New roadster using fortwo running gear.
by Richard Yarrow
Smart is coming to the U.S. in 2008, but only with the fortwo city car. But another of the DaimlerChrysler-owned firm's models could arrive the year after - wearing the badge of legendary British brand AC.
DC axed production of the smart roadster and roadster coupé at the end of last year as part of its cost-cutting. But bosses are on the verge of selling the entire venture including tooling to a group of enthusiasts based in the U.K. Called Project Kimber, it has some heavyweight support including Gordon Murray, the brains behind the outrageous McLaren F1 supercar. It's close to obtaining financial backing from sources in Europe and Hong Kong, and the memorandum of understanding it signed with DaimlerChrysler last February is about to become a contractual reality.
The first three official images of the two-seater - to be called the AC Ace - have also been revealed. Production is expected to begin in the middle of next year, with prices from around $23,000 to $37,000. Both right-hand-drive and left-hand-drive models will be available, and a U.S. launch is slated for 2009.
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