Modern AC Cobra GT Roadster debuts with over 650 hp

AC Cars has reimagined its iconic Cobra for the modern era, with the resulting design christened the Cobra GT Roadster and now available for reservation.

AC is one of the U.K.’s oldest car companies, having been founded in 1901, 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, carbon-fiber body, and 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 also choose between a 6-speed manual or 10-speed automatic with paddle shifters, and they also have the option of adding a Torsen limited-slip differential. Drive is to the rear wheels only.

The dimensions are quite a bit larger compared to the original Cobra, meaning drivers over six feet can fit comfortably, according to AC. The wheelbase is 101 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 inches. The track is also wider, helping improve handling while also providing a tougher stance, the company said.

AC Cobra GT Roadster

AC Cobra GT Roadster

The car is fitted with modern creature comforts such as power windows, automatic climate control, and a 10.25-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 stability and traction control systems, and ABS.

AC Cobra GT Roadster

AC Cobra GT Roadster

The wheels measure 21 inches in diameter and feature a center-lock design. They come with Michelin Pilot Sport 4 tires as standard but buyers can opt for Michelin’s more track-friendly Pilot Sport Cup 2 tires as an alternative. Stopping power comes from six-piston calipers up front and four-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.

AC Cobra GT Roadster

AC Cobra GT Roadster

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 full. Deliveries are scheduled to begin in early 2024. Pricing will depend on the specification, but AC has previoulsy hinted at a starting price of 285,000 British pounds (approximately $356,500).

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