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July 1, 2020

Will You Buy an P 8.5-million Zero Emissions Shelby Cobra?

What’s the world gone to? A Cobra with less than a V8 under the hood? Really? What would the late Carroll Shelby think? Well, that’s exactly what happened on the other side of the pond with British carmaker AC Cars and their new 2021 Cobra range.

If the name and shape are familiar, they should be—they’re sold as the Shelby Cobra in the U.S. The car in question may look like the 1962 original (which happened to fit a Ford V8 engine), but it’s been remade for the 21st century with, get this, an all-electric powertrain.

AC Cars says the Cobra Series 1 electric will be based off the original AC Cobra down to its ladder frame construction. However, it’s been adopted to fit the electric drive components and is made of lightweight composites. Likewise, the steering, brakes, and so on have been beefed up to take the instantaneous torque.

AC Cars says this reinterpretation of the Cobra Series 1 packs a 54-kWh battery enough for a range of 241 kilometers on a single charge. Power outputs are 313 horsepower and 500 Nm of torque. Weighing less than 1,250 kilograms, it can hit 100 km/h in 6.7 seconds.

The price? Oh, 138,000 British pounds or P 8.506 million.

Now, if that’s too sacrilegious for you (or too expensive), what about an AC Cobra fitted with a turbocharged 4-cylinder under the hood? Well, that’s where the AC Cobra 140 Charter Edition comes in.

At “just” 85,000 British pounds or P 5.238 million, the AC Cobra 140 Charter Edition continues with the iconic Ford connection. In this case though, it borrows the 2.3-liter EcoBoost 4-cylinder engine found in the latest Mustang.

For its application in the AC Cobra though, power has been upped to 350 horsepower and torque to 440 Nm. According to AC Cars, this 140 Charter Edition reaches the 100 km/h in about 6 seconds and will weigh around 1,100 kilograms.

These hand-built cars aren’t cheap, but with just 116 cars going to be built, they’re mighty exclusive. Is AC Cars confident that they’ll sell all of these? Well, they do mention that they’re the longest surviving UK car brand. They were founded in 1901.

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