1998 AC Cobra Mark IV CRS
Star of AC Car Group Ltd's stand B2 at the London Motor Show at Earls Court this week, is its most affordable model ever: the Â£38,950 AC Cobra MKIV Carbon Road Series (CRS).
For the price of a mass-produced sports car, the CRS puts AC ownership into the grasp of a much wider circle than has been possible with its hand-crafted supercars and yet combines a high tech body with looks which are identical to the beloved Superblower.
The CRS body is the result of a new collaboration between AC Car Group Ltd and Kid Jensen Racing, owners of a leading Formula 3000 team. Its associated company, Pro-Tech Motorsport Ltd, is building the carbon fibre pre-impregnated bodies at its Hampshire premises using a high temperature (120Â¡C) autoclave. The bodies are built with the same hand laminated carbon fibre cloth and thermoset epoxy resin materials technology used in today's Formula 1 cars.
The AC CRS features a naturally-aspirated US Ford 5.0 litre V8 engine, developing 225bhp at 4200 rpm which, with the car's kerb weight of only 1080kg, delivers a power-to-weight ratio of 211bhp per tonne. Performance is therefore electrifying - 0 to 60 mph in an estimated 5.3 seconds. The car uses 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 (featuring AP Racing 4-pot callipers at the front and single-pot, floating callipers at the rear).
'Interest in the CRS has been intense since we first revealed it six months ago', said Alan Lubinsky, Chairman of AC Car Group Ltd. 'This new body material, which we share in road car applications with all leading F1 racing teams, is at the cutting edge of technology and presents CRS customers with a unique combination of advanced engineering and the legendary AC Cobra experience'. The Show car is the prize in a 'Daily Telegraph' reader promotion.