The Cobra is much faster than you're likely to go on public roads. The big tires, firm suspension and superb brakes give the car an impressive range of performance in all areas. Your ability to get someplace in a real hurry will be limited only by your own skills and, more to the point, the fragility of your driver's license.
The handling feel is light to the touch, and the tires generate plenty of grip, which translates as very high cornering speed capability. The ride is on the stiff side compared to mainstream sedans, but more comfortable than we expected and more supple than the Camaro Z28.
While the engine is terrific, the shifter is a little less endearing. The shift throws seem long, detracting from the ability to make quick, precise gear changes. And the relationship between the seat, steering wheel, shifter and foot pedals seems less conducive to enthusiastic driving than the Camaro or Firebird.
But somewhere in the middle of a long freeway ramp or a series of twisting mountain passes, you're going to step on the gas and feel a surge of power that's both visceral and velvety. This engine just screams for redline; it might be the sweetest engine ever installed in an American muscle car.
This is one car in which the engine alone could be worth the entire price of admission.