Iconic Motors made a lot of waves when it debuted its 800-hp bespoke roadster in 2008. Since then, the custom car has been refined, re-engineered, and rebadged, now officially bearing the name of the 60s-era AC Cobras that it strongly resembles.
The 2012 Iconic AC Roadster spec changers are slight but impressive: it offers increased output of 825-hp from its 6.8-liter V8 aluminum engine. The trim roadster put on a few pounds and now weighs 2,400 lbs., but it also dropped a second of its 0-60 time and is now below 3 seconds. Not bad for two year's work.
Its unveiling will take place on October 12 at Ford's proving grounds, not too far from Livonia, Michigan where the custom cars will be built by Bob Nowatkowski of Techno Sports, who helped produce the latest Ford GT and Shelby GR-1. The 2012 AC roadster will begin production early next year with a maximum of production of 100 cars.
While the car looks more or less the same it did two years ago, there have been a lot of changes under the hood. Most significantly, Iconic is using Virtual Electrical Electronic Device Interface Management System (VEEDIMS) to replace the majority of the traditional wiring and hydraulics found in cars with a single Ethernet cable to deliver all hardware and software information. It's the first implementation of this technology in an automobile and is similar to the "by wire" system used in race cars, but it's just one wire and one system for the entire vehicle instead of several integrated systems.
The engineering move streamlines development, production, and time to market, but it also begs the question: does replacing all the wires with a single cable introduce a single point of failure? But at least if something goes wrong, help will be on the way.
"If something goes wrong with the car, Iconic will send a rep out to the car to repair the vehicle," said spokesman John Ewert.
Priced at $350,000 to start, buyers can select custom materials, finishes and gadgets. But you're buying quality, Ewert is quick to stress. All the parts are custom designed, hand assembled, and come with a lifetime warranty. It may sound like a lot of money for something that looks like a kit car, but not a lot of kit cars can go more than 200 mph.