What is it about an unconventional door mechanism that makes a car so much more exotic? Lamborghini gets it with the Murcielago, Benz has worked it out for its forthcoming SLS AMG and now British sportscar manufacturer AC Cars has decided to do the same with its Mk VI Cobra.
By now you are probably familiar with the imitators, but AC Cars were initially responsible for the two-seat roadster (and coupe) which found fame at the hands of Carroll Shelby in the 1960s.
This most modern interpretation of the Cobra now comes with a lightweight removable hardtop equipped with gullwing upper doors. A joint venture with German firm Gullwing GmbH (what a curiously unimaginative name) sees the Mk VI assembled by Gullwing in Heyda, Germany.
Beneath that oh-so-familiar body work lies a handmade hybrid-aluminium frame, 6.2 litre Corvette engine and four-piston Porsche brakes. Two specifications will be offered, the 326kW (437hp) GT and 482kW (647hp) GTS.
AC Cars' Alan Lubinsky says "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?"
The Cobra GTS tips the scales at just 1025kg and can sprint to 100 km/h in just 3.3 seconds.
In next few months AC Cars will establish a distribution network across Europe to sell and service its cars.
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