More than sixty years since it debuted, the AC Cobra remains one of the most scintillating sports cars ever built. Combining British-infused agility with a barrel-chested Ford V8, the uncompromising release took the automotive world by storm despite its limited production run. In the years that have passed, subsequent iterations and a thousand kit car replicas have further cemented the Cobra as a sports car with a permanent place on the bedroom walls of teenage and middle-aged car fanatics alike. Now, the fabled V8 beast is returning. The 2023 AC Cobra GT Roadster is a modern take on the much-loved 60s original and this time, AC Cars have cranked the volume right up.
More than the retro-infused styling, it is the aluminium spaceframe chassis that is arguably the biggest highlight as it brings greater rigidity and more space on the inside. The AC Cobra was never known for its stellar ergonomics but the GT Roadster has a lot more space and practicality while also being trimmed with gadgetry like navigation, electric windows, and an infotainment system.
That said, AC Cars have carefully carved out a line between providing modern amenities along with maintaining its old-world charm. The interior for example follows the basic design philosophy of its predecessor in having a pared-back styling theme while analogue controls jostle for space with digital displays.
The exterior design is very much in the restomod mould and we’re not complaining since the original is still a landmark design with its sensuous haunches being combined with classic roadster proportions. That said, it is now longer and wider while some bits like those LED lights and alloy wheels add splashes of the modern. A carbon body also enables it to rub shoulders with much more exotic cars.
In terms of the powertrain, AC Cars have not messed with the original formula and it continues to have a V8 albeit in a much more powerful state of tune with 663hp and 780Nm. Paired with a standard 6-speed manual (a 10-speed auto is optional), AC Cobra GT remains staunchly analogue in this digital infested world. 0-100 km/h is dispatched in 3.4 seconds and that’s entirely believable since there is not much mass to lug around as the car weighs ‘under 1500 kgs’.
Unlike the original Shelby Cobra, the GT Roadster won’t be as cheap and instead goes the boutique restomod way, hence, that explains its £285,000 price tag in the UK before taxes. Despite the sky-high valuation, we expect all the GT Roadsters to be lapped up in no time since it promises stunning looks along with an analogue driving experience.
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