A track car tear-up, a four-seater stand-off, 0-100-0 and the Caparo T1
29 December 2007

Our annual test of acceleration and braking came around in the first issue of August. It was a familiar story; we threw every new, powerful lightweight we could into the mix, and the Ariel Atom 300 again wiped the floor with the whole field. Again. A rain-soaked runway didn’t stop this half-tonne marvel from Somerset getting from stationary to 100mph and then back to stop in just 11.35sec. Only a handful of cars have ever done it faster, and one of them is… you guessed it, the Ariel Atom 300.It was a shame that our first drive in the one car that could have gone significantly faster than the Atom – faster even than the record-holding Bugatti Veyron – didn’t come until the end of the month; it was, of course, the 1075bhp-per-tonne Caparo T1. So what was it like? “In a word or three, absolutely un-flipping-believable,” wrote editor-at-large Steve Sutcliffe. “At a stroke it makes other track day specials such as the Lotus 2-Eleven feel like they are stuck in first gear.”August also brought us first pictures and details on two brand new twelve-cylinder British supercars, the Aston Martin DBS and Bentley Continental GT Speed. Bentley won bragging rights here, trumping the Aston’s relatively paltry 510bhp and 191mph top speed with the GT Speed’s 600bhp and 202mph tallies. The Bentley’s £30k cheaper, too.In other news, Audi released first pictures of its new A4 saloon, and Mercedes countered with a release on its C-class Estate; we brought you photographs and the full story on Jaguar’s new XF saloon and the Renault Laguna; Mayor of London Ken Livingstone confirmed plans to turn the London Congestion Charge into a carbon tax; and then there was the story of the blind Estonian who was caught at the wheel of a moving car.Hyundai’s i30 and BMW’s M3 shared August’s road test honours, both of them four-star cars. The Smart ForTwo Passion was the month’s underachiever, scoring only three-out-of-five: “As a piece of product design,” wrote our road testers “it’s appeal is undimmed, but as a car it is still flawed.”And what of our video section? Well, it was a bumper month. We brought you drive footage on the VW Golf W12 concept and Ford’s Edge Hydrogen Hybrid; we had design specials on the Jaguar XF, Aston DBS and Ford Verve; spy shots on the 2008 Mercedes SL; and a ride in Porsche’s hybrid Cayenne. Chris Harris brought us videos on the McLaren SLR Roadster, on our £40k four-seater drag race, and from Fighting Torque 2007. And we had two videos from 0-100-0.But August’s video highlight has to be Steve Sutcliffe’s drive of the awesome Caparo T1. Click below to watch it.

Our Verdict

Ariel Atom

In every form the Ariel Atom delivers thrills as exhilarating as any car can deliver. And there’s no greater recommendation than that.

Add your comment

Log in or register to post comments

Find an Autocar car review

Driven this week

  • BMW M5
    First Drive
    22 March 2018
    Super saloon deploys four-wheel drive to improve every facet of its driving experience. Faster and more capable than any, and more exciting than most, of its celebrated predecessors
  • Range Rover Sport SVR
    First Drive
    22 March 2018
    More power and an intoxicating soundtrack have breathed new life into our love affair with the biggest, baddest Range Rover Sport variant
  • First Drive
    21 March 2018
    The new Vantage has been developed as a Porsche 911 beater, and our first taste on UK roads suggests it can live up to that bold claim
  • Nissan Leaf Tekna
    The is the new Nissan Leaf
    First Drive
    21 March 2018
    The new version of the world's best-selling electric car gains a bigger battery and more power. How does it compare to rivals such as the Volkswagen e-Golf?
  • Range Rover p400e
    First Drive
    20 March 2018
    The original luxury SUV is now available as a plug-in hybrid, promising lower emissions and the capacity for silent electric motoring