• 2012 Iconic AC Roadster

The company AC Cars has been around longer than most of us have been alive, that is unless a 100-plus year old is gleefully reading our pages. Unlikely, but you never know.

Anyway, the brand’s most popular model is the AC Cobra, a car that has spurned many knock-offs - both cheap and authentic – with most of them falling by the wayside in a matter of years. There’s a saying that symbolically applies to this: “often imitated, never duplicated”.

Sometimes, though, there’s a car that comes close to the original, awesome enough to warrant a license from AC Cars themselves. This is where we introduce you to the 2012 Iconic AC Roadster. Built in Livonia, Michigan, the Iconic AC Roadster blends old-school craftsmanship with cutting-edge technology, producing a car that’s an aesthetic throwback to the olden days with the speed to put most of today’s supercars to shame.

Hit the jump to check out the AC Roadster’s specs.

  • 2012 Iconic AC Roadster
  • Year:
  • Make:
  • Engine:
    7.0L V8
  • Transmission:
    six speed manual
  • Horsepower @ RPM:
  • Torque @ RPM:
  • car segment:

Exterior and Interior

2012 Iconic AC Roadster Exterior
- image 382227

The two-seater, front mid-engine, rear-drive powerhouse is made from a fabricated steel tube frame and bonded carbon-fiber tub that takes its reference from the AC Ace, albeit aerodynamically more advanced than the classic version. A lot of the components of the car are CNC-milled from billet aluminum that’s likewise connected with aeronautic-grade fasteners, which, in case you didn’t know, is also taken straight out of the pages of the new-school handbook. The combination of aluminum and carbon fiber creates a body surface that is a boon for paint adhesion and allows longevity on the roadster’s paint finish, which is important in the whole makeup of the car.

The Iconic AC Roadster also comes with a set of staggered Goodyear F1 Supercar Run Flats P275/35ZR-18" tires on the front and P325/30ZR-19" on the rear.

The Iconic AC Roadster’s interior is a unique example of classic craftsmanship done on the perfect level. The whole interior was given a high-grade leather finish, including the race-inspired seats, which has been hand-wrapped with reverse stitching and designed with four-point harnesses as a reminder of what the roadster is inherently capable of. Even the roadster’s D-shaped steering wheel, a reference to what Formula One cars come with, has been given the leather treatment as well as the dashboard brow with the instrument panel gauges being dressed with synthetic sapphire windows.

2012 Iconic AC Roadster Interior
- image 382139

The Iconic AC Roadster’s instrument cluster includes an Iconic-patented VEEDIMS technology, a gauge design with its own set of analog gauges that’s driven by digital stepper motors to ensure unrivaled control and accuracy, thus allowing for data rates of varying sizes to support instantaneous needle response and accurately reflect real-time data. Should the situation arise where the pointer moves into the red-line, the gauge automatically turns bright flashing red to catch the driver’s attention of the current situation.

Apart from the leather, the interior also has its share of aluminum parts, including custom designed billet aluminum pedal arms with stylized pedal footpads that feature a stainless steel-designed modern interpretation of the iconic AC logo. The roadster’s dash panels are also made from all-aluminum billet pieces that have been tumble-polished and anodized to provide a smooth and soft finish, resembling Iconic’s suspension components, including the suspension’s T7075 aircraft aluminum control arm design cues.

The roadster’s floorboard was designed with a carbon fiber support structure that’s combined with honeycombed aluminum, a combination that’s more commonly found in state-of-the-art fighter jets.


2012 Iconic AC Roadster Exterior
- image 382221

Aesthetically pleasing as the car is, it’s got nothing on what’s inside that tube body. Built by NASCAR vet Ernie Elliot from Dawsonville, Georgia, the Iconic AC Roadster’s engine is an aluminum, overhead-valve, 7.0-liter V-8 from Ford’s SVO division with Iconic designed intakes that have been reworked to produce 825 horsepower and 660 lb/ft of torque mated to a six-speed manual transmission. While the exact figures have yet to be confirmed, this classic-looking, road-destroying beast is said to have a 0-60 mph time of below three seconds and a top speed in excess of 200 mph.

Apart from the engine, the Iconic AC Roadster’s brakes are made from carbon-ceramic with its lines connected through the frame and suspension wishbones, which, matter-of-fact, has horizontal shocks in them.

Then there’s the matter of the upgraded technological system, an electrical system developed by VEEDIMS LLC that introduces Ethernet electrics used in a vehicle. What it does is send data and electricity through a network with its own IP address and without the use of any wiring harnesses, allowing the owner to read the car’s data and engine telemetry on his phone. About the only down-side when it comes to performance is that the car doesn’t have ABS and stability electronics, which could pose as a problem, especially if it’s going at break-neck speeds.


The price tag for this fine piece of machine has yet to be confirmed by its builders, but projections have been released that it should come at somewhere around $475,000. It’s definitely something that you just can’t buy at the auto classifieds in your local newspaper.

2012 Iconic AC Roadster Exterior
- image 382138


The competition is tough to gauge for this Roadster considering that a classical design, coupled with modern technology is hard to come by these days. For now, we’re going to put the Iconic AC Roadster in a class of its own, until, say, Bugatti introduces a modern take on the 57sc Atlantic Coupe with a Veyron engine inside it. Unlikely, but we’ve come to learn that nothing is impossible in this industry.

Source: Iconic Motors

Kirby Garlitos
Kirby Garlitos
Automotive Aftermarket Expert - kirby@topspeed.com
Kirby’s first exposure into the world of automobiles happened when he caught Knight Rider on television as a five-year old boy. David Hasselhoff didn’t leave much of an impression on him (that happened later on in Baywatch), but KITT certainly did. To this day, Kirby remains convinced that he will one day own a car with the same ‘spirit’ as the original KITT (not the 2008 monstrosity). He doesn't know when that will be, but until then, he’s committed to expressing his love for KITT, and all cars for that matter, here at TopSpeed.  Read full bio
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Show Comments


  (394) posted on 06.26.2012

How could a classical roadster be an icon today? Despite the outdated looks, it’s enhanced and tuned-up that create a modern ambiance.

  (530) posted on 04.27.2012

This is my new favorite car! Despite its old-fashioned appearance, it also has a modern feel since its performance is as powerful, fast and stable as the newest cars.

  (594) posted on 02.28.2012

Brilliant colored things are often eye-catching, now this is exactly one of them. It’s flashy and hip. The target buyers are certainly the “cool kids” who love to drive around the block.

  (374) posted on 11.23.2011

This AC Roadster is looking so innovative on its platform. It looks cool and unique with that. However, I still find that its competitor is more powerful than with this roadster.

  (599) posted on 10.5.2011

Very rare and special car concept. It looks like a batman car, very authentic. And I like the saying embed here that it is "often imitated, never duplicated" well that’s exceptional if others can’t copy it.

  (256) posted on 08.25.2011

The styling of the car is not that impressive. However, it seems that the light weight of the car have contributed with the high speed performance of the vehicle.

  (248) posted on 08.25.2011

hmm. It seems that there are lots of aftermarket company that makes a production vehicle nowadays. I’m really impressed with the figure performance of the vehicle.

  (530) posted on 06.10.2011

Maybe we should check the standards first. I guess from its features, I never thought that this one will exists in the future.

  (394) posted on 05.16.2011

Well, I think what he meant was as the competitor of Bugatti is quite ambitious. We all know that this car manufacturer could boost up to 1000 hp. Which is miles away from the figure of this car.

  (419) posted on 05.16.2011

Although, this car doesn’t have an impressive look, Well, looking at the engine performance of this car, its quite impressive. And I would say, that its near to be called a supercar.

  (630) posted on 04.18.2011

@Bent_Lee,Are you drunk or something? It doesn’t mentioned that it was directly competing the Bugatti rather using its engine.

  (776) posted on 04.18.2011

@james_patron, Well, I have an contradicting opinion for this one. I find it so cute and the figure performance is incredible. And i think with an amazing engine competition wouldn’t be so tough.

  (449) posted on 04.1.2011

Yes, I have to agree on you Bent_Lee. I do believe on what TopGear UK said about the roadster they quoted "in the real world, this this doesn’t work". Oops! Sorry Tesla!

  (334) posted on 03.22.2011

Ambitious! I can’t believe that they are actually competing this one over the Veyron! Maybe on the price they are similar but when it comes to the performance Veyron is far better than Roadster. And I guess, Veyron can justify their high price tag but not for the Roadster.

  (531) posted on 03.22.2011

haha. I haven’t seen any manufacturer that tries to combine the classic and modern look, and turn into a good production. Sorry, but this ridiculous look makes me puke on it.

  (341) posted on 03.15.2011

So this article really need to come up with "drooling introduction" just to make the reader interested on the topic. Well, if AC Roadster do believe that they could actually sell, i will not ruin their hopes. But come to think of it. The competition is tough, and the buyers want a car that look good and has a better performance which i think those two quality doesn’t exist in this car!

  (3) posted on 03.14.2011

This car is beautiful! And it’s built in my hometown! That shocked me so much!

  (743) posted on 11.22.2010

Seeing this car perform on its own level is breath taking. It has too many innovative things to be looked out too just check the gas cap,..However, this car is very much expensive.

  (1211) posted on 11.16.2010

You never know when some latte-drinking, cell-phone chatting bimbo in her SUV is going to pull out right in front of you.

  (1211) posted on 11.16.2010

the solstice lighting looks good. maybe not as good as the original but if you are updating it, it does a good job. no worries there.

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