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AC MkVI - the reborn Cobra

Stephen Dobie
14 Apr 2009

AC launches its new MkVI 'Cobra' sports car with a 6.2 V8 and up to 647bhp

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AC has brought back the classic Cobra in the shape of its new sports car, the MkVI. AC boasts that it’s the UK’s oldest car maker, but its latest model isn’t as British as you may think.

For starters, it is being produced in alliance with German company Gullwing GmbH, while underneath the bonnet lies the Corvette’s 6.2-litre V8 engine. It comes in two states of tune – the 437bhp GT and 647bhp GTS.

There’s a fully triangulated, jig-welded spaceframe chassis with ‘racecar derived suspension’, while stopping power comes courtesy of four pot Porsche calipers and vented brake discs (332mm front, 298mm rear).

The body boasts a handmade aluminium-hybrid construction. It ensures an extraordinarily light 1025kg kerb weight, resulting in the friskier GTS hitting 62mph in a startlingly sprightly 3.3sec (approx) – the stuff of supercars.

Also of note is the new removable hardtop, complete with half-length gullwing doors. In place it gives the MkVI a unique take on the Cobra look, but remove it and there’s no mistaking where the car’s ancestry lies. Climb inside and the cabin promises the finest German carpets and leather hides, as well as standard air con and increased interior space for larger drivers. It all sounds rather unlike a classic British sports car, but is no doubt a nice place to be nonetheless.

Considering the swarm of Cobra replicas that have long been available, AC’s chairman Alan Lubinsky is keen to stress the MkVI is no imitation – ‘Every year approximately 1500 copies of the cars AC built in the 1960s are sold in America. Why would anyone buy a replica when they can own an authentic AC roadster that is lighter and better and has been engineered and built to such demanding standards?’

You can see the car – and whether it lives up to those standards – at the Top Marques car show which kicks off in Monaco on April 16. European sales are set to follow, but there’s no word on price yet.

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