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One of the most iconic sports car brands in the world has to be AC cars. After all, it was their Ace model that a young Texan by the name of Carroll Shelby took a liking to back in the early 1960′s, added more power (and bulges) to it, and hence gave birth to the Cobra.
Since then, AC has had its fair share of ups and downs, with the company going into receivership in 1996. Thankfully the new owner of the company decided to not only service existing cars, but also put the Cobra back into production. With the popularity of this iconic sports car only growing with time, the company has been able to sustain itself while many other British cars firms have disappeared.
However, even if the continuation series Cobra MK II and MK IV models are doing well, AC cannot move forward by just making a model from its past. To move forward, they needed a new model, and what they came up with has just been unveiled at the 2012 Geneva Auto Show.
It’s called the AC 378 GT Zagato, and it is the first all-new model the company has presented in over a decade. If the design looks familiar, it’s because this car was first shown back in 2009 as the Perana Z-One concept by Zagato.
While Perana seems to have vanished, Zagato offered the design to AC, who have thankfully taken on the project which has culminated to the car you see here today.
The AC 378 GT Zagato has its own chassis and body (both of which are put together in South Africa, by the same people who build the Noble sports car), but motive power comes from a very American source. Under that long hood is the same 6.2-liter, naturally-aspirated V8, that you would find in the base Chevrolet Corvette C6. According to AC, this engine produces 434-hp and that is good enough to propel this 3223-lbs car from 0-60 mph in under four-seconds and onto a top speed of 185-mph.
So not only is it pretty, it is also quite fast. At this point we are sure you’re tempted to park one on your drive way, but there are a few issues with that. Initially, AC will only offer this model for sale in U.K. and Germany, and currently there are no plans to bring this model for sale in the U.S.A. Even if it was available, you’d have to come up with $141,800 to have one. That makes it three-times more expensive than the car it shares its drive-train with.
After their initial run, AC will be taking the brand to global markets. After all, a car this pretty that comes from a well-established brand has the potential to do well in emerging economies.
Now you can add supercar manufacturer to their resume. Behold the Perana Z-One, a Zagato styled, Corvette powered beauty that has just gone into production.
The concept was first unveiled a few years ago at the Geneva Motor Show, but many thought the project would not have the traction to move forward. But they have.
This stunning coupe, which will be produced in a limited number of 999-units, has just hit the production line, and the company plans to have the Z-One flaunt its stuff at many public events, including the Goodwood Festival of Speed in U.K.
This $114,000 coupe does come with an impressive list of equipment, which include air-con, touch-screen infotainment system, sat-nav and Recaro seats.
As mentioned before, it uses a GM sourced LS3 engine that displaces 6.2-liters and produces 442-hp. Mated to a six-speed ZF-transmission, Perana predicts a 0-60 mph run to take less than 4-seconds. Thankfully it also has Brembo brakes, so it will stop as well as it goes.
It should handle well too, since Lee Noble was involved in the chassis set-up, and he does know a thing or two about good handling cars.
No word yet if North American buyers will be able to park a Perana Z-One in their garage, but we really hope so.
After a warm reception in Europe, Zagato has announced it will sell its Chevy Corvette-based Perana Z-One in the U.S., with the official news and the car’s North American premier taking place at Concorso Italiano. The car will be imported through Superformance out of California, with pricing sure to be significantly higher than the Vette on which its based.
A standard Corvette chassis is available, with its 436-hp 6.2-liter LS3 V8, as well as a Z06 chassis with the 505-hp 7.0-liter LS7. Both of these options are mated to a six-speed ZF limited-slip differential equipped transmission. Inside, the Perana gets reworked with Recaro seats and plenty of Alcantara.
Zagato says a limited production of 999 units will be made with a small number making it to America. The rest will be sold in Europe and the Middle-East.