Ariel is gunning for Bugatti's Veyron hypercar with its long-awaited 500bhp V8-engined version of its minimalist Atom 3.
The new machine, unveiled this week after a two-year-long development process, has a power-to-weight ratio of 909bhp per tonne - more than 50 per cent better than that of Bugatti's creation, and even slightly ahead of a GP2 single-seater racing car.
The Atom V8 goes on sale early next year, priced at £150,000. Only 25 will be made.
Prototypes are still undergoing final testing, but it's already been proven that the V8 Atom can accelerate from 0-60mph in under 2.5sec and from 0-100mph in well under 6.0sec.
Ariel's targets are 2.3sec and 5.4sec respectively, eclipsing the class-leading Veyron. The Atom V8 uses a US-built, 3.0-litre, 32-valve Hartley V8 engine, originally developed from two Suzuki motorcycle engines grafted together, but much developed since.
It will be available in a choice of two power outputs: a relatively docile 475bhp version intended for easy road use and a 500bhp race version with a much more aggressive throttle map, aimed mostly at track use. The 475bhp Atom has a top speed of 170mph, while the race version can reach 200mph.
The V8 is redlined at 10,500rpm in the road-track model and 10,600rpm in the race-road and both use the same six-speed sequential Sadev gearbox. Capable of flat-shifting, the gearbox also has electro-pneumatic paddle-shifters to soften‚ gearchanges and make them tolerable for road use.