Home » The Legendary AC Cobra Is Getting A Very Modern Makeover

The Legendary AC Cobra Is Getting A Very Modern Makeover

Ac Cobra Gt Roadster Original 2023 1

In the spirit of transparency we like to aim for around here, the AC Cobra (and its rough American equivalent the Shelby Cobra) has never really been my vibe. It’s more of a Baby Boomer dream supercar than anything aimed at my generation, and most of the ones I’ve encountered have been replicas owned by guys who act personally insulted when you ask if they’re replicas or not. (They almost always are!) But that doesn’t mean I don’t respect the Cobra. I can certainly appreciate its importance to motorsports history and the fact that even a replica one with a beefy Ford V8 in a small roadster body can mean license-losing fun without trying hard.

Luckily for gearheads of all ages everywhere, the latest incarnation of Britain’s AC Cars isn’t inclined to just let the Cobra legacy die on the vine. An all-new version is due out next month promising “the latest materials and technology,” and based on these early photos, it looks to be getting a makeover with modern gear—but one that’s smart enough not to mess with a formula that clearly works.

Behold, the first official pics of the new AC Cobra GT Roadster. It looks old-school, but it comes with some very 21st-century updates. The most obvious ones out of the gate are those circular LED headlights, which I think work remarkably well on this classic design without being overdone or cheesy.

Then we have an extruded aluminum spaceframe chassis underneath that recognizable body, designed to be stiff as well as light. It’s got a slightly longer wheelbase and more overall length than the last Cobra but also features a wider track. Standard features also include electric windows and climate control (which speaks to how bare-bones past Cobras were) and an infotainment system with navigation and smartphone integration.

Nice to have, but hey, nobody buys a Cobra for stuff like that. Let’s talk specs that matter: under that hood, we find a familiar 5.0-liter supercharged Ford V8 here good for 654 horsepower and 575 lb-ft of torque. That can be had with a six-speed manual or a similarly modern 10-speed automatic, presumably also Ford-sourced. The new Cobra should do zero to 60 mph in just 3.4 seconds and get there with an impressive soundtrack, AC Cars says. Not bad.

The company says the interior has also been heavily revised for comfort, ergonomics and overall quality, including what it calls “analog instruments with Digital Glass displays.” No clear photos of any of that are available yet, but again, it all sounds quite modern without totally disrupting the experience you’d expect from this car.

The automaker says the new Cobra will start at £285,000 in the UK and prices will vary from region to region; it’s also fully road-legal, although no word yet on whether it’ll be sold in North America.

Not bad, AC Cars. I’m intrigued and kind of delighted by the application of modern tech to a howling V8 sports car icon. Expect to see more in April when this thing makes its grand debut.

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21 days ago

They need an electric version called the DC Cobra.

Chris P Bacon
Chris P Bacon
21 days ago

What a complete joke of a company. There is no factory, No car, They don’t even have any staff. How many of these concept cars have AC completed over the years? None. It’s all a big scam. Ask to see pictures of the actual car in development, They can’t.

22 days ago

I see a lawsuit from Shelby American coming. Not saying they should, or that they have a case, but it’s probably going to happen. While I know the Shelby Cobra was based on the AC, the huge fender flares, rear quarter panel bulge, etc. are all Shelby design elements (until AC used them in this latest version). I know Cobra replica manufacturers ran into similar issues with Shelby.

22 days ago

Those headlights look like a cat’s eyes when they found out where the thermometer goes during a checkup with the veterinarian.

22 days ago

I wonder if it still burns your feet like AC Cobras of yore. (from the exhaust running under the floorboards. Read Peter DeLorzeno’s articles about that on autoextremist.com)

22 days ago

Call me boomer, but I dislike the cosmetic modernizations and idea about electric one is outright stupid for me. Shelby Cobra has always been about raw power and bestial roar of V8, at least for me.

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