If you want an actual Shelby Cobra, you better be prepared to spend some serious cash. Like many millions of dollars. Alternatively, you could buy a replica that may or may not have been well-built and well-sorted. But now there’s a new option if you’re not necessarily attached to the Shelby name: the AC Cobra GT Roadster.
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The new AC Cobra comes from AC Cars, which claims to be “Britain’s oldest active vehicle manufacturer.” It won’t be officially revealed until April, but to build anticipation, AC Cars has released a little information on the reborn roadster, including the fact that it gets a 654-hp supercharged Ford V8 and the choice of a six-speed manual or 10-speed automatic. That’s reportedly enough to accelerate from zero to 60 mph in 3.4 seconds.
It certainly won’t be cheap, though. AC Cars says it expects the new Cobra to cost £285,000 in the UK. That would make it more expensive than an Aston Martin DBS or a Bentley Continental GT Speed. So if you’re a normal person who saw this post and thought you might be able to get your hands on an actual Cobra at an attainable price, we’re sorry to disappoint.
Then again, the new Cobra isn’t a continuation of the original with LED headlights slapped on. AC Cars says it’s an entirely new design and gets an extruded aluminum spaceframe chassis that was developed specifically for the new car. According to the press release:
[T]he 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.
That’s certainly neat and all, but it’s also hard to imagine who this car is actually for. It’s not just going to cost more than a house. It’ll also be more expensive than cars from companies that have established dealer networks and service departments. It feels like you would have to be completely captured by the ‘60s nostalgia factor to ever consider buying a new Cobra over anything else in its price range. Or you’d just have to be rich enough that the novelty of the new Cobra is enough to make it the 15th car in your collection.
But hey, if you can afford it, and it’s your thing, more power to you. Enjoy the wind in your hair and the sound of that American V8 as you drive your new old British roadster. It’ll probably be a lot of fun.