2021.06.21.  7,702 reads Fastest and most powerful of all time.  AC Cobra Super Blower Autocar Korea 6

2021.06.21. 7,702 reads Fastest and most powerful of all time. AC Cobra Super Blower Autocar Korea 6

As many of you may not know, AC Cars celebrated its 120th birthday this year. We didn’t know either. No wonder this little sports car maker disappeared years ago. It’s not unreasonable to think that the company’s legacy consists only of numerous replicas and kit cars of its most famous product, the British-American Cobra.

In fact, AC never disappeared. Since the late 1990s, the business has been quietly conducted under the direction of its current owner, Alan Rubinski. But only recently has there been a concerted effort to bring the brand back to the spotlight.

It started with the Cobra MkIV 378, released three years ago, followed by an all-electric version of the more retro MkII recently unveiled in line with today’s trends. But it will be this new superblower that pumps the adrenaline of those with V-powers rather than the voltage flowing through the veins.

With 580 horsepower, this car is the fastest and most powerful Cobra ever. (A great achievement considering AC’s old catalogue)

It looks almost identical to the 1960s original, but this time with a few important changes. For example, the curved body is made of a composite material rather than aluminum. A purist might object (it weighs 20kg more, but it’s cheaper), but the glossy paint and consistent finish with panel gaps are impeccable.

The Cobra’s classic style is fantastic and has a great finish inside and out.

The fact that this Cobra’s V8 was sourced from its biggest competitor, GM, rather than its old partner, Ford, is a change that will upset enthusiasts. Still, if they take a look at the neatly installed 6.2L displacement supercharged LSA, the disappointment will certainly not last long. A new transmission is also a Tremek 6-speed manual, which drives the rear wheels via a limited-slip differential.

The interior of the new Cobra is basic but beautifully crafted, with hand-stitched leather, a lovely thin-rim, three-spoke steering wheel, and a series of Smith dials. There is an annoying fabric roof or covering for the weather, but today the skies are blue and the sun is shining so we decided to sunbathe.

If the big V8 in this car comes to life and you don’t laugh like a madman, you need to check your health. The pulsating V8 at idle is literally the heart of the car. It transmits pulsations through the skeleton according to the slight movement of the throttle, and it swells, burps, and rattles through the side exposed 3,500-pound exhaust.

The AC feels surprisingly modern to drive. The hydraulic clutch and power steering are light and precise, and the long, forward-looking gear levers look odd, but in reality they operate easily and precisely, allowing for careful maneuvering.

To be fair, it doesn’t really matter what gear you choose, as the V8’s massive torque wall means the Cobra follows the smallest bends in your right foot.

This is not an engine that soars into the sky. But it reacts immediately. And you’ll be mesmerized by how you relentlessly gather speed. AC expects the Superblower to hit 60 miles per hour (97 km/h) in less than 4 seconds, but I’d vote for it to be faster than that.

Thanks to the amazingly fast steering, the superblower turns smartly. Relatively soft suspension and huge rear tires of cross-section 295 produce impressively strong traction. But when cornering at high speeds, the Cobra gets a bit uncomfortable due to the chassis’ stretch and relatively soft damping, and the tire’s high, flexible sidewall combination that creates ambiguity in the mid-corner.

That said, if you want something sharper and stiffer, the AC can adjust the geometry of the multi-link front and rear suspension, dampers and springs.

Either way, this car is at its best when you simply want to enjoy your journey in comfort. A striped bonnet, riveted with long fenders and power bulges, unfolds over the thin-rimmed windshield to create a spectacular view, followed by the wonderful exhaust sound from below. And always enjoy the sounds, smells and sights of the surroundings.

Written by James Disdale

AC Cobra Superblower

Comparing it to modern capabilities misses the point.
This is purely a luxury for your own enjoyment.

price £129,500 (KRW 22.25 million)
engine V8, 6162cc, supercharged, gasoline
maximum output 580hp/6300rpm
maximum torque 76.7kg·m/6300rpm
gearbox 6 speed manual
weight 1250kg
top speed 250km
0 → 100km/h acceleration 4.1 seconds
Fuel efficiency na
CO2 na
rival Morgan Plus Six, Caterham 620R, Ariel Nomad

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