AC Cars has reimagined its iconic Cobra for the modern era. Now the new design, christened the Cobra GT Roadster, is available for reservation.
Founded in 1901, AC is one of the U.K.’s oldest car companies, and it’s the same company whose original Ace sports car was injected with V-8 power by Carroll Shelby to create the legendary Shelby Cobra in 1962.
The Shelby was marketed as an AC Cobra in some markets, and recently AC started building replicas, some of them powered by batteries. However, the Cobra GT Roadster, while clearly borrowing design cues from the original Cobra, is a completely different beast.
The car has been developed from scratch using modern technology and engineering processes. For example, it features an aluminum spaceframe chassis, a carbon-fiber body, and a suspension developed in partnership with a professional racing team. It has also been designed to offer the choice of left- or right-hand drive.
Power comes from a Ford 5.0-liter V-8, which delivers 454 hp as standard or 654 hp with an available supercharger. Buyers can choose between a 6-speed manual or 10-speed automatic transmission with paddle shifters, and they also have the option of adding a Torsen limited-slip differential. Drive goes to the rear wheels only.
The dimensions are quite a bit larger compared to the original Cobra, meaning drivers over 6 feet tall can fit comfortably, according to AC. The wheelbase is 101.2 inches, or about 11 inches longer than the original, but the overall length has only grown by 4.3 inches, coming in at a total of 166.3 inches. The track is also wider, helping improve handling while also providing a tougher-looking stance, the company said.
The car is fitted with modern creature comforts such as power windows, automatic climate control, and a 10.3-inch infotainment screen with navigation. AC also offers a long list of options, including carbon-fiber seats, leather trim, and a removable hardtop.
A drive mode selector with Wet, Street, Track, and Race modes is included as standard. It’s designed to adjust elements like throttle response, steering feel, and exhaust volume, as well as the intervention parameters of the ABS and stability and traction control systems.
The wheels measure 21 inches in diameter and feature a center-lock design. They come standard with Michelin Pilot Sport 4 tires, but buyers can opt for Michelin’s more track-friendly Pilot Sport Cup 2 tires as an alternative. Stopping power comes from 6-piston calipers up front and 4-piston calipers at the rear, with the brake rotors up front measuring close to 15 inches in diameter.
The extra size and modern features mean weight is up considerably compared to the original Cobra. AC quotes a curb weight of close to 3,200 pounds, which is still much lighter than many modern cars.
Quoted maximum performance includes a 0-60 mph time of 3.4 seconds and a top speed of 172 mph.
Production will be limited to around 250 units annually, and AC has confirmed the first year’s allocation is already claimed. Deliveries are scheduled to begin in early 2024. Pricing will depend on the specification, but AC has previously hinted at a starting price of 285,000 British pounds (approximately $356,500). The company says the car is available for order worldwide.
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