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A first look: Iconic AC Cobra reborn

By Lisa Curtiss  |  August 28, 2020

Fans of this globally iconic car rejoice – not one, but two new models are being launched – one fully electric powered, and the other a high performance four-cylinder petrol. The car’s design though retains all that’s instantly identifiable and universally adored – why change something that’s regarded as aesthetic perfection after all?

AC Cobra Series 1 Electric

A limited edition run of zero emission cars is being made – the first ever electric cars to bear the hallowed AC marque. This model is called the “AC Cobra Series1 Electric” and just 58 will be produced. The 58 number is a celebration of the 58 years since the production of the very 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 and will have a similar ladder frame, adapted where necessary for the electric drive components, including batteries.

The AC Cobra Series 1 Electric

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 the 1962 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.

The car will only be available in four colours – electric blue, electric black, electric white and electric green.

Deliveries will start in the last quarter of 2020 and cost from around the £138,000 mark.

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, priced at around £85,000.

The AC Cobra 140 Charter Edition

Keeping the AC brand alive

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.”