Shelby’s Making 800-HP Cobras With 88-Pound Carbon Fiber Bodies

Because the Shelby Cobra wasn’t light enough already.

byMar 2, 2022 12:41 PM
Shelby’s Making 800-HP Cobras With 88-Pound Carbon Fiber Bodies
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The ethos of the Shelby Cobra has always been simple: Cram the biggest damn V8 you can find into the smallest, lightest chassis possible. For some reason, it seems so far not to have struck anyone by taking that formula to its logical conclusion by using carbon fiber. Now, though, for the 60th anniversary of Shelby American, the lightbulb has finally gone off, and Shelby will produce the resulting featherweight Cobras in tiny numbers—for a huge price.

Built in coordination between Shelby and Classic Recreations, the "Diamond Edition" Shelby Cobra has a complete carbon fiber body that weighs a mere 88 pounds, or "substantially less than a current production Shelby Cobra," a spokesperson told The Drive. Instead of hanging on a Cobra's standard tubular metal frame, it'll be mounted on a new boxed steel frame custom re-engineered by Classic Recreations, which improves on the original's suspension geometry with four-corner coilovers and components borrowed from modern supercars.

Classic Recreations' carbon fiber Shelby Cobra body, David Campbell—DPC Media

Tweaks to the transmission tunnel increase cabin space too, where buyers will find leather upholstery, a polished wood steering wheel, enough chrome to make a Boomer rise from the grave, and of course, Caroll's signature on the dashboard. Sadly, there's no Carroll Shelby-branded deodorant in the glove compartment, though.

Under the hood with its "diamond-encrusted" badge will be a 5.0-liter Ford Coyote V8, one augmented with a 2.65-liter VMP Odin supercharger, which on approximately one bar of boost will generate over 800 horsepower. Those'll travel through a six-speed Tremec T56 manual to the rear wheels, which should have no trouble launching the Cobra hard enough to make grabbing Ben Franklin off the dash impossible—by my math, it'll have around 700 horsepower per ton. As they should be, the brakes are up to the task of taming that; they're Wilwoods on both axles, with six-piston front calipers and four-piston rears.

The Diamond Edition is being produced not as a road car, but as a track special, and it's priced like you'd expect any carbon fiber track toy to be. They'll run $1.2 million apiece, and just 10 will be built. Not gonna lie, for that money I'd expect Shelby to take the Cobra to a further extreme, ideally with a billet aluminum 7.3-liter Ford Godzilla V8, though I'd settle for a set of carbon fiber wheels. Like they say, though, money doesn't buy taste, and buyers of these carbon Cobras are only guaranteed to have the former.

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