The Cobra is Back!

3

By Chris Pollitt

There are few cars that get the pulse racing quite as much as the legendary AC Cobra. However, the brand has long been dormant, and for a while it looked like it would stay that way. However, not unlike another scaly reptile, the Cobra too has risen from the ashes, with three new and official models entering production. No replicas, no copies, these are the real deal. This is of course incredibly exciting, as the Cobra is a car for the true petrolhead. A poster child of muscle, speed and noise. For many, the AC Cobra is the ultimate expression of speed and performance. 

There are three models in the works. Two are en route from the States as we speak, and will undergo final assembly when they land in the UK. The third is being built here already, with one car complete and the order books open. 

The company behind this rebirth is the Boss Motor Company of Buckinghamshire, which is now the only recognised UK dealer for AC Cars. Alan Lubinsky, who has a long and passionate history with AC Cars, is the force behind the brand, and has been instrumental in the car’s new lease of life.  

The Superblower 

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The AC Cobra at the top of the three-car project is the mighty Superblower. If you want a Cobra, this is the ultimate version. Powered by a 580bhp supercharged V8 delivering grunt to the rear wheels via a six-speed manual transmission. This is a follow-up to the car built in 1998, and brings the idea bang into the future with modern construction techniques being applied to a traditional design. A race car for the road, the Superblower boasts race-specification brakes, coilover suspension (multi-link at the rear), a limited-slip differential and a four-inch round tubular ladder frame chassis. It is the hottest of rods and can be yours for £129,500. 

The Charter Edition  

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If the thought of a 580bhp supercharged V8 is a bit much, then worry not. The team at AC Cars have been doing the research and in doing so, have come up with an internal combustion option that offers plenty of pace, but less of the fear! Plucking a 2.3 Ecoboost engine from the current Ford Mustang, the Cobra 140 Charter Edition will be the perfect machine for spirited B road blasts, and all while being inexpensive to run. With more restrained, traditional styling such as wire wheels and smaller, stepped arches, it’s a pure interpretation of the ACs of old. The 2.3 four-cylinder 350bhp engine is a proven unit, having been developed by Ford, making it the perfect unit for a new Cobra. 

The Series 1 Electric 

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Then of course, there is the most modern version of the Cobra, namely the Series 1 Electric. Like the Charter Edition above, initial assembly has been carried out in the States. The cars are then shipped to the UK for the running gear. In the case of both cars, the work is being done by Derby-based Falcon Electric. The UK company is designing and fitting the electric system for the Series 1, consisting of a front-loaded 54kWh lithium-ion battery. It’s also fitting the 2.3 engines to the Charter Edition. Details are limited on the electric versions, but as soon as we have more information we’ll have a follow-up story, maybe even a drive review, too. 

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The Superblower is being built to order, whereas the other two models are being built in limited numbers – just fifty-eight of each, which is fitting as it has been fifty-eight years since the last Cobras were shipped to the UK. For more information on the project and the cars, you can visit the AC Cars website.

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