Even people who know nothing about cars know what an AC Cobra looks like. It’s one of the most recognizable silhouettes in automotive history, so there should be no surprise to learn that the all-new-for-2023 model looks, even in preview images, remarkably familiar.
It’s all change underneath, though. This new AC Cobra GT roadster is said to be the work of ‘three years’ intense investment and development’, boasting innovations like a bespoke extruded aluminum spaceframe chassis and a carbon composite body. Beyond all the obvious stuff that we’ll come to, this GT Roadster should be the most usable, accommodating Cobra ever. Quite literally, in the case of the latter, with a 2,570mm wheelbase contributing to its status as the largest Cobra yet; AC says the significantly increased torsional rigidity ‘combines refinement with performance-orientated ride and handling’. There’s going to be an optional hardtop, air-con, electric windows and even some in-car entertainment. It’s not often we’ve associated Cobras with comfort, practicality, and refinement, but this new car is pitched as a ‘true grand tourer’.
Don’t worry that the Cobra is going soft for the 2020s, however. It’s still preposterously powerful, with a 663hp V8 under the bonnet and a choice of six-speed manual or 10-speed auto gearbox. AC claims that the new car will weigh less than 1,500 kg and reach 62 mph in 3.6 seconds. ‘Meticulously engineered to be exceptional’ is the stated aim for the Cobra GT Roadster, with an emphasis placed on the customisable nature of every build. Expect options aplenty, from materials to colours, to ensure each car is as individual as its owner.
With nothing more to go on than the three images that show, to be frank, a car that looks like every Cobra since Carroll Shelby created one, we’ll have to wait until the full unveiling in 2023 to learn more. Still, no need to fix what isn’t broke; a car as seductively styled as the Cobra with the performance and amenities of a modern sports car sounds mighty appealing to us, almost like a factory-fresh restomod. Buyers can register their interest on the AC website now, with a full reveal coming in the spring.
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