Having cropped up only to disappear again numerous times over the last few decades, the AC brand is back. And, of course, the British marque has returned with its most iconic product – the Cobra.
The composite bodywork closely follows that of the original car – known as the Ace before it received a Shelby-fettled Ford engine – and it even still uses the same design of ladder frame as the car from the 1960s. Under the bonnet is the engine from a Mustang, but we’re not talking about the 5.0-litre Coyote V8.
Nope, the new-old Cobra ‘140 Charter Edition’ has been given the 2.3-litre Ecoboost inline-four, here producing 350bhp. That’s plenty for a car weighing 1100kg, but the acceleration figure is a little slower than we’d expect at “about six seconds”. Given that the Mustang which donated the engine is faster despite being less powerful and several hundred kilos heavier, we’re assuming AC’s number is a conservative one.
The inline-four probably won’t produce the most inspiring noise, so how about a Cobra that makes almost no sound at all? Alongside the Charter Edition is the Series 1 Electric, driven by an electric powertrain providing the equivalent of 308hp and 369lb ft of torque.
It has a range of up to 150 miles, and is slightly heavier than the 140, tipping the scales at 1250kg. Again, though, the 0-62mph figure is weirdly slow considering the power-to-weight ratio, at 6.7 seconds.
Deliveries of both cars are set to begin during the last quarter of 2020. The Charter Edition is by far the cheapest of the two, with the launch version – limited to 58 units – coming in at £85,000. The Series 1 Electric, meanwhile is £138,000.
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