The New AC Cobra GT Roadster Is a Modern Twist on a Beloved 1960s Classic

One of the most revered sports cars of the 1960s is back.

AC Cars unveiled the new Cobra GT Roadster late last week. The sporty two-seater isn’t an overly faithful recreation of the original Cobra; it’s a thoroughly modern reinterpretation of the car that was released in the U.S. by Shelby.

More from Robb Report

The British marque’s new model looks remarkably similar to the original 427 at a glance. It has the same wide-mouth grille, circular headlamps, and shapely fenders. Spend a little more time studying the vehicle, though, and the differences start to pop out. The GT Roadster may share a curvaceous shape and several styling cues with the classic it’s based on, but it’s much larger. The car’s track has been widened by nearly 10 inches and its wheelbase lengthened by 11 inches. (The body is four inches longer in total.) These changes mean that the new version will deliver the comfort and stability one expects from a grand tourer. Despite being bigger, the car tips the scales at less than 3,200 pounds, thanks to a carbon-composite body that weighs just 110 pounds and a spaceframe chassis made from extruded aluminum.

The AC Cobra GT Roadster from the side
AC Cobra GT Roadster

The mix of old and new continues inside the vehicle. The cabin features a distinct retro look but isn’t actually based on that of the original Cobra. The instrument panel, which stretches to the middle of the dashboard, features analog gauges to help you monitor the vehicle’s status. There is still a touchscreen infotainment display: It’s just hidden away between the center console and dashboard, while everything else is controlled via analog switches with haptic feedback. The two seats are covered in premium leather and there are saddle-bag door cards for storage.

Creating a car that looks like the original Cobra was just half the battle, though. AC also needed to deliver a car that was just as fun to drive, and it sounds like the GT Roadster might be able to do just that. Buyers will have two 5.0-liter Coyote V-8 power trains to choose from—a naturally aspirated variant that promises to deliver 454 hp and 420 ft lbs of torque and a twin-supercharged version that generates 654 hp and 575 ft lbs of torque. With the first option, you’ll be able to zip from zero to 62 mph in 4.5 seconds and hit a top speed of 155 mph. With the second, you can accomplish the first feat in just 3.2 seconds and hit a top speed of 173 mph. There are also two transmissions to pick between, too—a six-speed manual and a ten-speed automatic with paddle shifters. We have a feeling about which gearbox most enthusiasts would pick.

Inside the AC Cobra GT Roadster
Inside the Cobra GT Roadster

AC Cars plans to build 250 examples of the Cobra GT Roadster each year. The first year’s allocation has already been spoken for, but you can fill out an inquiry form on the marque’s website if you’re interested in the road-legal sports car. Pricing information has yet to be released, but we imagine the new version will cost less than the seven-figure sums well-maintained example of the original regularly go for.

Click here for more photos of the AC Cobra GT Roadster.

Best of Robb Report

Sign up for Robb Report's Newsletter. For the latest news, follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

Click here to read the full article.