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Cobra-Aping Puritalia 427 Unveiled

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On: Mon, Jul 9, 2012 at 10:19AM | By: Chris Weiss

Cobra-Aping Puritalia 427 Unveiled

Truth be told, we forgot all about the Puritalia 427 roadster, which the company teased several weeks ago. A car from a little-known Italian outfit purporting to reinvent an icon was interesting for about 10 minutes; then it quickly vacated our minds to make room for more important things. Well, the car has been revealed, earning it another 10 minutes of attention.

Our first thought on the 427: What were they thinking with that teaser? A teaser should accentuate some of the stronger elements of a design, if it accentuates anything. Puritalia's had us zeroed in on the worst of the 427 - that gaping grille, leaving us to believe that it would be awkward through and through.

Our second thought: Mehhhh. It's not awkward through and through, and it doesn't look like a complete rip-off of the original Cobra. In fact, it does an admirable job at being "Cobra inspired" without being "Cobra carbon copied." That said, we much prefer Shelby's natural, flowing bulges and curves to Puritalia's sharp, calculated lines. It's not an awful design, but it's a rather unfulfilling rendition of 'American muscle meeting Italian design'.

In terms of that American muscle, the 427 relies on buyer's choice of 445-hp 5.0-liter V-8 or a 605-hp supercharged version of that same engine. The engine channels power to the rear wheels through a six-speed manual. With its modest 2,400-lb curb weight, the car should be a fun number to throw around on the track or street.

Puritalia hasn't committed to building the 427, but does call it an "exclusive item to own and designed for those (like us) who still love the pleasure of driving their own car and not be driven by it," intimating it will build a limited run. Of course, there's no word on pricing just yet.

It's not a bad alternative to a Mazda MX-5, but a Cobra for 2012 it's not.

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