AC Cobra enters production in EV and 2.3-litre forms

Specialist British brand AC Cars has begun production of two limited-edition versions of the iconic Cobra roadster – including its first-ever battery-powered version.

Joining the recent trend of electrifying classic models for the new age, the AC Cobra Series 1 electric is visually identical to the 1962 original. Just 58 will be made (a reference to the number of years since the original’s launch) at a price of £138,000 (AUD$258,000) plus on the road fees. Reservations can be made with a fully refundable AUD$5,000 fee.

It’s powered by a 230kW front-mounted electric motor mated to a 54kWh battery pack. AC Cars says a range of around 240 kilometres is possible, with a 0-100km/h time of 6.7sec and a 200km/h top speed also claimed. Despite the substantial weight this system adds, the car is claimed to tip the scales at under 1250kg, partly thanks to its composite body.

The traditional ladder-frame chassis remains, albeit adapted to fit the new drivetrain. AC has also uprated the steering and brakes to “provide ultimate 2020 standards of ride and handling which do not compromise the 1962 style and appeal”. The interior will retain “traditional” features, and four colours are available. Deliveries will start at the end of the year.

Also available is the AC Cobra 140 Charter Edition. Again, it looks almost exactly like the original, but uses a Ford Mustang-derived 2.3-litre turbo four-cylinder engine putting out 260kW. This translates to a 0-100km/h of 6.0sec and a 200km/h top speed.

The Charter Edition is, unsurprisingly, far cheaper than the EV version, with a retail price of £85,000. Again, just 58 versions will be produced, though a wider suite of colours is offered.

A new V8-powered version of the revived sports car has also recently been revealed. Taking its power from a 6.2-litre supercharged Chevrolet engine, as found in the C7-generation Corvette ZO6, the Cobra 378 Superblower MkIV is now on sale from £129,500 (AUD$236,000).

Lawrence Allan

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