Automotive

AC Cars wires the original Cobra into an all-electric roadster

AC Cars wires the original Cob...
AC plans to build 58 of the Cobra Series 1 Electric cars, representing the number of years since the Cobra's debut in 1962
AC plans to build 58 of the Cobra Series 1 Electric cars, representing the number of years since the Cobra's debut in 1962
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AC plans to build 58 of the Cobra Series 1 Electric cars, representing the number of years since the Cobra's debut in 1962
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AC plans to build 58 of the Cobra Series 1 Electric cars, representing the number of years since the Cobra's debut in 1962
Classic Cobra style, modern powertrain performance
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Classic Cobra style, modern powertrain performance
Unlike some other modernized classics we've seen, AC keeps the look and feel of the original interior
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Unlike some other modernized classics we've seen, AC keeps the look and feel of the original interior
The first AC Cobra Series I Electric is on its way to receive its powertrain
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The first AC Cobra Series I Electric is on its way to receive its powertrain
View gallery - 4 images

The Cobra may be best known as a "Shelby," but it was British marque AC Cars that created it. Now that same marque is back with an innovative Cobra for the 21st century, a modern-day recreation powered by batteries. The Series 1 Electric looks exactly like the Cobra did for its original debut back in 1962, only instead of a Ford engine under the hood, it packs an electric drive. The light, lithe construction and timeless style of the AC Cobra with the immediate torque and punch of a modern electric drive promise to create an addicting ride that makes the Cobra a legend all over again.

The trend of electrifying old cars and replicas has brought many different styles of electrified classics, from high-riding 60s SUVs, to rusty, bulging-hooded 40s coupes. Not many make such instantly perfect electrification candidates as the AC Cobra, though. The car's ageless style, lightweight construction and racing pedigree combine to make it an exceptional candidate for an electric transplant, at least from where we're sitting.

Classic Cobra style, modern powertrain performance
Classic Cobra style, modern powertrain performance

AC keeps things fairly reserved, avoiding any temptation to follow the sub-trend of dumping in four-figure horsepower or five-figure torque numbers. It partners up with Falcon Electric to give the Series 1 recreation a 308-hp electric drive powered by a 54-kWh battery pack. The 6.7-second 0-62 mph (100 km/h) time seems a little underwhelming when dropping pure-electric power in a car that weighs less than 2,755 lb (1,250 kg), but we're sure it'll still be a blast to unleash on a traffic-free country road and the centerpiece of many conversations at Cars and Coffee. The 150 miles (240 km) of battery range are sure to get eaten up in a hurry once the driver really gets it going.

Beyond merely just adding in a modern e-drive, AC reworks the ladder frame to accommodate the new electric components and retunes the steering and brakes to improve handling under electric power.

Unlike some other modernized classics we've seen, AC keeps the look and feel of the original interior
Unlike some other modernized classics we've seen, AC keeps the look and feel of the original interior

Perhaps the best part of the new Cobra is that drivers will access its electric power from a cockpit that doesn't have the slightest hint of digital display or touch control. AC keeps the original look and feel with a Moto-Lita steering wheel, chrome dials and hand-stitched leather.

The first AC Cobra Series I Electric is on its way to receive its powertrain
The first AC Cobra Series I Electric is on its way to receive its powertrain

Cobra announced last week that it is delivering the first of 58 Series 1 Electric models to Falcon for powertrain installation. The £138,000 (approx. US$180,425) electric cars will start making their way out to buyers later this year. Reservations are still listed as available and require a fully refundable £2,500 ($3,275) deposit. In addition to the "electric white" pictured, the Series 1 Electric is available in electric green, blue and black.

Source: AC Cars

View gallery - 4 images
11 comments
WB
6.7?? my 35k model 3 rearwheel drive is 5.2s. I wouldn't call this a sports car... more like your grand ma's old tuk tuk...
yawood
A sports car is much more than just a 0-60 time but many people (especially Americans) find that hard to believe.
KaiserPingo
Appart that the "Originality Police" will be crying out, this is a good and great idea.
If someone ignorant thinks 6.7s is not enogh to create a sportscar feeling, I dare you to try.
AC's can handle corners AND drive straight ahead and give fun every mile.
Something US cars in general does absolutely not.
And the build quality and finish of the AC is far superior to any Model 3, any Tesla.
Well most cars are build with better finish...
Tesla's US finish is very plastic-like.
But the AC is built for people that love driving and the intimacy in the driving experience between driver and car, not for ignorant everyday US-drivers.
Malcolm Jacks
Beautiful lines, I love the old cars what character, pity some of the today manufactures dont look back more and take another look at some of the Greats old designes .
Catweazle
But it isn't going to sound like a 4.7 litre V8 with side pipes, is it?
Signguy
When you want to just drive/travel, that's not much range.
Username
Too bad it's a limited run of 58. That makes it a toy for millionaires. I wish they would go into proper production.
Ben Samways
Would you have kept the exhaust (tail) pipe and fuel cap? I might even have even re-retro'ed the grill. Gorgeous shape. Classic doesn't have to be antiquated.
Nelson Hyde Chick
I want to make an electric Cobra with one of those kits. And the iconic side pipes, make them spoilers to create downforce. Between the downforce at its sides and the lower center of gravity to the battery pack versus an engine, an electric Cobra should handle a lot better than a petrol engine one.
foxpup
A simple beautiful electric car. Why can't car makers make such things nowadays. Nobody does it. Teslas are way to gadgety and there was no effort to make the LEAF or Bolt beautiful. All others are either way to expensive or super-ugly/useless golf carts. Why can't we have an electric Miata or an actual production super-simple electric one of these, NEW? They would be fun and many people would love them.