Here in the UK, we don’t tend to do muscle cars. They really were born in the US, out of good times in Detroit and even earlier. So, is this a bizarrely-timed April fools’ joke? Not a chance. James Martin (not the famous chef) has to my mind at least created something very special indeed. Just look at the thing! It is clearly based on the 1960’s Shelby Cobra, but brought right into the 21st century with more style than you can get from your Prada handbag.
Let’s talk about the original Cobra for a moment. It was designed by British firm AC and US company Shelby – providing something of a rather manic and definitely unique motoring icon to the times. There’s also a rumour that this is the very car that managed to scare the hell out of the police and government – so much so that it led to the 70mph speed limit. Whether that’s true or not, the AC Shelby Cobra is iconic in every sense.
This new car (the Venom) has a 4.6 litre supercharged V8 churning out a whopping 524bhp. This will be enough to do the old 0-60 sprint in around 3.4 seconds, which should certainly be enough to put hairs on your chest (or remove them if that’s your thing). This is a serious machine – not choice in the looks department either, where it appears to be an amalgamation between an original AC Cobra and a BMW Z4.
Naturally, you get the usual toys for a car that has so much power it becomes unwieldy (unless you drive a TVR every day, in which case ridiculous power, no extra controls and super danger come as standard. These toys include ABS, traction control and an auto brake system that stops you piling into a brick wall if you aren’t used to being able to hit 214mph and how your brakes handle at that speed. Naturally, you’re also investing in an F1 style carbon fibre safety cell to make sure you aren’t picked up in bits should the worst happen.
This isn’t a car that will carry you in luxury – if you want that buy an Aston Martin or a Bentley. This is a car however that harks to a bygone age. A car where we weren’t worrying about peak oil and it didn’t cost zillions per barrel. This is, in a short, an essential purchase if it comes out the concept phase unscathed and you have the requisite fat-ass wallet.
N.B. There’s no word yet on whether it’ll be built or not.