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AC to open US plant for all-new model

Artist`s impression of the ac Mark VI

Artist`s impression of the ac Mark VI

AC, one of the most iconic brands in the global sports car industry, is establishing its first US manufacturing base with a brand new car model, which updates and reinvents the values of the legendary AC Cobra.

A new AC company has been established in the USA - AC Cars Manufacturing (USA), Inc. and will shortly be commissioning a dedicated factory in Connecticut.

Work on the factory is set to begin this summer and when production begins in the autumn of 2006 the new factory will build the following models, all with bodies constructed of advanced, lightweight carbon fibre:

¤ the new AC Ace - a modern successor to the lightweight British sports car, which inspired the much more powerful AC Cobra in the 1960s;

¤ the AC Mamba - the first closed coupe version of the classic AC Cobra shape; and

¤ the new AC Mk VI - an all-new design which updates the Cobra for the modern world. Specification details have yet to be revealed, although the new look car, in the fine tradition of the AC Cobra, will be powered by a US-sourced, high output V8 power plant.

The AC plant in Malta is currently focusing on US sales of another new AC model, the new Mk V - a carbon fibre-bodied Cobra look-alike which has superseded the AC CRS model.

The Malta operation will launch European and Asian sales of this model in the near future as production here increases. Later, once the AC Ace, Mamba and Mk VI go into production in the US, they will also be built in Malta for the European and Asian markets.

James Seeley, vice-president - Manufacturing of AC Cars Manufacturing (USA) Inc., commented: "AC's principal market has for decades been North America, so it makes perfect sense to build the cars here.

"This means we can benefit from a 'Made in the USA' sticker while enjoying all the attributes of a genuine European design base."

AC Cars Manufacturing (USA), Inc. has a licence to manufacture these products from AC Cars Limited, which oversees AC's global brand operations. AC Cars Ltd chairman Alan Lubinsky said: "We are enormously excited by this opportunity to build our cars in the heart of their principal marketplace.

"The new Mk V model - which is already being exported to the US from the Malta plant, together with the more radical Mk VI - are certain to have a strong appeal among sports car enthusiasts keen to have a genuine AC with all the modern attributes of a 21st century car".

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