 seconds is very much on the cards, while the possibility of securing the 0-100-0 crown is feasible depending upon tyre grip under both acceleration and braking.

 

With 350 bhp available from its 3.5 litre Lotus V8 Twin Turbo engine, the new AC 212 S/C (named in the traditions of earlier AC Cobras after the cubic inch capacity of its engine and Street/Competition* specification) is destined to win true supercar status. Priced attractively at £68,990, the new car is the star of this year’s AC Car Group Limited stand (No 6030 in Hall 6) at the British International Motor Show 2000 which opens at the NEC, Birmingham this week.

For the new car AC is using the ultra low weight of the advanced Formula One carbon fibre body technology it pioneered on the very successful AC Cobra MKIV CRS. High performance Avon tyres have been selected to create a special road/race package for the AC 212 S/C to ensure that the

huge output of the Lotus V8 reaches the road. Coupled to a six-speed gearbox, this exciting engine is now able to deliver its full power and torque potential.

 

“With the AC 212 S/C we’ve been able to bring together three tremendous assets in the same package”, says John Owen, AC Car Group Limited’s Chief Engineer and the man who earlier led the Lotus design team which conceived the V8 unit. “We’ve got the ultimate sports car looks of the iconic AC Cobra. We’ve developed the pioneering F1 carbon fibre technology from the CRS. And we’ve mated all of this to one of the most powerful engines available today - the Lotus V8. The result is a car which should set new records - on and off the track!”.

- 2 -

 

The specification of the new AC 212 S/C model reflects its tremendous performance potential. The 3.5 litre Lotus engine with twin Garratt turbochargers develops 350 bhp at 6,500 rpm and 295 lb ft of torque at 4,000 rpm. It drives through a Tremec T56 six-speed manual gearbox and BTR Hydratrak final drive (ratio 3.73:1) to the rear axle. Power steering is standard together with AP Racing dual circuit servo-assisted ventilated discs all round. For full details see enclosed specification sheet.

 

With its record-breaking performance, the new AC 212 S/C is bound to evoke strong memories of the tremendous power of the ultimate AC Cobra, the AC Cobra 427 with its seven litre Ford V8. Despite the much higher weight of the AC Cobra 427 (the AC 212 S/C weighs in at approximately 900 kg, about three quarters of the weight of the 427) it achieved acceleration figures which should prove roughly comparable with the new model. Interestingly, AC Car Group Limited is finding a steady demand from true connoisseurs wanting the ultimate in individuality offered by the AC Cobra 427, which it has been continuously building since the early 1960s. One is on display on the Motor Show stand (see separate release).

 

“The AC 212 S/C is a hugely valuable addition to our line up of models which so proudly display their AC Cobra pedigree”, said Mike Hall, AC Car Group Limited’s Joint Chairman. “It provides supercar performance which will prove to be very near - or even at - the peak of a strongly competitive group of cars. Our advanced body construction offers high-tech, low cost motoring and has enabled us to produce this prodigious combination at a very affordable price”.

 

* The Street/Competition specification was originally conceived to allow AC Cobra owners to drive to the race track in their cars before unleashing themselves on their rivals in the Ferraris, Aston Martins and Porsches of the day. The new AC 212 S/C retains this philosophy with its mix of tractable, road going driving characteristics and ultimate acceleration and braking.


AC 212 S/C

 

CONFIGURATION

Two-seater, left or right hand drive open top sports car

 

ENGINE                                 Lotus 918

Displacement                            3506 cc

Bore / Stroke                           83.00 x 81.00 mm

Configuration Cylinders            V8

Material                                    Aluminium Block & heads

Compression ratio                 8.0:1

Valve gear                                DOHC - 4 valves per cylinder

Aspiration                                 Twin Garratt Turbochargers

 

PERFORMANCE

Power                                      350 bhp @ 6500 rpm

Torque                                     295 lb ft @ 4000 rpm

0 - 60 mph*                             < 4.0 seconds

0 - 100 mph*                           < 9.0 seconds

Top speed*                              > 155 mph

 

FUEL CONSUMPTION

Urban*                                     20 mpg

Touring*                                   28 mpg

 

TRANSMISSION                 Manual, Rear wheel drive

Gearbox                                   Tremec T56

Type                                        6 speed manual

 

 

 

Gear Ratios                              1st - 2.97 / 2nd - 2.07 /

3rd - 1.43 / 4th - 1.00 /

5th - 0.80 / 6th  - 0.62 /

Reverse - 3.28

Final drive                                BTR Hydratrak

Final drive ratio             3.73:1

 

BODY

Body Construction                 One piece Carbon Fibre body and closures with twin roll-over bars

Interior                                     Traditional hand crafted interior using finest materials

 

WEATHER EQUIPMENT            Hood, separate side screens and tonneau cover

 

 

CHASSIS

Construction                             Tubular steel ladder space frame chassis

Suspension                               Unequal length wishbones, coil springs and twin tube dampers

Steering Type                           Power assisted rack and pinion

Turns lock to lock                  3.8

Turning circle                            10.9 m (35 ft 10 in) kerb to kerb

Wheels Front                            8 x 17 in Mag - centre fixing

                                                Rear 9 x 17 in Mag - centre fixing

                                                Inflation cylinder spare

Tyres                                        Front 245/45VR x 17

                                                Rear 265/45VR x 17

Brakes                                     AP Racing dual circuit servo assisted ventilated discs all round

                                               

 

CABIN DIMENSIONS

Headroom                                910 mm (36.0 in)

Legroom                                  1100 / 925 mm (43.0/36.5 in)

Shoulder room                          1257 mm (49.5 in)

Luggage capacity                        0.27 cu cm (9.50 cu ft)

 

DIMENSIONS

Wheelbase                               2285 mm (90 in)

Front track                               1409 mm (55.5 in)

Rear track                                1485 mm (58.5 in)

Overall length                           4200 mm (165.4 in)

Overall width                            1746 mm (68.7 in)

Overall height                           1200 mm (47.2 in)

Kerb Weight                            900 kg target

Weight distribution                    50:50 (f:r)

Fuel tank capacity                        62 ltr

 

INSTRUMENT PANEL

Gauges                                     Speedometer, Tachometer, Clock, Fuel level, Oil Temperature, Water temperature

Warning Lights                         Handbrake / brake fluid level, Main beam, Turn indicator Low fuel warning, Low oil pressure, Ignition

 

AC Car Group Limited reserves the right to change specification without prior notice.

*AC Car Group Limited unofficial test figures. E&OE

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

AC: rebuilding a brand

 

AC Car Group Limited starts this week’s British International Motor Show 2000 with renewed energy inspired by the unprecedented sales success of its AC Cobra MKIV CRS model. Launched at the London Motor Show last year - and only on sale since Spring 2000 - this car has transformed the company’s fortunes, with sales outstripping those of any recent AC model.

 

On its stand at this year’s Motor Show (No 6030 in Hall 6) the company is launching its latest high tech, ultra high performance car - the AC 212 S/C (see separate release) - and is also demonstrating the progress it has made in rebuilding the AC brand.

 

Once one of the best known and most prestigious brands in the world of motoring, AC has gone through some difficult times in its 100 year history (AC, Britain’s oldest motor manufacturer, celebrates its Centenary next year). But now - riding high on the success of the CRS model, which combines the iconic lines of the AC Cobra with the latest high tech material, carbon fibre - AC is set to rebuild its prominence in the hard fought and competitive world of brand excellence.

 

“We’re recreating AC as a brand which is synonymous with excellence, style and performance”, says Mike Hall, AC’s Joint Chairman. “We’ve spent many months working on a new approach to strengthening and growing our brand, recognising that AC is one of the few genuinely world renowned automotive brands still in independent ownership”.

 

This new approach has been co-ordinated since Mike joined the company full time this Spring after 30 year’s service with Coca Cola Corporation, latterly as President of Coca Cola Japan. A series of marketing innovations has been introduced based on his lifetime experience with the world’s best known brand.

 

These include:

·        a new, dedicated focus on the cars British and International customers clearly say they want to buy - those which demonstrate their genuine AC Cobra parentage;

·        a series of new models - the new Lotus-powered AC 212 S/C is only the first in a new model line-up which will grow sales of affordable AC’s in new sectors of the market;

 

·        new technology - the use of carbon fibre has enabled the unique shape of the genuine AC Cobra to be retained while adding strength, rigidity and lightness to the car and making possible (because of the dramatic lowering of man hours involved in the manufacturing process) a whole new pricing structure - the CRS retails at just £38,950;

 

·        new branding - the three key models in the AC line-up are now called, respectively, the AC Cobra MKIV CRS, the AC Cobra 427 and the new AC 212 S/C (for Street/Competition).

 

·        new dealers - a six-strong dealer network, made up of tried and trusted sports car specialists, has now been appointed covering key areas of the UK and four or five further dealers are in the process of being recruited (see separate release);

 

·        new promotional materials - Manchester-based Cicero, AC’s newly appointed brand communications agency, has also developed brochures, videos and exclusive photography;

 

·        new marketing initiatives - a new advertising campaign around the slogan – ‘AC Cobra - for people who want to make a real noise’ - has been developed by Cicero. This projects the ethos of AC Cobra ownership through the distinctive, spine tingling noise every genuine AC Cobra makes. Part of the campaign involves sending prospective buyers an e-mail sound bite of an AC Cobra in furious action and visitors to the AC stand at the Show can share the same emotion-stirring experience through a unique sound system.

 

AC is now firmly on track to make a remarkable comeback in its Centenary year - with new cars, new dealers, new customers and a radical new approach to strengthening and promoting its unique brand.

 

Once again, the AC Cobra will be making a real noise - in the hearts and minds of anyone who loves traditional British sports cars.

AC Cobra MKIV CRS:

the carbon fibre supercar which has transformed AC’s fortunes

 

The AC Cobra MKIV CRS (Carbon Road Series) which is featured on AC Car Group Limited’s stand (No 6030 in Hall 6) at the British International Motor Show 2000 which opens at Birmingham’s NEC this week has transformed the company’s fortunes since it was launched less than a year ago.

 

This AC Cobra model, the most affordable AC for a generation, has won a strong following amongst enthusiasts of the original AC Cobra model who recognise the excellent value of the new car.  It puts AC ownership into the grasp of a much wider circle than is possible with the company’s traditional hand-crafted, aluminium bodied supercars and has already spawned a visually similar, ultra high performance sister model - the AC 212 S/C (see separate release).

 

The new £38,950 car’s name reflects its heritage: it shares close specification resemblance to the AC Cobra family of supercars it as well as the sturdy tubular steel chassis of all genuine AC Cobras together with a naturally aspirated version of the traditional 5.0 litre V8 power unit. Significant weight savings have been made possible through the use of an advanced specification carbon fibre body - AC is the first car maker to use a one-piece bodyshell in the advanced material from which all Formula One racing cars are built.

 

Carbon fibre pre-impregnated bodies are formed in a high temperature (120ºC) autoclave to ensure exceptionally quality levels. The bodies, which utilise laminated carbon fibre cloth and thermoset epoxy resin materials technology taken directly from today’s Formula 1 cars, are assembled and painted by AC to ultra high standards, including the hand-stitched hood and tonneau cover.

“This brilliant car has taken AC into new territory in every sense”, says Mike Hall, Joint Chairman of AC Car Group Limited.  “It has delivered for us a new market and given us a new and exciting construction technique. The new body material is as far removed from conventional plastic cars as it is possible to be and its no surprise that amongst the very few other road cars using this material are the McLaren F1 and the Ferrari F40/F50 series”.

 

- 2 -

 

“This new AC Cobra has set the standards in this sector of the market and brought genuine AC Cobra ownership in reach of a much wider group of keen performance car drivers. Demand is running at such unprecedented levels that our main focus now is on boosting production levels way beyond those ever dreamt of by the company”

.

The AC Cobra MKIV CRS features the naturally-aspirated 5.0 litre V8 engine used in other AC Cobra models and develops 225bhp @4200 rpm.

 

Performance is electrifying - 0 to 60 mph in an estimated 5.3 seconds and a top speed of approximately 145 mph. The car uses a five-speed gearbox together with a Hydratrak limited slip differential, independent front and rear suspension, rack and pinion steering and disc brakes all round (ventilated at the front).

 

 


AC COBRA MKIV CRS

 

CONFIGURATION              Two-seater, left or right hand drive open top sports car

                                                                                   

ENGINE                                 5Ltr V8 EFI

Displacement                            4942 cc

Bore / Stroke                           101.6 / 76.2 mm

Compression ratio                 9.0:1

Valve gear                                OHV

Aspiration                                 Natural

 

PERFORMANCE

Power (DIN/rpm)                    225 bhp @ 4200 rpm

Torque (DIN/rpm)                    300 lbft @ 3200 rpm

0 - 60 mph*                             5.3 seconds

Top speed*                              145 mph

 

FUEL CONSUMPTION

Urban*                                     22 mpg

Touring*                                   28 mpg

 

TRANSMISSION                 Manual, Rear wheel drive

Gearbox                                   Borg Warner T50D

Type                                        5 speed manual

Gear Ratios

Ratio   mph/1000 rpm

1st                                            3.35 / 7.1

2nd                                          1.93 / 12.2

3rd                                           1.29 / 18.3

4th                                           1.00 / 23.6

5th                                           0.68 / 34.7

Reverse                                    3.15 / N/A

Final drive                                BTR Hydratrak

Final drive ratio             3.23:1

 

BODY

Body Construction                 One piece Carbon Fibre body and closures with twin roll over bars

Interior                                     Traditional hand crafted interior using finest materials

 

WEATHER EQUIPMENT            Hood, separate side screens and tonneau cover

 

 

CHASSIS

Construction                             Tubular steel ladder space frame chassis

Suspension                               Unequal length wishbones, coil springs and twin tube

                                                dampers

Steering Type                           Rack and pinion

Turns lock to lock                  3.6

Turning circle                            10.9 m (35 ft 10 in) kerb to kerb

Wheels                                     Front 7 x 16 in Alloy centre fixing

Rear 8 x 16 in Alloy centre fixing

Spare - Inflation cylinder

Tyres                                        Front 225/50VR x 16

                        Rear 255/50VR x 16

Brakes                                     Dual circuit servo assisted ventilated discs all round

 

CABIN DIMENSIONS

Headroom                                910 mm (36.0 in)

Legroom                                  1100 / 925 mm (43.0/36.5 in)

Shoulder room                          1257 mm (49.5 in)

Luggage capacity                        0.27 cu cm (9.50 cu ft)

 

DIMENSIONS

Wheelbase                               2285 mm (90 in)

Front track                               1409 mm (55.5 in)

Rear track                                1485 mm (58.5 in)

Overall length                           4200 mm (165.4 in)

Overall width                            1746 mm (68.7 in)

Overall height                           1200 mm (47.2 in)

Kerb Weight                            1050 kg

Weight distribution                    50:50 (f:r)

Fuel tank capacity                        62 ltr

                                               

INSTRUMENT PANEL

Gauges                                     Speedometer, Tachometer, Clock, Oil pressure, Fuel level, Water temperature

Warning Lights                         Handbrake / brake fluid level, Main beam, Turn indicator, Low fuel warning, Low oil pressure, Ignition

 

AC Car Group Limited reserves the right to change specification without prior notice.

*AC Car Group Limited unofficial test figures. E&OE


 

AC Cobra 427: king of the he-man muscle cars

 

Featured on AC Car Group Limited’s stand at the British International Motor Show (No 6030 in Hall 6) is the latest production model of the famous AC Cobra 427.

 

Powered by a prodigious 7.0 litre (or 427 cu in) US Ford V8 capable of unleashing 400 bhp plus, this is surely the ultimate king of muscle cars, dating directly from the days when real men only drove AC Cobras. In those days - chiefly in the Sixties and Seventies - the AC Cobra scored victory after victory on the race tracks of the world.

 

The AC Cobra 427 was conceived to deliver extremes of performance yet, in its original S/C (or Street/Competition) specification be fully at home on either road or track. While production of models in AC Cobra range has continued unbroken for nearly 40 years, most versions produced by AC in recent years have tended to have rather smaller (if still powerful) power units - such as the 5.0 litre V8 used in the highly successful AC Cobra MKIV CRS model.

 

AC Car Group Limited has managed to recreate the original AC Cobra 427 model which is now available to special order at a special price - £150,000. This reflects the thousands of man hours required to hand craft the aluminium bodywork using wooden jigs in use by AC since 1962 and also the considerable effort needed to source some of the components.

 

It used to be said that Carroll Shelby liked to stick a $100 dollar bill to the inside of the windscreen and challenge the potential customer, sitting in the passenger seat, to claim the bill while the car demonstrated its full acceleration. Few managed to claim the $100 but many placed an order - once they got their breath back!

 

The AC Cobra 427 is part of motorsport mythology, not least for the fact that it became virtually synonymous with the 0 to 100mph to 0 test. This dramatic test of any performance car’s accelerative and braking powers requires a huge amount of go’ and considerable tyre adhesion in order first to put the power on to the road and then to control wheel-lock during braking.

- 2 -

 

The test began back in the Fifties when Aston Martin caught the public imagination by claiming that its then top car could to the 0-100-0 test in less than 30 seconds. Once the AC Cobra 427 arrived on the scene in the early Sixties expatriate Englishman Ken Miles recreated the test on Californian concrete, achieving - with a standard model with no special preparation and narrow Goodyear tyres - an amazing 13.2 seconds, according to independent witnesses.

To this day, those who try this test in such exotic supercars as Vipers, Porsche Turbos and Lamborghinis have a hard time getting near this figure - even though they have the benefit of state-of-the-art tyre equipment.

 

The AC Cobra 427 cannot, of course, be registered for road use but the tremendous following the car enjoys has ensured that AC has received a number of commissions to produce further vehicles. Paul Downing of AC Car Group Limited explains: “When we included the AC Cobra 427 in our model line-up we thought we would sell one very occasionally. In fact this year so far we have sold three and expect further commissions soon. The fact is that the car is unique both in its pedigree and in its performance - you just can’t find this combination in any other marque”.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

AC appoints nationwide British dealer network

 

AC Car Group Limited, producers of the AC Cobra family of supercars, is spearheading its renewed drive for sales success by appointing a nationwide network of dealers.

 

The ultimate intention is to have around 10 dealers to ensure that every true sportscar enthusiast in Britain is not far from his nearest source of AC Cobras. Those dealers already appointed will be helping to man AC’s stand at the British International Motor Show (No 6030 in Hall 6).

 

“In the past, when our range was destined for tiny sales, we sold directly. Now the success of the AC Cobra MKIV CRS has changed all that”, says Alan Lubinsky, AC Car Group Limited’s Joint Chairman. “This car, although technically advanced with its carbon fibre body, is the most affordable AC for a generation and demand has leapt. The AC franchise is now a viable and attractive proposition and each of the dealers we have appointed has approached us, rather than the other way round”.

 

AC has accepted dealers on the basis both of geographic location and their knowledge and proven sales expertise in the specialist sports car business.

 

The full AC dealer list can be found overleaf.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

AC Car Group UK Dealers

 

Auto AC

765-771 St. Albans Rd, Garston, Watford, Herts WD25 9LA

Contact: Jim Hogan

Telephone: 07968 828172  Facsimile: 01923 894333

email: jimhogan@accars.co.uk

 

Brooklyn Motor Company

Battens Drive, Redditch, Worcester B98 0LJ

Contact: Malcolm Pritchard

Telephone: 01527 521212  Facsimile: 01527 405054

email:marketing@brooklyn.co.uk

 

Garvock Motor Car Co Ltd

Kennet Garage, Kennet Village, Clackmannan FK10 4DB

Contact: George Knowles, David Manson

Telephone and Facsimile: 01259 739 103

email: enquiries@garvockmotors.co.uk

 

Duncan Hamilton & Co Ltd

PO Box 222, Hook, Basingstoke, Hampshire RG27 9YZ

Contact:  David John

Telephone: 01256 765000  Facsimile: 01256 766000

email: sales@duncanhamilton.com

 

Hills Sports Cars

536-564 High Road, Woodford Green, Essex IG8 0PR

Contact: Ferdy Gottschall

Telephone: 020 8506 6506  Facsimile: 020 8506 1132

email: ferdy@hills-sports-cars.co.uk

 

Talacrest 2000 AD Ltd

74 Station Road, Egham, Surrey TW20 9LF

Contact: Mike Wheeler, Roger Phillips, Guy Tedder

Telephone: 01784 439797

Facsimile: 01784 472990

email: info@talacrest.com

 

Nick Whale Sports Cars

206 Bradford Street, Digbeth, Birmingham B12 0RG

Contact:  Neil Timms, David Moon

Telephone: 0121 772 4250

Facsimile: 0121 772 4340

email: sportscars@nickwhale.co.uk

 

OVERSEAS ENQUIRIES

AC Car Group Limited

AC Cars House, Vickers Drive North,

Brooklands Industrial Park, Weybridge, Surrey KT13 0YU

Contact: Paul Downing

Telephone: +44 (0)1932 336033

Facsimile: +44 (0)1932 336205

email: pauldowning@accars1901.fsnet.co.uk

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