AC Cobra Still Flying the Flag for Fun

The iconic AC Cobra is back to drag lovers of the lightest of muscle cars back to a time when cars were focused more on fun than function.

AC Cars, Britain’s oldest active vehicle manufacturer dating from 1901, will fully unveil its AC Cobra GT Roadster this April with public displays planned at exclusive spring and summer preview events in Europe. True to the Cobra’s weight-saving roots, the car employs extruded aluminum space frame chassis to offer optimal driving and dynamics. Boasting exceptional torsional rigidity, the chassis allows for better packaging of the powertrain, steering and suspension.

The new chassis has a wheelbase of 8.43ft, 9.7ins longer than the AC Cobra Mk. VI, yet the car’s overall length has gown only 4.3ins mm, up to 13.8ft.  The car’s track has also been modified to give it a wider stance, which, along with the car’s weight distribution and center of gravity, claims to have drastically improved handling and agility.

In keeping with the original AC Cobra’s competition pedigree, the car’s suspension configuration and geometry has been developed in close collaboration with a professional UK race team, which has consulted for AC throughout the development period. The GT Roadster uses a V8 gasoline combustion engine developing up to 654bhp and 575lb ft and weighs under 3,300lbs, claiming a 0-60mph sprint time of 3.4 seconds. It also comes with the choice of a 6-speed manual or 10-speed automatic gearbox.

Its cabin combines both analogue instrumentation and digital technology to enhance the driving experience. The new Advanced Driver Information Center (ADIC) technology shows all relevant engine information in direct eyeline, without disrupting the outstanding interior design or creating unwanted reflections on the windscreen. It also features electric windows, climate control and a sat nav/infotainment system. A full list of options will be detailed at the car’s launch. Exterior design hopes to breathe a modern twist into the classic Cobra coachlines which incorporates some of the latest materials and technology.

The new AC Cobra GT Roadster is expected to cost from £285,000 ($341,122) including purchase tax in the UK, with prices varying according to exchange rates and taxes in the country of delivery. However, the automaker warns that with orders already taken following the release of its first details last December, the car’s limited production means customers will need to act quickly to secure one of the first cars due in 2024.

David Conza, chief executive officer of AC Cars, said: “Developing and delivering a car worthy of the AC Cobra name has not been an easy task but I am delighted and immensely proud of what we have achieved. This is a sports car like no other, and we have employed some of the industry’s leading designers and engineers to craft an outstanding automobile that is extremely beautiful as well as fantastically quick and amazing to drive.”

— Paul Myles is a seasoned automotive journalist based in Europe. Follow him on Twitter @Paulmyles_

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *