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The AC Cobra is back for 2017 with 550 horsepower

A 378 cubic inch engine will be available in naturally aspirated and supercharged forms.

Following AC Heritage's announcement to build nine 1962-specification Cobras, which will look exactly like the first ones built back in the day, the British carmaker and restorer will now bring out a new, "reborn" version of the Cobra. The new car will go on sale next year, and it will be based on the Cobra MkIV iteration originally unveiled in the 1980s by Autokraft. There are a bunch of modern improvements, but the underlying car will remain the same, with the ladder chassis retained.

The rebirth of the Cobra is partially helped by the Low Volume Motor Vehicle Manufacturers Act, which will make small car makers exempt from the obligations big car companies have to deal with. Like the builders of new DeLoreans, the makers of Cobras will rely on the LVMVMA which allows small companies to produce limited numbers of replicas built to resemble cars produced at least 25 years ago – as long as they use a modern engine that meets present-day emissions requirements. AC Heritage's Alan Lubinsky says they are waiting for the bill to be finalized, but from here it all looks promising. According to Lubinsky's interview with Autocar, the official US-market name for the Cobra will be the Autokraft MkIV Classic, as in the 1980s. The UK price for the car is expected to be less than £100,000, or about $125,000.

In Britain, the new car will be called the AC Cobra 378, with the numerical badge reflecting the 6.2-liter engine's cubic capacity. Yes, 6.2 liters, and it's a GM unit, but beyond that we don't know much about it. This is certainly heresy for a vehicle so historically intertwined with Ford and Carroll Shelby, but we can't imagine you'll care much behind the wheel. In any event, there will be two choices, a milder version with 440 horsepower and a supercharged one with 550 horses under the bulging hood. Coupled to that engine will be a more modern gearbox, there will be power assisted steering along with power brakes, and the powerplants will have ECUs – and A/C will also be an option on this AC. AC says the 378 will be followed by a more user-friendly version, the specifics of which will be detailed later.

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