AC Cars Shows New Cobra in Geneva; American Version to Follow

February 28th, 2011

AC Cobra MkVI

In the old days—and I’m talking about 1960s old days—a friend of mine had an orange AC Ace, forerunner of the Cobra. Two liters and not a lot of power, yet when he pulled up in front of my house with his sexy blonde wife in the passenger seat, it created an indelible image.

I competed, of course, with a ’63 Alfa Giulietta Spyder (and a similar wife), but the British car had a certain raw edge, even then. Now AC, still alive after 110 years, shows off a new Cobra (above) that builds on what Carroll Shelby started in the 1960s with his very muscular sports cars.

The AC Cobra MkVI appears at Geneva and will bring joy to those who can’t forget the early Cobras, with their raw power, squirrely handling, and “forget about it” tops. Engine heat was fierce, and you battled with the elements directly in this car. But, God, they were a blast to drive.

The MkVI seems to be in the Cobra tradition, though it uses a 430-hp Corvette engine and is built in Germany. You can expect many refinements, however, along with a pricetag of close to £100,000 in England.

In the U.S., AC has had a partnership going for some years with Iconic Motors, a firm with strong engineering talent whose aim is to (finally) produce the AC Roadster (below), a supercar also built on the Cobra model. The car is a lovely redesign of the classic Cobra, but with 800 hp and 0-60 times of under 3 seconds, per the company, plus a few more details here.

Iconic AC RoadsterPrice will reportedly be around $375K, only 100 cars will be built, and they will have no top. This is maybe the one supercar in the world I would buy if I had the bucks. Details can be found on the Iconic Motors website, here. And it’s all made in America.

The AC Roadster has the kind of refinement that the Cobra never had. Does that make it worth $375K, in your opinion?

—jgoods

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  1. Randy
    March 3rd, 2011 at 09:16 | #1

    Gosh, and with a Corvette engine? I can think of at least a dozen cars in that price range that would get my attention instead.

  2. panayoti
    March 1st, 2011 at 00:01 | #2

    Huh???

  3. jgoods
    February 28th, 2011 at 17:43 | #3

    See, guys, the difference is that the AC Roadster looks like it will be a supercar with SOUL, something that most lack: The LFA definitely ain’t got it or Paris wouldn’t want it, and the 458 has it but in a superslick Italian body, like wearing Gucci loafers to the track. The Iconic version promises some of the guts and glory of the ’60s Cobras.

  4. panayoti
    February 28th, 2011 at 15:56 | #4

    Oh, no! Now I have 2 of you to contend with. Sighhh!

  5. tgriffith
    February 28th, 2011 at 14:57 | #5

    And jgoods has finally been cracked! Everyone has their breaking point, a supercar they’d love to own, and the AC Cobra is a fine choice. Still, for the coin, I’ll be found in the LFA or a 458 Italia.

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