The AC Cobra is a remarkable machine from the 1960s. Sold in the United States as the Shelby Cobra or the AC Shelby Cobra, the roadster is both British and American, with Ford V8 residing inside its long bonnet, but it's more of the former as far as its origin goes.
For the younger generation of car enthusiasts, the AC Cobra was reintroduced through the Ford v Ferrari movie, mostly driven by Matt Damon who plays the role of Caroll Shelby, one of the main protagonists of the Oscar-winning film.
Now, if you've been wanting to own an AC Cobra, there are a handful of samples out there – either restored, maintained, or modified. However, if you want to buy a brand new one, AC Cars has released an official reborn version of the Cobra, albeit, with a different powertrain.
Called the AC Cobra Series 1 Electric, the British marque breathes new life into its popular roadster by giving it electric motor, powered by a 54 kWh battery. The design is still intact and in line with the original Cobra, as is the interior, but AC Cars said that steering, brakes, and other mechanicals have been upgraded to 2020 standards. Only 58 samples of the AC Cobra Series 1 Electric will be made, available in blue, black, green, and white (as seen above).
AC Cars also released another Ford-powered version of the Cobra, though the engine is a lot smaller this time. Powered by the same 2.3-liter EcoBoost mill from the Ford Mustang, the AC Cobra 140 Charter Edition will be identical to the Series 1 Electric in terms of design. It will be limited to 58 samples, as well.
The AC Cobra Series 1 Electric is priced at £138,000 ($171,976), while the AC Cobra 140 Charter Edition is a lot more affordable at £85,000 ($105,927). Deliveries of reborn AC Cobras will commence by the last quarter of 2020.
THE AC COBRA IS REBORN! ELECTRIFIED FOR THE FUTURE WITH STRONG PETROL POWER OPTION TO BUILD ON ITS HERITAGE
It is not often that a motoring icon is reborn and updated all at the same time. Yet the two new models in the 2020 AC Cobra range launched today come with sparkling engine options – an all new and purpose-designed full electric powertrain and a brand new, high performance four-cylinder petrol engine sourced from the latest Ford Mustang.
The engines are packaged in an instantly recognisable body – the only truly graceful sportscar with proven muscle car credentials: the AC Cobra!
AC Cobra Series 1 electric
AC Cars (England) Ltd is launching a limited edition run of zero emission cars, the first ever electric cars to bear the AC marque. This model is called the "AC Cobra Series1 electric" and just 58 cars will be made. The 58 number is a celebration of the 58 years since the production of the first AC Cobra, one of the most iconic cars ever built which, when it was launched in 1962, featured a Ford engine which did so much to create the AC Cobra’s unique pedigree.
The car will look identical to the first AC Cobra that was made in 1962 but sound totally different – the first electrically powered AC!
The car will be totally based on the original AC Cobra. The first car will be in the spirit of the original cars and will have a similar ladder frame, adapted where necessary for the electric drive components, including batteries.
There are a number of upgrades for the electric car, including steering, brakes and so on – all designed to provide ultimate 2020 standards of ride and handling which do not compromise the1962 style and appeal of the gloriously identifiable bodywork. The body will be constructed of high-grade composite and the car will have a traditional AC Cobra interior.
Deliveries will start in the last quarter of 2020 and the Suggested Retail selling price will be £138,000 plus on the road charges.
The car will only be available in four colours a) AC electric blue b) AC electric black c) AC electric white (pictured here) d) AC electric green. More information will be available on the AC website, www.accars.eu, from July 1. The mechanical specifications are as follows:
Acceleration 0-62 mph:
500 Nm Peak/250 Nm Continuous
Under 1,250 kg
AC Cobra 140 Charter Edition
This is basically similar in detail and identical in appearance to both the 1962 original AC Cobra and to the Series1 electric model described above.
Named in traditional AC style for the size of its petrol engine in cubic inches, the AC Cobra 140 Charter Edition has a 2.3 litre high-power engine of 350 bhp, as used in the latest Ford Mustang.
AC says that this new model is a tremendous car for the times, being a light traditional sports car and having a light engine of such high power as to provide a very traditional feel and driving appeal.
This car will share the handling and performance upgrades of the AC Cobra Series 1 electric. It will be available in a wider suite of colours.
There will be a launch version of 58 Charter Edition cars and deliveries will also start in the last quarter of 2020. The suggested retail price of the car will be £85,000. Again, more details will be available on the AC website from July 1.
|About 6 seconds
Approx. 350 bhp
Approx. 1,100 kg
Ownership and pedigree
The fact that AC Cars is able to contemplate a fully thought-through rebirth at such a time of upheaval in the global auto industry is largely thanks to the strengths and perseverance of the UK’s longest surviving car brand, founded in 1901.
“Our long saga reflects the many challenges of making sports cars in low volumes in the modern world”, said Alan Lubinsky, Chief Executive of AC Cars. “But, over the years, our belief in the brand has been sustained by the loyalty and support of AC Cobra owners worldwide. Their faith has given us the motivation to keep on striving to give AC a future – and with these superb new products, engineered not just for today but for tomorrow, I am convinced we have given AC a bright future”.
“We have more exciting plans ahead but our focus for now is to get these 116 cars built, sold and out where they should be - on the open road”, he said.
AC has strengthened is management team with the appointment to its Board of its long-term legal adviser, Neil Baylis as a non-executive director. Mr Baylis, a Partner in the top London law firm of Mishcon de Reya LLP, said: “This a critical moment in the history of the UK’s oldest motor maker – AC. I am privileged to be on board at this challenging time for car makers, large and small.