Autocar Magazine – September 2017
Back on track
It’s only months since Zenos was rescued from the abyss, but the brand’s reconfigured Ero sports car is already well on the way. Have the new owners learned from past lessons?
Zenos North America is pleased that AC Cars Ltd recently acquired Zenos Cars Ltd. with the intent to continue production of the Zenos E10 lineup and begin work on the next generation of Zenos vehicles.
As the sole North American distributor of Zenos cars, Zenos North America is looking forward to continued sales and embarking on a renewed dealership expansion knowing that we’ll receive a reliable supply of support, parts, and vehicles from this strong, established vehicle manufacturer. And, of course, being associated with the company that brought the world the AC Ace and AC Cobra is an exciting prospect! Going forward, the brand will be known as ‘Zenos by AC’. This acknowledges the individual heritage of both the Zenos and AC brands while recognizing their combined strength!
Alan Lubinsky, CEO of AC Cars, said of the agreement: “We are delighted to have secured this agreement which guarantees the continuity of cars sales and all aspects of after sales service for Zenos is North America. It’s a win-win for all involved”.
AC Cars is moving E10 production from the UK to South Africa to take advantage of AC’s manufacturing capabilities there. They have already started engineering design improvements to the line, including providing paths to retrofit some designs to current cars. It is anticipated that the new E10’s will be available early next year. However, Zenos North America has already built an inventory of E10S’s that are immediately available for distribution to dealers and customers.
Young Kim, President of Zenos North America, commented: “The energy we see from AC Cars, even in this early stage of their ownership of Zenos, has built our confidence in their support for our current E10 models. More importantly, their vision for the E10 and future models will take Zenos cars to a new level of performance, comfort and excitement.”
Rolling chassis are available for purchase and the MSRP ranges from about $48,900 to $67,400 for the limited ‘Drive Edition’. A customer can expect to pay around $12,600 to $17,500 for the addition of a drive train. With that, they will have a mid-engine, super-lightweight roadster built on an extruded aluminum backbone, with advanced carbon fiber tub, and composite body panels. With a Ford Ecoboost engine, this 1,850 lb. track-focused car will hit 0-60 in 3.0 seconds (2.3L turbocharged) and 4.0 seconds (2.0L turbocharged).
During the re-launch phase, early buyers can expect some pricing benefits from the dealers.
Please visit our website at www.zenosna.com
Naturally with a car this capable, we invite comparisons! So, I’m extending this invitation to (insert publication) to drive and review one of these outstanding vehicles. We have arranged for Gator Motorsport in Indianapolis to make demonstrators available for a street or track test at nearby Putnam Park Road Course. Please call me at the number below to learn more about this opportunity.
Director of Operations
Zenos North America, Inc.
3323 W. 96th St.
Indianapolis, IN 46268
THESE CARS NOW AVAILABLE FOR IMMEDIATE SALE AT EXTREMELY ATTRACTIVE DEALS!
AC Cars focuses on enhanced support for Zenos owners – and announces significant partnership
AC Cars Ltd has today announced enhanced support measures for owners of existing Zenos E10 cars (AC’s investors acquired Zenos earlier this year).
Parts and technical support can now be sourced via the Zenos website www.zenoscars.com by using the email function. There is also a new telephone number for service and support enquiries: +44 330 113 1892.
AC will also be offering Zenos owners a retrofitted range of performance aids, a number of which have been specially developed by Wortec UK, a company with a 10-year record of supporting high performance cars.
Through a new agreement with Wortec UK, these performance kits will be sold under the AC’s long established Autokraft brand and will be for the existing Zenos E10 range and future models. The range will centre around updated brakes, exhausts, cooling etc. Some of these will become available in the next few weeks and a further statement will be made on the www.zenoscars.com website.
AC Cars is today also announcing a significant partnership with far reaching benefits for both AC and Zenos owners. It is teaming up with Hendy Performance, a division of The Hendy Group, the UK’s largest and oldest Ford dealer group. Hendy – which operates from sites across southern England – will provide service and parts support for both AC and Zenos cars in the future.
Simon Kearn, Commercial Operations Manager for Hendy Performance, said: “We have 150 years of history at Hendy and are delighted to add two great brands to our portfolio. Zenos, though young, has earned respect as a genuine drivers’ performance car while the iconic AC Cobra needs no introduction to any sports car buff worldwide. We are proud to be supporting owners of both brands”.
Alan Lubinsky, CEO of AC Cars, said: “Zenos owners have had a worrying few months but we want to assure them of our commitment to supporting them, now and in the future. We have exciting plans to further develop the excellent Zenos product and will be announcing these in due course. Our new relationship with Hendy provides the support in depth which AC and Zenos owners deserve”.
Zenos saved from administration by AC Cars-led consortium
Future Zenos models could be produced alongside AC products; final decision will be made following an analysis of the business
A consortium led by AC Cars, makers of the reborn Cobra, has bought Zenos Cars for an undisclosed sum around two months after it fell into administration.
AC Cars has acquired all Zenos effects, including all intellectual property and a stock of 10 new models.
The company’s owner, Alan Lubinsky, told Autocar that a key issue for Zenos was “that the cars cost too much to build”.
Lubinksy wouldn’t disclose how much was paid for Zenos or name the other investors in the consortium, but said they are companies with which AC Cars work. AC Cars will run the operation of Zenos, Lubinsky added, and will “probably” be called AC Zenos.
The consortium will keep Zenos’s Norfolk facility in the short term but will re-evaluate its cost effectiveness. “We will take over over the current facility but I’m not saying we will manufacture cars there,” Lubinsky said. The reborn Cobra 378s that AC builds are made in South Africa, and Lubinsky said it was a possibility that Zenos cars could be built alongside them in the future.
He also acknowledged that there would be economies of scale, whether that would be future engines for other AC models, or parts such as windows and wipers.
Lubinsky described the E10 as a “fantastic and well-developed car, which can definitely be used as a basis to go forward”. He added that the former employees of Zenos should be “very proud of what they created”.
Lubinsky said the consortium will spend the coming weeks evaluating the Zenos company, which will include considering the viability of other models such as a coupé. “In the coming weeks we will evaluate the situation. The engineering of the car is fantastic and can definitely spawn other cars in the future. We will continue with the current car and, in parallel, we will consider other cars.”
Since January, Zenos had been under the control of administrator Begbies Traynor. The company’s joint administrator Irvin Cohen said today “We are very pleased to have achieved this sale of the assets of Zenos Cars, which will allow this popular brand to continue and flourish in the future”.
Before it closed, Zenos revealed plans for more practical models called the E11 and E12. It had also considered using hybrid powertrains to boost performance.
However, the firm eventually fell into financial difficulty following cancelled orders and a long period of slow demand at the start of this year.
New owner AC Cars has itself recently experienced a resurgence following heavy investment. The company’s owner Lubinsky took the helm 21 years ago.
AC story reaches US audience via Simeone Museum
The story of how a small British car manufacturer, AC, realized success through the inception of a three-wheel delivery vehicle in 1907 to the fire breathing, record breaking, AC Cobra’s is being told by The Simeone Automotive Foundation Museum in Philadelphia.
The Simeone Museum has one of the world’s greatest collections of racing sports cars. Its theme is “The Spirit of Competition” and celebrates the history and evolution of over 65 historically significant cars assembled over 50 years by Dr Frederick Simeone.
The Museum’s special event – “Best of Britain – an AC Cars Retrospective” – takes place from February 18 to March 12, 2017.
The three-week exhibit will begin on Saturday, February 18, 2017 with an opening meet and greet reception, followed by a buffet and talk by noted AC race driver William S. Jackson. The incredible display of prewar and postwar AC’s is the largest collection of the marque ever presented in the US. The inclusive representation of the marque will allow these cars and their histories to come alive while supporting the Foundation’s Teen Driver Awareness Program.
Dr Simeone said: “The history of AC is a remarkable story of design, entrepreneurship and survival and its great that the AC Brand is being rebuilt today. We have an outstanding collection of vehicles to show off and we look forward to intensive interest from true car enthusiasts”.
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