Classics reborn with a new modern twist

Jon Lawson

AC Cars is resurrecting its classic Cobra range with two limited edition models. To mark the number of years since the first launch, just 58 of each variant will be built.

One is powered by the current Mustang engine. Dubbed the Cobra 140 Charter Edition, referring to the number of cubic inches (2.3 litres), it produces 350 BHP and accelerates 0-60MPH in around 6 seconds. It’s available for £85,000 (around US$107,000). The other offering is called the Cobra Series 1 electric and as the name suggests is a BEV. Price for this one is around £138,000 (US$ 173,000). Power comes from a 54 KWh unit, giving a range of up to 150 miles, and by keeping the weight down to less than 1,250 kg 0-60 time is under 7 seconds. 

Both vehicles feature a host of upgrades to improve on the original handling and safety. While basically externally identical, the body is a more modern composite.

Commenting on the firm’s ability to launch new models during a pandemic, Chief Executive Alan Lubinsky said, “Our long saga reflects the many challenges of making sports cars in low volumes in the modern world. But, over the years, our belief in the brand has been sustained by the loyalty and support of AC Cobra owners worldwide. Their 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, I am convinced we have given AC a bright future”.

Aston Martin has also take a leaf from its history with a limited edition run of DB5s. Part of the ongoing Continuation programme, the new vehicle marks the firms relationship with the Bond franchise and has a load of gadgets to prove it. 

Overseen by Bond film special effects supervisor Chris Corbould OBE, the cars have revolving number plates front and rear, battering rams front and rear and a smoke screen delivery system. Inside there’s a simulated radar screen tracker map, a telephone in driver’s door and a gear knob actuator button. You can even specify a removable passenger seat roof panel. No ejector seat though.

The cars feature original DB5-styled aluminium body panels with an authentic DB5 mild steel chassis structure. They are powered a 4.0-litre naturally aspirated inline six-cylinder engine with a six-plug head, three SU carburettors and an output of of 290BHP. Transmission is a five-speed ZF manual leading to a mechanical limited slip differential.

The production run is limited to just 25 models. 

• If you like electric classics, check out this cool Mini.