AC Car Group Limited today announces an exciting new venture which puts AC ownership into the grasp of a much wider circle than is possible with its existing handcrafted supercars. The AC Cobra MKIV Carbon Road Series (CRS), which will be launched in the Summer, is a £38,950 sports car which takes its visual cues from the beloved Mark IV Cobra.
The AC Cobra MKIV CRS name reflects the heritage of the new car: its close specification resemblance to the Cobra family of supercars and in particular to the current AC Superblower (the new car shares its chassis and a naturally aspirated version of its power unit). Significant weight savings have been made possible on the AC Cobra MKIV CRS through the use of an advanced specification carbon fibre body.
This body is the result of collaboration between AC and Kid Jensen Racing, owners of a leading Formula 3000 team. Protech Motorsport Ltd, an associated company of Kid Jensen Racing, will be building the carbon fibre pre-impregnated bodies at its Bordon, Hampshire, premises using a high temperature (120 degrees C) autoclave to ensure exceptional quality levels. The bodies, which utilise laminated carbon fibre cloth and thermoset epoxy resin materials technology taken directly from today's Formula 1 cars, will be assembled by AC in the ÚK. The craftsman's approach to the fit and finish (including the hand-stitched hood and tonneau cover) used on the Superblower will be applied.
AC will be launching a single-make racing programme for the AC Cobra MKIV Carbon Racing Series in the 2000 racing season.
'The CRS takes us into new territory in every sense', says Alan Lubinsky, Chairman of AC Car Group. 'It brings us into a new market and into a new and exciting construction technique. The new body material is as far removed from conventional 'plastic' cars as it is possible to be and its no surprise that amongst the very few other road cars using this material are the McLaren F1 and the Ferrari F40/F50 series. The CRS will set new standards in this sector of the market and bring high quality 'Cobra' ownership in reach of a much wider group of enthusiasts'.
He went on: 'It will also for the first time in many years put a modern AC back on the race track. Our customers will be able to participate in a single-marque race series which will swiftly earn considerable attention for them and for our new car'.
Simon Barker, Engineering Director of Kid Jensen Racing and Protech Motorsport Limited, and himself formerly Production Manager at Tyrrell, commented: 'This is a hugely exciting opportunity for us. We intend to offer this advanced and proven technology in other road-going applications and for us to begin with such a high-quality and world-renowned marque as AC is a tremendous launch platform. We are confident that this new relationship will be long-lasting and lead to other joint ventures between us in the future'.
The AC Cobra MKIV CRS will feature the naturally-aspirated version ÚS Ford 5.0 litre V8 engine used in the Superblower. This develops 225bhp @ 4200 rpm which, with the cars planned kerb weight of 1080kg, will deliver a power-to-weight ratio of 211bhp ton.
Performance will thus be electrifying - 0 to 60 mph in an estimated 5.3 seconds and a top speed of approximately 145 mph. The car will use the same five-speed gearbox as the Superblower, together with a Hydratrak limited slip differential, independent front and rear suspension, rack and pinion steering and disc brakes all round (ventilated at the front).Source - AC Cars