The new Aceca, designed in-house by AC, was conceived from scratch to accommodate four adults in supreme comfort. As a result its interior is far more spacious than 2+2 competitors such as the Aston Martin DB7 and Porsche 911 and can even accommodate taller passengers in the rear than its only real full four seat competitor, the brand new Maserati 3200 GT (according to published information).
Priced at just Â£69,795, the AC Aceca – which uses a V8 32-valve quadcam engine developing 320bhp with either manual or automatic transmission – sets new standards in long distance luxury motoring in a package that is exclusive in every sense. It will be available in production form from Spring 1999.
We set out to produce a car which puts AC firmly back on the map, says AC Car Group’s Chairman Alan Lubinsky. We recognised that there was an unfilled niche for a high luxury full four seater that gave AC customers something that was distinctive, stylish and built to the highest standards of traditional British sports cars.
Unashamedly building on the good looks and superb driving and riding characteristics of its Ace stablemate, the new Aceca is in fact 250mm longer overall. This, together with subtle changes to the already graceful Ace nose section, gives the Aceca real presence on the road. A production run which will be tiny by the standards of all competitors, together with the outstanding ride qualities of the chassis, pure power of the proven engine and the distinctive shape, all combine to ensure that the AC Aceca is unique.
We established the design brief after realising that there was a market for a luxury grand tourer offering space for four full-sized adults, said Jan-Erik Jansson, ACs General Manager and the man who has overseen the Aceca programme. We are certain that there is demand for an exclusive, high quality car of this configuration and we are very proud of what we have achieved. After all, if we at AC with nearly 100 years of tailormade production heritage cannot produce niche cars then who can?, says Jan-Erik.
AC entrusted the complex task of converting the Aceca concept into reality to its Chief Designer Ron Saunders. Rons past experience includes 15 years in Fords design department, three years as Director of Automotive Design at Ogle Design and nine years as Director of Design at MGA Developments. He is currently Associate Lecturer at Coventry University’s Industrial Design and Transportation Department.
Because of the tremendous skills level of the team at AC we were able to go from an early wire model directly to the metal prototype on show in Birmingham without needing to use conventional wood and clay modelling techniques, says Ron. This dramatically reduced the time of the development programme, making it fully viable both within ACs resources and within the very tight timetable we set ourselves. Concurrent engineering processes enabled us to integrate the development of all major body and mechanical systems to produce an excellent vehicle on time.
Following the Motor Show AC engineers will complete the extensive planned engineering programme, finalise the production specification and prepare the Aceca for sales availability in the Spring.
The Aceca will have a high level of equipment as standard, including full hide interior, ABS, air conditioning, PAS, Philips in car entertainment system and satellite navigation and a host of other features.
Story by AC Car Group Limited, Press release 20 October 2000