AC Cars, Britain’s oldest active vehicle manufacturer – having been in business since 1901, will fully unveil its stunning new model, the AC Cobra GT Roadster, this April with the first customers then given the opportunity to see the car for themselves at exclusive spring and summer preview events in Europe.
The all-new, and exclusive high-performance roadster is the return of one of motoring’s most famous names. With a clean sheet design, the AC Cobra GT Roadster is a cutting-edge modern sports car, produced using the latest technology and engineering processes, yet it remains faithful to the spirit of the original AC Cobra from the 1960s.
A highly accomplished and usable GT sports car, the new model shares no components with the original yet is instantly recognizable. Once again powered by the V8 petrol engine, but this time delivering up to 654bhp (663PS), the new AC Cobra uses a highly advanced extruded aluminium spaceframe chassis developed specifically for the car.
Extremely strong and light, the new chassis allows for the perfect layout as well as optimized suspension geometry and weight distribution. Incorporating competition derived engineering, the car is a pure-bred sports car with phenomenal handling and performance.
Styled by a team of world class designers, the exterior bodywork and interior of the new AC Cobra retains a modern personality but with a timeless aesthetic, and incorporates some of the latest materials and technology. The interior includes hand finished unique elements, unseen in the automotive world before, and the augmentation of analogue instruments with Digital Glass displays – a bespoke combination. Substantially improved ergonomics mean that the cabin suits drivers of all sizes, with the space afforded by the new chassis design providing a high level of comfort and refinement.
With orders already taken, following the release of the new AC Cobra’s first details last December 2022, the car’s limited production means customers will need to act quickly to secure one of the first cars due in 2024.
David Conza, Chief Executive Officer of AC Cars, said: “Developing and delivering a car worthy of the AC Cobra name has not been an easy task, but I am delighted and immensely proud of what we have achieved. This is a sports car like no other, and we have employed some of the industry’s leading designers and engineers to craft an outstanding automobile that is extremely beautiful as well as fantastically quick and amazing to drive.
“We wanted to respect the AC Cobra’s heritage, and while the design has taken influence from the restomod approach it has a more sophisticated feel in keeping with a classic British roadster. This, along with the race-bred personality of the original AC Cobra, means we have produced an unrivalled vehicle that’s totally modern and relevant to today’s connoisseurs – a true 21st century sports car.”
The new AC Cobra GT Roadster is expected to cost from £285,000 including VAT in the UK, with prices varying according to exchange rates and taxes in the country of delivery.
The new AC Cobra GT Roadster
Inheriting a profile rightly regarded as legendary, but delivering a revolution in design, the new AC Cobra GT Roadster is the result of more than three years’ intense investment and development. Focused on producing the most advanced Cobra ever, AC Cars is scheduled to unveil its exclusive new sports car in April 2023.
The new AC Cobra was conceived as a true grand tourer, combining speed, agility and balance with comfort and practicality. Designed to be fully road legal, meet homologation standards where applicable, and incorporate modern safety features, every aspect, from the styling through to ergonomics, has been considered.
With its own facilities in the UK and Germany, AC Cars is working with leading industry suppliers for the AC Cobra’s design and development, and construction of the new car heralds the return of European production for the company’s vehicles. In addition to its new Donington HQ, AC Cars will continue to expand its development and production capabilities in the UK.
Instantly recognisable as an AC Cobra, the new model’s styling is a measured development of the historic car’s shape, albeit with some modern attributes, and it artfully preserves the original proportions. With work from the Icona Design Group, the beautiful carbon composite body delivers crisp styling details and an overall aesthetic that is perfectly balanced and highly evocative of the cars that left AC Cars’ Thames Ditton factory in the 1960s.
Talking of the new AC Cobra GT Roadster, Samuel Chuffart, Global Design Director Icona Group, said: “The design challenge was a delicate one: to bring the AC Cobra back into a century of technology and advanced ergonomics, yet with a natural evolution that would not betray the car’s past. The finished roadster catches up on more than 50 years of progress, to offer a truly Iconic everyday super car with unmatched power and glamour. “On top of integrating important standards such as cabin space, ease of access, safety and usability, the transition of the roadster into an all-weather car required creating an important step forward. We had to allow the driver to enjoy long distance trips with all the excitement or the legendary AC Cobra, but with none of the compromises.”
The vehicle’s cutting edge, extruded aluminium space frame chassis, produced specifically by AC Cars with support from Cecomp s.p.a. in Italy, means the two seater will provide a benchmark in driving and dynamics. Extremely light and stiff, and with exceptional torsional rigidity, the chassis allows for better packaging of the powertrain, steering and suspension.
The new chassis has a wheelbase of 2’570mm, 284 mm longer than the AC Cobra Mk. VI, yet the car’s overall length has gown only 110mm, up to 4’225mm. The car’s track has also been optimised to give it a wider stance, which, along with the car’s weight distribution and centre of gravity, has drastically improved handling and agility.
In keeping with the original AC Cobra’s competition pedigree, the car’s suspension configuration and geometry has been developed in close collaboration with a professional UK race team, which has consulted for AC throughout the development period. Tuned to be compliant yet responsive, it suits the nature of this high-performance sports car and makes the most of the car’s lightweight design.
Using a V8 engine developing up to 654bhp (663PS) and 575lb ft (780Nm), and with the choice of a 6-speed manual or 10-speed automatic gearbox in a car weighing under 1500kg, acceleration will be nothing less than spectacular – with a 0-60mph sprint of approximately 3.4sec. As you would expect from such an engine, the new AC Cobra GT Roadster’s soundtrack will be equally breath-taking.
The car features a bespoke interior, designed and commissioned for the roadster to reflect both its legacy and its modern approach to sports car engineering. With a high degree of hand finishing essential to deliver the required quality, the cabin elegantly fusses both analogue instrumentation and digital technology to enhance the driving experience. The new Advanced Driver Information Center (ADIC) technology shows all relevant engine information in direct eyeline, without disrupting the outstanding interior design or creating unwanted reflections
on the windscreen.
Highly equipped as standard, the new AC Cobra GT Roadster will include features such as electric windows, climate control and a sat nav/infotainment system. A full list of options will be detailed at the car’s launch.