Car manufacturing could be set to return to Ireland for the first time since the Ford factory in Cork was shuttered, with the announcement of a new 'Hyperclassic' electric sports car from startup company AVA.
Electric hypercar with classic styling
AVA is the brainchild of Irish businessman Norman Crowley, who owns such electric and environmentally friendly businesses as Crowley Carbon, Electrifi, and Crowley Solar and not-for-profit foundation The Cool Planet Experience.
As part of Crowley's mission 'to cool the planet' he's getting into the car making game. Electrifi has previous in this area - the company has already converted several classic cars, including a Ferrari 308, to electric power, and has proposed an electric version of Jaguar's classic E-Type sports car. Now, though, Crowley wants to build his own car, and he's bringing in some of car design's biggest hitters to help him.
Under the AVA brand (which comes from the Latin Ad Vitam Aeternam - Forever, for eternity, for life) Crowley wants to build a retro-styled sports car with 'between 1,200 and 2,000hp' at a price between €1.2 and €2 million. And he wants it to look cool, like an original Corvette Stingray.
Designer of the Stingray and Daytona Coupe
So, Crowley has brought in one of the designers of that original Stingray - Peter Brock. Brock worked with the great head of General Motors design, Harley Earl, on that 1963 Corvette, and later went on to create the insanely beautiful Cobra Daytona Coupe for Carroll Shelby. If anyone knows how to design a great-looking car, it's Brock.
And he won't be alone. Crowley is also leaning on the expertise of Ian Callum. Callum nowadays heads up his own design consultancy, CALLUM, but he's got some previous. He's the man behind the 2002 Aston Martin Vanquish and the DB9, and was also head of Jaguar design for more than 15 years, creating such cars as the XF and XE, the F-Pace, the C-X75 concept supercar, the F-Type sports car, and the I-Pace electric crossover.
If all goes to plan, the new cars will be built in AVA's facility in Powerscourt, County Wicklow (while drawing on Brock's design work from Nevada, and Callum's facilities in the UK). The actual styling of the car will be revealed in late February, but it will very obviously, from what the three men are saying, be taking inspiration from the Corvette Stingray.
Heritage, iconic design, and high-performance
Says Crowley: "The partnership aims to push the limits of advanced engineering to breathe energy of the future into cars of the past. It will bring together heritage, iconic design and high-performance, to create an entirely new automotive offering."
From Nevada, Peter Brock adds: "To be involved in this project is a tremendous responsibility. It's [the Corvette Stingray] already an accepted icon in the world of automotive motor design but we want to take all the best aspects of that design and make it crisper."
Ian Callum commented: "Applying next-generation technology to cars that we are fond of and familiar with, is hugely exciting. CALLUM's expertise in translating Peter's concept to a design feasible for production, will support AVA to write a new chapter in this car's story."