Ariel is close to finalising the specification of its high-performance Atom V8 as the car enters the final stages of its development.
Powering the Atom V8 is a 3.0-litre engine originally sourced from US firm Hartley. However, Ariel’s extensive modifications mean it will be branded as Ariel’s own design and power is likely to be in excess of 500bhp. The car should be capable of 0-60mph in less than 3.0sec and a top speed close to 200mph is expected.
Ariel could produce even more power out of the engine, but the firm is keen to preserve the usability of the standard car in the V8 version despite the larger engine, company boss Simon Saunders told Autocar.
“The Atom is user friendly and we want to preserve this in the V8, he said. “It’s got to be able to sit in traffic and anyone should be able to drive our cars, not just professional racing drivers.”
The firm previous looked at using a supercharged 2.4-litre V8 engine, but it wasn’t satisfied with the power delivery it offered. Forced induction was also considered for the 3.0-litre unit, but this too was ruled out as it would remove some of the Atom’s user-friendly characteristics.