Ariel’s Forthcoming V8-Engined Atom will cost “at least £100,000”, according to the firm’s boss, Simon Saunders.
The most extreme Atom ever, the new car will be built in very limited numbers to begin with. Saunders says that it will go on sale within a few months.
The engine is Ariel’s own design and not, as was rumoured, a variant of the Russel Savory designed 2.4 litre unit used in the Caterham Levante.
Ariel’s unit has been developed by American engine designer John Hartley. Like the Levante unit, it is based on a pair of Suzuki Hayabusa engines, but much of the 3.0-litre’s structure is unique to Ariel.
The 500bhp powerplant promises to make the 500kg Atom one of the fastest accelerating cars of all time, with a potential 0-60mph time of around 2.5sec, enough to harass a Veyron.
The high price, more than three times the cost of an Atom 300, is partially due to the expense of the engine, (which accounts for around £30,000 of the price) and the £11,000 six speed gearbox.