Technology Wheels

AC’s sensational Cobra is back, 58 years after its birth, in petrol and electric versions

Simultaneously embracing the old and new, AC Cars, now officially Britain’s longest-running car manufacturer, has reincarnated and re-invented the original 1962 series AC Cobra two-seater, making it available in both petrol and electric-powered versions.

Limited to a production run of 58 cars for each variant (1962 + 58 = 2020), the new Cobras offer broadly the same stunning bodywork and strong ladder-frame chassis as the original (before the later ‘muscle’ versions spoiled the outward aesthetic), albeit allied to an up-rated steering and braking system capable of delivering the ride and handling standards expected in the modern age.

The production run is limited to 58 cars for each variant, petrol V8 or electric…

We think the 58 V8 versions will be snapped up in no time

Like its iconic ancestor, the 2020 petrol-powered version, designated the 140 Charter edition, after the size of its engine in cubic inches, uses a Ford engine, namely the 350bhp 2.3-litre item you find under the hood of the blue oval’s current Mustang. 

If the thought of buying a fossil-fuel burner in 2020 makes you slightly uncomfortable the environmentally-conscious electric option should sooth your concerns, albeit at a hefty price premium. Equipped with a 230kW power plant, the Series 1 Electric will offer a relatively leisurely 0.62mph time of 6.7 seconds (the V8 does it in 6), along with a decent range of 150 miles. 

Given its list price of £85k – almost cheap by current supercar standards – we think the 58 V8 versions will be snapped up in no time. At £138k, the battery-powered variants may well be more of a, shall we say, considered purchase. 

Ultimately, however, we think those oh-so elegant lines will prove far too tempting to resist. Kudos to AC Cars for reminding us how elegant the automotive art can be, at its very best.

An experienced PR professional who’s represented some of the world’s best-known technology brands, Kulwinder began his career as a journalist and then editor, with stints on legendary British car magazines Supercar Classics and Fast Lane.

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