AC, the prestige sports car producer with manufacturing operations in the UK and Malta, is a partner in a new initiative which aims to exploit ultra-light magnesium technology for use in automotive chassis production.

With the prestigious label awarded by Eureka, the pan-European network for market-orientated research and development, the new initiative involves AC Cars UK Ltd working in conjunction with Alubin R&D Ltd, an Israeli company with a world-renowned reputation in the field of aluminium and magnesium technology.

The Eureka project description is: “For the development of magnesium alloy extrusion technology for large profiles for application in the automotive industry to reduce chassis weight, leading to fuel consumption reduction and enhancement of performance of the cars produced by the end user”.

Alan Lubinsky, AC’s chairman and CEO, said: “Every car maker in the world is keen to pursue weight savings to reduce fuel consumption and emissions and enhance performance. Magnesium is one of the lightest engineering materials available and has a tremendous potential in car design. We are delighted to have been able to put this project together with Eureka’s resources.

“Although we intend to exploit the results of the project in the development of new AC models in the future, we also intend to license the resulting technology to others in the industry. There is already considerable interest in our work,” he added.

The AC brand has recently been strengthened through a strategic link with Shelby Automobiles Inc of Las Vegas, USA. Shelby is completing hand-crafted aluminium bodyshells produced at AC’s plant at Frimley, Surrey and selling the completed cars in the USA as Shelby AC Cobras. AC is in the process of commissioning a new plant in Malta which will manufacture composite-bodied cars for sale in both the UK and US.