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by Adam Lynton
The resurrected British sports car maker has cooperated with Italian design house Zagato in producing the 6.2-liter GT Zagato.
Back in the early sixties, a young Texan by the name of Carroll Shelby liked the AC Ace so much, he added more power to it as well as some more muscular styling and developed the Cobra. Over the next half-a-century the iconic British sports car brand has had a rollercoaster ride of ups and downs culminating in the company going into receivership in 1996. Since then, things have been on the up, servicing existing cars, putting the Cobra back into production with the MK II and MK IV models, and now introducing a new car.
Unveiled at the Geneva Motor Show, the AC 378 GT Zagato is the first all-new model by the company in more than a decade. AC and Zagato first collaborated back in 1957 creating a one-off AC Ace Bristol Zagato, designed with the double-bubble roof and equipped with a 2.0-liter inline 6-engine. The 111-year old AC brand is continuing its Anglo-Italian heritage and following two years of testing, around ten pre-production units have been completed in the AC 378 Zagato's manufacturing facility in Port Elizabeth, South Africa. The chassis and body is unique, based on the design of the Perena Z-One concept by Zagato first shown in 2009.
However power comes from the same 6.2-liter, naturally aspirated V8, found in the Corvette C6, which AC claim is good for 434hp and 430lb-ft of torque. Mated to a six-speed manual transmission, the 1,465kg coupe can sprint from 0-60mph in under 4 seconds and hit a top speed of 185mph. Initially, AC is offering the model exclusively in the UK and Germany, priced at £89,990 and 109,990 Euros respectively. There are no current plans to bring it to the US, but after an initial run AC will take the brand global where it's sure to get lapped up by emerging economies.