Superformance has managed to establish a very solid reputation for producing replicas that faithfully emulate a wide range of 1960’s cars including the Shelby Cobra. The Shelby Cobra replicas in particular have morphed into a core piece of the broader business, with the firm even receiving a licensing deal from Shelby themselves (a rarity for many replica makers.) But for this particular project, Superformance pitched historical accuracy, and instead embraced their dark side to unleash a very potent beast for the track.
Dubbed the MKIII-R the basic design shares much of its core DNA with the old-school Shelby Cobra, but look around, and it becomes very evident that Superformance engineers have been busy completely revamping the model for use on the track. The design may be controversial to some, but the changes are all functional with a massive deep splitter being nestled underneath the front bumper. The rear fascia meanwhile gains a rear diffuser, and the fenders feature larger air vents with the nose even having a vent above the radiator opening. Optional side strakes are also mounted on, but buyers that are not into that sort of thing can ask for those particular items to be removed. The MKIII-R will also feature a very high degree of customization opportunities, with buyers being able to choose from any color and trim combination. The interior is designed for two, but comes equipped with top stitched leather seats with dual stitching being done with contrasting color threads. The center console is also splashed with leather accents, and like the exterior, the upholstery can be customized in a whole myriad of ways.
But while the skin of the MKIII-R is very attractive to look at, and could also serve as a very good subject for a bedroom poster. The bulk of the changes are found underneath the seductive skin, and they bring their own form of controlled mayhem to the equation. The new model uses the same square tube frame chassis that also sees duty in other MKIII roadsters, but that’s roughly where the similarities end, and the differences power their way into the spotlight. A fully independent suspension is nestled into all four corners, and features unequal length upper and lower control arms with coil springs and Bilstein sourced shocks. A limited slip differential sits at the rear of the car, and four piston front disc brakes and single piston disc brakes are on hand to help bring the roadster to a stop from any speed. Buyers can upgrade to optional six piston front calipers just in case they need extra stopping power for vigorous track work, or even epic road trips down windy sections of road.
Typically at this point we would discuss the engine and transmission that would be equipped to the R, but like other MKIII models, buyers have to purchase and install those items themselves. Superformance claims that the car is designed to accept a Ford V8, with either a 5-speed Tremec manual gearbox or a four speed “top loader” transmission. The replica builder was even kind enough to share images of their blue photo car which is equipped with a Rousch 427 ci V8 good for 510 horsepower and 515 lb-ft of torque. It is mated to a 5-speed manual and is a lightweight with the car only weighing in at 2,400 lbs. For those that are truly power hungry, Superformance offers a list of suggested engines, including another Rousch sourced V8 that can make 550 horsepower and 560 lb-ft of torque. The only limits that appear to exist here are those of your wallet as well as your skills when it comes to pairing the engine and transmission together.
Superformance only plans to build 20 of these special roadsters each year, with the base MKIII R starting at $79,900. That’s before the cost of the engine and transmission are factored into the equation, as well as any optional goodies such as a soft top, stereo, push button start, the fore-mentioned brakes, and air conditioning.
Carl Malek has been an automotive journalist for over 10 years. First starting out as a freelance photographer before making the transition to writing during college, his work has appeared on numerous automotive forums as well as websites such as Autoshopper.com.
Carl is also a big fan of British vehicles with the bulk of his devotion going to the Morgan Motor Company as well as offerings from Lotus, MG, and Caterham. When he is not writing about automobiles, Carl enjoys spending time with his family and friends in the Metro Detroit area, as well as spending time with his adorable pets.