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New AC Cobra GT Roadster

AC Cars celebrates anniversary with production of AC Cobra GT Roadster at UK facility and bigger Donington Park HQ, as it wraps next model for reveal

Starting with a clean-sheet design, the AC Cobra GT Roadster is a cutting-edge modern sports car, produced using the latest technology and engineering processes

  • Britain’s oldest active vehicle manufacturer originated March 8th, 1901
  • Production of AC Cobra GT Roadster at company’s advanced UK facility
  • Once again powered by the V8 petrol engine delivering up to 654bhp
  • AC Cobra GT Roadster client test drives begin in spring at Donington HQ
  • AC Cars to reveal AC Cobra GT Coupe spring 2024
  • Starting from 240,000.00 GBP

AC Cars, Britain’s oldest active vehicle manufacturer, is celebrating its 123rd anniversary with three milestones. Not only is production of the all new AC Cobra GT Roadster already underway in the UK, but the marque’s Donington Park HQ has expanded and it’s just wrapped up the design for the reveal of its next model- the AC Cobra GT Coupe.

March 8th, 1901 is forever set in AC Cars’ history, as it’s the day the Weller brothers established their company as engineers, repairers and manufacturers of motor cars and motor cycles in West Norwood, London. This was the company that would later change its name to AC, following the launch of the popular Autocarrier in 1904.

123 years later, AC Cars is meeting its promise to deliver the first examples of the stunning AC Cobra GT Roadster this year. The cutting edge new sports car is being produced in a 100,000sq ft facility located on the UK’s south coast, which has room for expansion but is already complete with bespoke studios, additive manufacturing and tailor-made assembly halls.

With the first year’s production now allocated, AC Cars’ expanded HQ and R&D centre at the historic Donington Park in the UK is the ideal base for client test drives and future demonstrations of the AC Cobra GT Roadster. Initially only for clients with scheduled orders, the test drives will allow the full performance and drama of the V8 sports car to be appreciated. Open to clients and visitors alike, the new facilities at Donington will also provide a brand centre for the famous marque and in time will house the company’s archives.

As part of the birthday celebrations, AC Cars has also released the first details of a new addition to the AC Cobra GT range, the AC Cobra GT Coupe. Revealed this spring, and based on the same novel vehicle architecture as the roadster, the new coupe is now available for reservation and includes the same performance credentials and hand-finished interior, but with a fixed head-design.

The first ever iteration of the iconic AC Cobra to be designed as a coupe, it retains the same aesthetic touch points as the GT Roadster but with the practicality of a fully enclosed cockpit. With a specification on a par with the existing car, the new coupe offers AC Car’s clients a differentiated choice as the company begins to expand its range. Officially unveiled later this year, the coupe is just one part of AC Cars’ exciting future plans.

Speaking of the latest announcement David Conza, Chief Executive Officer of AC Cars, said: “With UK production growing rapidly, our expansion at Donington Park underway and the first clients scheduled to drive cars, AC Cars is looking ahead. I’m delighted to announce our next model, the AC Cobra GT Coupe, a car which has already been incredibly well received by clients. Our continued investment plan has allowed us to place the people, equipment and facilities needed as we further commit to future models.”

The new AC Cobra GT Roadster is expected to cost from £285,000 including VAT in the UK, with prices varying according to exchange rates and taxes in the country of delivery.

AC Cars charges ahead
The news of UK production, the expansion of its operations at Donington Park and the announcement of the new AC Cobra GT Coupe means that AC Cars is on schedule after the first details of an all-new model were shared in 2022.

Unique in their combination of enduring aesthetics with cutting-edge design and construction techniques, the new AC Cobra GT Roadster and GT Coupe represent a level of performance and exclusivity unheard of in any previous iteration of the AC Cobra.

Taking a clean sheet approach, inspired by the original automotive icon, the AC Cobra GT range is nothing short of revolutionary. With a unique aluminium chassis, and a thunderous 5.0-litre V8 engine, the sports cars’ visual appeal draws on the ethos of the original yet catches up on 50 years of design evolution.

Echoing AC Cars’ factory in Thames Ditton in the 1960s, the new site on the UK’s south coast focuses on the highest quality of craftmanship, with skilled team members building each car to an exacting specification.

Extremely light and with exceptional torsional rigidity, the AC Cobra GT Roadster and GT Coupe’s advanced construction requires fastidious production techniques in order to meet the high standards of both AC Cars and today’s supercar collectors.

The development of the south-coast site is already underway, bringing all the crafts and disciplines required under one roof, allowing AC Cars to refine its manufacturing systems as it increases production.

The new site joins the company’s enhanced HQ and R&D facility at Donington Park, which has served in the development of new vehicles. The additional space and facilities at the historic race circuit will allow for the possibility of a driver academy and even race operations in the future.

The new AC Cobra GT Roadster

Inheriting a profile rightly regarded as legendary, but delivering a revolution in design, the new AC Cobra GT Roadster is the result of more than three years’ intense investment and development. Focused on producing the most advanced Cobra ever, AC Cars is scheduled to unveil its exclusive new sports car in April 2023.

The new AC Cobra was conceived as a true grand tourer, combining speed, agility and balance with comfort and practicality. Designed to be fully road legal, meet homologation standards where applicable, and incorporate modern safety features, every aspect, from the styling through to ergonomics, has been considered.

With its own facilities in the UK and Germany, AC Cars is working with leading industry suppliers for the AC Cobra’s design and development, and construction of the new car heralds the return of European production for the company’s vehicles. In addition to its new Donington HQ, AC Cars will continue to expand its development and production capabilities in the UK.
Instantly recognisable as an AC Cobra, the new model’s styling is a measured development of the historic car’s shape, albeit with some modern attributes, and it artfully preserves the original proportions. With work from the Icona Design Group, the beautiful carbon composite body delivers crisp styling details and an overall aesthetic that is perfectly balanced and highly evocative of the cars that left AC Cars’ Thames Ditton factory in the 1960s.

Talking of the new AC Cobra GT Roadster, Samuel Chuffart, Global Design Director Icona Group, said: “The design challenge was a delicate one: to bring the AC Cobra back into a century of technology and advanced ergonomics, yet with a natural evolution that would not betray the car’s past. The finished roadster catches up on more than 50 years of progress, to offer a truly Iconic everyday super car with unmatched power and glamour. “On top of integrating important standards such as cabin space, ease of access, safety and usability, the transition of the roadster into an all-weather car required creating an important step forward. We had to allow the driver to enjoy long distance trips with all the excitement or the legendary AC Cobra, but with none of the compromises.”
The vehicle’s cutting edge, extruded aluminium space frame chassis, produced specifically by AC Cars with support from Cecomp s.p.a. in Italy, means the two seater will provide a benchmark in driving and dynamics. Extremely light and stiff, and with exceptional torsional rigidity, the chassis allows for better packaging of the powertrain, steering and suspension.

The new chassis has a wheelbase of 2’570mm, 284 mm longer than the AC Cobra Mk. VI, yet the car’s overall length has gown only 110mm, up to 4’225mm. The car’s track has also been optimised to give it a wider stance, which, along with the car’s weight distribution and centre of gravity, has drastically improved handling and agility.
In keeping with the original AC Cobra’s competition pedigree, the car’s suspension configuration and geometry has been developed in close collaboration with a professional UK race team, which has consulted for AC throughout the development period. Tuned to be compliant yet responsive, it suits the nature of this high-performance sports car and makes the most of the car’s lightweight design.

Using a V8 engine developing up to 654bhp (663PS) and 575lb ft (780Nm), and with the choice of a 6-speed manual or 10-speed automatic gearbox in a car weighing under 1500kg, acceleration will be nothing less than spectacular – with a 0-60mph sprint of approximately 3.4sec. As you would expect from such an engine, the new AC Cobra GT Roadster’s soundtrack will be equally breath-taking.

The car features a bespoke interior, designed and commissioned for the roadster to reflect both its legacy and its modern approach to sports car engineering. With a high degree of hand finishing essential to deliver the required quality, the cabin elegantly fusses both analogue instrumentation and digital technology to enhance the driving experience. The new Advanced Driver Information Center (ADIC) technology shows all relevant engine information in direct eyeline, without disrupting the outstanding interior design or creating unwanted reflections
on the windscreen.

Highly equipped as standard, the new AC Cobra GT Roadster will include features such as electric windows, climate control and a sat nav/infotainment system. A full list of options will be detailed at the car’s launch.

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