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AC Mk VI: AC Cars return to the UK

Tue, 22 Feb 2011

Here's a blast from the past. AC has announced it's returning to the UK market and will exhibit the Mk VI version of its venerable roadster at the 2011 Geneva motor show.

AC, a UK manufacturer that's 110-years-young in 2011 but with more regenerations than a Doctor Who convention, is establishing a new base at Brooklands.

The Brooklands AC Heritage Centre will be at the top of the test hill at Brooklands, the historic Surrey racing circuit, museum and motor industry park. Mercedes-Benz World is another notable tenant.

AC Mk VI cars for the UK will be produced at Brooklands, but the company has now become an international assembly operation. In Germany, the MK VI is already in production in Dresden, at what is now known as AC Germany. The Mk VI was actually developed there under the auspices of Gullwing GmbH, which has been producing the MK VI since 2009, and will continue as the AC branch for Europe.

In America, it's not Carroll Shelby but Iconic Motors who will be selling the Iconic AC Roadster. Their version of the AC roadster, built in Livonia, Michigan, has a larger 6.8-litre engine. Confused yet? You will be!

The Mk VI roadster is the usual rear-drive chassis with that classic AC body on top, but there have been some changes. Most notable is a switch from Ford to Chevrolet for the V8 powerplant. The Mk VI now packs a 430bhp punch thanks to inheriting the current Corvette's 6.2-litre engine. So if you're looking for a 289- or heart for your AC, best look elsewhere.

AC Cars will have the MK VI, along with the original 1953 AC Ace sports car, on display at the 2011 Geneva motor show, in celebration of AC's 110th anniversary this year. 

By Mark Hamilton