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The AC Cobra is reborn – bigger and more modern, says AC Cars

The AC Cobra is reborn – bigger and more modern, says AC Cars

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Somewhere up there, Carroll Shelby is smiling.

The distinctive AC Cobra, the two-seater British roadster known to most Americans as the Shelby Cobra, is set to be reborn next year with a 645hp V8 engine and a new name: AC Cobra GT Roadster – so says AC Cars, which claims Being Britain’s oldest (122 years) carmaker and says it is nearing the end of a three-year development phase of the car.

Though details are sparse, AC says the lightweight sports car will come with a Ford 5.0 Coyote V8 with the option of a supercharged engine that produces 654 horsepower and 575 pound-feet of torque, enough to propel it from 0 to 60 miles per hour hour to send 3.6 seconds. It is mated to either a six-speed manual or a 10-speed automatic.

Featuring an extruded aluminum spaceframe chassis and a handcrafted manufacturing process developed in Italy by Icona Design Group and Cecomp Spa, the Cobra GT Roadster is the largest AC Cobra yet. The powertrain is housed in a redesigned body that’s larger than the existing Cobra – 170 inches long (14 inches longer) with a 101-inch wheelbase (11 inches longer). The car will weigh around 1,400 kilos (3,080 pounds).

The new model, the company says, won’t sacrifice any modern touches and will include air conditioning, power windows, sophisticated in-car entertainment and the option of a removable hardtop.

The car was originally released in 1953 as the AC Ace until Carroll Shelby teamed up with AC and jammed in a 260 cu in. Ford V8 to build the 1962 Cobra. Shelby had originally approached Chevrolet about an engine, but they passed. Next for Shelby was Ford, who welcomed the opportunity to market a car to compete with the Corvette.

Countless replicas and many iterations of the Cobra have been built over the years, but the first original car still exists and fetched more than $13 million at auction in 2016.

The AC Cobra GT is expected to be presented in London in the spring. No word on US availability, but more details are said to be forthcoming.

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