AC CARS - Limited Edition Cobra Series 1 Electric

AC CARS - Limited Edition Cobra Series 1 Electric

Rarely is a motoring icon reborn and updated at the same time, which makes the two new models in the 2020 AC Cobra range announced last week all the more interesting.

Each new model runs a very different powertrain to the other. The first, an all-new, purposely-designed electric powertrain and the second, a brand new high-performance four-cylinder petrol engine sourced from the latest Ford Mustang.

The powerplants are packaged by an instantly recognisable body – a truly graceful sports car with proven muscle car credentials – the AC Cobra.

AC Cobra Series 1 electric

With an exclusive, limited run of just 58 cars, AC Cars has launched its first zero-emission car, the Cobra Series 1 Electric. The 58 number is a celebration of the 58 years since the production of the first AC Cobra, one of the most iconic cars ever built which, when it was launched in 1962, featured a small-block Ford V8 engine which did so much to create the AC Cobra’s unique pedigree.

The Cobra Series 1 Electric is priced at £138,000 plus OTR charges and will be based on the original AC Cobra. The car will have a similar ladder frame, adapted where necessary for the electric drive components, including batteries. The car weighs a tad less than 1,250kg.

There are a number of upgrades including steering, brakes and so on – all designed to provide ultimate 2020 standards of ride and handling, while offering no compromise the 1962 style and appeal of the readily identifiable bodywork. The body will be constructed of high-grade composite and the car will have a traditional AC Cobra interior.

The battery capacity is 54kWh which offers around 150 miles of range with a 6kW charging capacity talking around 8-9 hours to charge. The electric motor which drives the rear wheels delivers 304hp and 500Nm of torque. The electric Cobra is quick off the mark with 0-62mph accomplished in a respectable 6.7 seconds.

The Cobra Series 1 Electric is available in four colours – blue black, white and green. Orders are open now at, and first deliveries are expected to commence in Q4/2020.

AC Cobra 140 Charter Edition

Similar in detail and identical in appearance to both the 1962 original AC Cobra and to the Series1 electric model described above, the Cobra 140 Charter Edition is named in the traditional AC style for the size of its petrol engine in cubic inches.

Also limited to a production run of just 58 units, the 140 Charter Edition has the 2.3-litre engine as deployed in the current Ford Mustang. AC Cars says that this new model is a tremendous car for the times, being a light traditional sports car and having a light engine of such high power as to provide a very traditional feel and driving appeal.

The four-pot turbocharged Ford engine develops around 350hp and 440Nm of torque, completing the 0-62mph in around six seconds. Without the added weight of the electric Cobra’s battery bank, the 140 Charter Edition weighs in at approximately 1,100kg.

This car will share the handling and performance upgrades of the AC Cobra Series 1 electric, but will be available in a wider palette of colours.

Order books are also open for the petrol-engined Cobra 140 Charter Edition and first deliveries are also expected to commence in Q4/2020.  The suggested retail price of the car will be £85,000. 

Ownership and pedigree

At such a time of upheaval in the global auto industry, that AC Cars is able to contemplate a fully thought-through survival strategy is largely thanks to the strengths and perseverance of the UK’s oldest car brand, founded in 1901.

“Our long saga reflects the many challenges of making sports cars in low volumes in the modern world”, said Alan Lubinsky, Chief Executive of AC Cars.

“But, over the years, our belief in the brand has been sustained by the loyalty and support of AC Cobra owners worldwide. Their continued faith has given us the motivation to keep on striving to give AC a future – and with these superb new products, engineered not just for today but for tomorrow and beyond, I am convinced we have given AC a bright future.

“We have more exciting plans ahead but our current focus is to get these 116 cars built, sold and out where they should be – on the open road where they belong”, he added.

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By Wayne Gorrett

Wayne has been covering developments in the UK's automotive sector for over 10 years, providing news, reviews, first-drive impressions and opinion pieces for a number of print and web outlets in the UK and South Africa. A former marketing director, Wayne is based in a rural village near Winchester, Hampshire. You can follow him on Twitter: @WaynesWorldAuto Facebook: WaynesWorldAuto Instagram: WaynesWorldAuto