You almost certainly know AC Cars best for the rumbling Cobra that was born when Carroll Shelby jammed a massive American Ford V8 into the tiny British AC Ace sports car, creating a legend that still lives on today.
The British company shocked (pun definitely intended) purists recently when it revealed both four-cylinder and electric versions of the iconic Cobra, quickly followed by an even more powerful EV version.
As was to be expected, they were fairly pricey affairs, with the Series 1 EV retailing for NZ$265,000, while the faster Series 4 will launch at NZ$318,000.
But now there is a much more affordable way to get an electric vehicle from AC, but perhaps not the one you might expect…
“Now there’s more shock news,” the company announced in a pun-tastic press release. “Electric power will appear under the saddle of AC’s first-ever two-wheeler!”
And that two-wheeler is – wait for it – an electric scooter!
Told you that you wouldn’t be expecting it. Anyway, the ‘Autokraft by AC’ name will be once again a regular sight on the roads of Britain, according to AC Cars, recreating a form of branding which was a “key part of AC’s history dating back to the 1970’s.”
“In Britain’s financially constrained, post-covid economic environment – never mind an urban street network blighted by traffic-coagulating measures designed to force drivers on to public transport – speed, manoeuvrability and, of course, environmental credentials will all be high on the shopping list considerations for new ‘wheels’,” the company stated in the release.
The company apparently sees an opportunity in the mobility market and expects a surge of interest in electric scooters following legislation already announced by the UK Government which will give the green light to sales. Electric scooters are currently illegal for road use in Britain.
AC says the scooter will be manufactured in the UK and will be priced from £1,692 (NZ$3,220).
“Scooter buyers and riders in the UK need to understand where their product is coming from, the proven automotive standards used in its design and manufacture and the heritage behind our famous brand,” said Alan Lubinsky, the man behind AC’s survival over the last 25 years and the architect of its recent electric rebirth.
“Our TR560 scooter has a 24 volt lithium-ion battery pack with a built-in charger and its key performance figures are more than a match for other machines in the market.”
Lubinsky said that the scooter’s top speed will be 25kmh, with an estimated range between charges (which take just 4.5 hours from empty) of 50km for the basic model, but those figures can be further enhanced by selecting the optional higher output battery for just £50 (NZ$95).
Apparently the AC Cobra Series 4 electric, a close relation to the AC Cobra Superblower model which was launched in 1999, will remain the car “on which rest many of AC’s hopes for sales success in 2021 and beyond”, so scooters won’t be taking over just yet. But electricity is here to stay in AC’s sports car world.