England’s XCS 427 carries on the transatlantic Cobra tradition


There have been countless takes on the Cobra since the real deal burst onto the scene in 1962. And now there’s another, lighting up its back tires with a staggering 755 hp and continuing the approach of British engineering with American firepower.

XCS, based in Saffron Walden, Essex, calls its new 427 “the most exclusive and satisfying re-imagining” of the AC Cobra. More than 90 percent of the components used in the 427 are hand-built in the U.K., with each car built to order. Would sir or madam prefer a Chevy V-8 pumping out 430 hp or 755 hp? Other engines are available, but XCS recommends the GM crate engine. A supercharged 6.2-liter Corvette ZR1 engine in a car with the weight and agility of a housefly. Where do we sign?

XCS 427 engine

The 427, which takes its name from the 427 cubic-inch V-8 engine that powered the last genuine AC Cobra models in the 1960s, uses a powder-coated, all-steel spaceframe tube chassis, which takes two weeks to build. Triangulated throughout to provide an ultra-rigid platform, elements of this exoskeleton are left exposed as visual reminders of the car’s bespoke nature. A ladder frame chassis is also available.

Every XCS 427 is equipped with the company’s cross-coupled suspension system, which uses the g-forces generated by cornering to actively counter body roll and compensate for wheel changes across the relevant axle. The patented system, invented by ex-Ford engineer Peter Walker, is standard front and rear on the premium chassis, but on the front axle only on cars with the ladder frame configuration.

XCS 427 tube chassis

It works by connecting the upper wishbone mounts across the car using a pair of cross-coupled rods. The wheels remain vertical and provide optimal contact with the road surface for maximum traction.

The spec also includes a Tremec T56 Magnum six-speed gearbox, Tilton twin-disc clutch kit and a Jaguar XF rear differential. Brakes are 330x28mm vented discs on all corners, with a Tilton pedal box adjustable to the driver’s needs.

Bodies are made in-house using hand-laid glass-fiber composite, with every 427 painted to order. Stripes are a popular choice … because Shelby! Modern or retro-style alloy wheels are available, with 18-inch rims fitted to the front and 19-inch on the rear.

XCS calls the interior “unusually spacious”, pointing to the broad footwells, low seating position, seat adjustment and adjustable pedal box. Every touch point is coated in leather, with storage provided by elasticated ruched leather door pockets. Fancy braving a 427 in the winter? Heated seats are available as an option.

Prices start from £75,000 (about $87,000 with current exchange rates), which makes the 427 more affordable than a new Chevrolet Corvette Z06. An all-American icon or a thoroughly modern homage to Anglo-U.S. legend? We wholeheartedly approve.

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Via Hagerty UK

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