The 2023 Shelby Cobra SUVs’ crazy concepts are unholy blasphemy.

AI-Generated renderings show a modern interpretation of what a Shelby Cobra-based SUV might look like.

The Shelby Cobra 427 is an American automotive icon. It’s got the brains of Carroll Shelby behind it and the might of a Ford V8 under the hood. The legacy of this high-performance roadster from the 60s still reflects in the new range of cars from Shelby American, like the brilliant Mustang GT500. Besides making an impressive line-up of high-performance coupes, Shelby also sells hot versions of the Ford F-150 pickup. But so far, there is no fast SUV in its portfolio.

If Shelby ever comes up with a high-performance SUV, it’ll surely be at the top among its peers. Currently, there is no official word from the brand on if they plan to go down this route. But what if this becomes a reality in the future? That’s precisely what these stunning AI-generated renderings shared by Instagram user Cobra Motors Labs show. They illustrate what a modern-day SUV based on the Shelby Cobra 427 might look like!

Shelby Cobra SUVs Might Piss Off Purists

The Cobra 427 has got a rich history. It was born in a unique way. The Cobra started life as an AC Ace, built in the United Kingdom by AC cars. It was using a 120 hp Bristol inline-six engine at the time. The motor offered brisk acceleration for 1960s standards, pushing the Ace from 0 to 60 mph in 9 seconds and clocking out at the top speed of 118 mph. But it was a pre-World War II engine and, by the early 60s, obviously dated.

Bristol was planning to discontinue this inline-six, which would have hung the Ace out to dry. Before that could happen, Carroll Shelby stepped in. He wrote to AC, asking them if they could build him an Ace which would be compatible to accept a V8 engine. They decided in agreement. Shelby knocked on Chevrolet’s door, asking them for a suitable motor. Chevy turned him down, fearing that such a vehicle might act as a competitor to the Corvette.

Cobra Motors Labs – Instagram

Ford, on the other hand, was looking for a Corvette rival. They offered Shelby their all-new lightweight small-block Windsor V8s for the project. The first production AC Cobra MK I came either with a 4.3-liter or a 4.7-liter Windsor Ford Engine. MK IIs only went with the latter. Things got fascinating with the Cobra MK IIIs when Ford decided to drop the small block motor in favor of the 427 V8.

With the engine upgrade, the Cobra received a bunch of other new parts too. The exterior of the roadster was also completely restyled. It now looked more jacked-up, switching from the smooth curves on the MK I and MK II.

Cobra Motors Labs – Instagram

These Shelby Cobra SUV renderings take inspiration from the MK III roadster. Though these renderings look absolutely amazing, they might piss off purists as SUVs are often considered the anti-christ to sports cars and high-performance automobiles. But the concept of high-performance SUVs is not new in the modern world. Even Dodge came up with the mighty Durango Hellcat.

These Excellent Shelby Cobra SUVs Look FascinatingCobra Motors Labs – Instagram

Though the renderings shared by Cobra Motors Labs are concept fan art, they look pretty spectacular. They look like something that’s straight out of the automotive dreamland. The Instagram post has a bunch of sweet-looking utility vehicles based on a Shelby Cobra. They all have wild styling and try to capture the visual cues of the MK III roadster. All of these renderings have bulky exterior lines, chunky wheel arches, gnarly wheels, and a lot of bling.

The AI has decently interpreted the styling bits of an MK III Shelby Cobra into the shape of an SUV and dialed it up to an 11! At first glance, they seem to have a lot of Middle Eastern influence, with flashy exteriors filled with shiny elements. Probably where they would be quite popular too.

Cobra Motors Labs – Instagram

The interior of a Shelby Cobra 427 was pretty spartan. That might not be the case if Shelby decides to make a high-performance SUV. Going against fast SUVs, like the Lamborghini Urus, Ferrari Purosangue, and others, it’ll need a cabin loaded with many luxury items and all the latest tech.

Here’s What Could Power These Wild Shelby Cobra SUVsCobra Motors Labs – Instagram

The 427 V8 available in the Shelby Cobra is a brilliant engine. It pushed an impressive 425 hp with 480 lb-ft of torque. This beast of an engine made the Cobra shoot from a standstill like a bat out of hell. However, if Shelby decides to develop an SUV, it’ll need a modern engine under its hood. The ideal fit would be the 5.2-liter Predator V8 that currently serves the Shelby Mustang GT500.

The motor pumps out 760 hp with 625 lb-ft of torque. In the GT500, it comes as standard with a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic. This combo will be perfect for an SUV based on a Shelby Cobra. Or the fine folks at Shelby decide to go for an even more aggressive motor and pick the 775 hp 5.0-liter Coyote V8 out of the F-150 Super Snake Sport. Either way, if these imaginations ever become a reality, the high-performance SUV segment will be much more exciting.


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