Posted by Harish KumarApril 20, 2009 at 3:47 pm
AC cars, widely known for producing the AC Shelby Cobra range of small light weight cars are back with the Mk VI Cobra. Started in 1961 as the MkI, the car sported a 5.5 liter Chrysler V8 as its main ingredient. It all started when Carrol Shelby asked AC if they could provide him with a Cobra that had a V8. AC initially approached Chevy, who said no as they did not want a competitor to their Corvette. When AC approached Ford, they immediately agreed and provided the Ford small block V8 4.2L which formed Ford’s answer to the mighty Corvette.
Light weight and lots of power formed the base and the 1965 Cobra MkIII got a mighty 7.0 liter Ford 427 V8 that made 485 bhp in the competition model and 425 in the road version. AC Cobras had an extensive racing career. Shelby wanted it to be a “Corvette-Beater” and at nearly 500 lb (227 kg) less than the Chevrolet Corvette, the lightweight car did just that. It ate Corvettes three times a day clocking 298kmph (185mph) on the M1 motorway way back in 1964! Lets not forget shall we that this car was the main reason for introducing speed limits in the UK.
AC Cars has joined into a “long-term strategic alliance” with German company Gullwing GmbH, which will be building the new cars at its factory in Heyda.
Now, AC returns with the latest generation Cobra. It gets the trademark styling and engine. This time though, it takes a 6.2 liter Corvette engine with a modest 437 bhp for the GT version and a much impressive 647bhp in the GTS. The Cobra GTS’s weight of only 1025 kgs helps slingshot it to 62 mph in 3.3 seconds! Beat that Corvette! Special features include Gullwing doors (Is this a Mercedes Benz SLS AMG competitor too?) and a lightweight retractable hardtop although this messes with the classic bold lines of the car and is also meant to be driven without a top so that you can feel the wind blasting by your face!
The cabin is air-conditioned and is handcrafted from aluminum and is placed over a triangulated jig-welded space frame chassis. The car gets Porsche sourced 4-pot piston caliper brakes (332mm and 298mm front and rear respectively). The interior is luxurious with leather and German made carpets (why not Persian made?). Race tight suspension will be suitably adapted for on-road use.
Juergen Mohr, CEO of Gullwing, said: “For over a century AC has built cars with superb engineering, old world craftsmanship and classic designs. We feel extremely honored that we can now be part of the future of the brand.”
The MkVi was launched at the Top Marques car show in Monaco last week. The MkVi will be built in Germany and AC is expected to appoint a distribution network in Europe in the coming months to sell and maintain the AC MkVI. As for the price, the MkVI will come at a huge sum, so start saving now!
AC to launch new AC MkVI in Monaco. The UK’s oldest car marque has announced that it is building its new AC MkVI in Germany.
The AC MkVI will be launched at the Top Marques car show in Monaco on April 16. The AC MkVI, a faithful recreation of the ultimate sports car icon – the AC Cobra, is now being produced in Germany for sale in Europe. AC has entered into a long term strategic alliance with Gullwing GmbH in Heyda, Germany. The AC MkVI is being produced in a modern facility and AC is extremely proud of the quality of the finished product which is due to the skills of the craftsmen at the Heyda facility.
AC’s Chairman Alan Lubinsky summarised the main specification of the new AC MkVI:
* “The car has fully triangulated, jig welded roundtube spaceframe chassis, with racecar derived suspension, suitably adapted to be road compliant.
* 4-pot Porsche brake calipers with vented discs, 332 mm front-298 mm rear.
* Differential with variable powerlock.
* Corvette V-8 engine, 6.2 Litre, 437 bhp for the GT and 647 bhp for GTS version, both compliant to current emission laws.
* Handmade aluminium-hybrid bodies, handmade to last forever, with increased, air conditioned cabin size for taller drivers.
* Finest German carpets and leather hides, craftsman made to create a luxurious and comfortable interior”.
“AC is one of the most admired and respected marques in the world,” stated Juergen Mohr, CEO of Gullwing GmbH. “Their sports cars ignited a passion that still burns inside enthusiasts today. For over a century, the company has built cars with superb engineering, old world craftsmanship and classic designs. We feel extremely honoured that we can now be part of the future of the brand.” Alan Lubinsky added:
“There are two major new features on the AC MkVI. We are especially excited about the new aluminium-hybrid body construction on the AC MkVI. This provides the AC MkVI with a traditional aluminium finish on the bodyshell, together with a strong composite structure. In addition to this, the AC MkVI will have as standard equipment a light weight gullwing hardtop, with coupled to the standard air conditioning, will provide drivers with total all weather motoring.
The AC MkVI is an open-top sports car based on the design of the Le Mans winning AC Cobra with many of the original car’s characteristics while incorporating modern technology. The cars are not imitations – they are new generation of AC Cobra incorporating relevant advanced technology. “Every year approximately 1,500 copies of the cars AC built in the 1960s are sold in America,” says Alan Lubinsky. “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?” Weighing only about 1,025 kg, the lightweight AC MkVI GTS sports car can hit 100 kph in approximately 3.3 seconds. “The AC MkVI is wickedly addictive,” says Gullwing’s Juergen Mohr.
“One drive in this scorchingly fast sports car creates an adrenalin rush that will last a lifetime. The AC MkVI offers heritage, performance and timeless styling that stirs the soul.” The AC chassis has been at the heart of some of the most legendary cars in history. Texan Carroll Shelby imported a number of rolling chassis from AC in the 1960s to build the legendary “Cobras” that dominated international sports car racing. The Shelby American team inserted a performance tuned Ford V8 and gearbox into a chassis and body supplied by AC for the North American market. Since then AC has manufactured a car that has been imitated by numerous companies.
AC expects to appoint a distribution network in Europe in the coming months to sell and maintain the AC MkVI