500bhp lightweight promises to smash records
28 February 2008

No sane person could think that the existing supercharged version of the Ariel Atom is lacking in urge – but the Somerset-based sportscar maker has decided to raise the bar regardless, with a V8-powered version of its skeletal roadster.The “500” refers to both the supercharged 2.4 litre V8 engine’s claimed power output of 500 bhp and the target weight of 500 kilograms. Which, to spare you the maths, translates as a power-to-weight ratio of 1000 bhp / tonne. Both power and weight figures are identical to those claimed by Caterham for its forthcoming supercharged Levante. Unsurprising, as it turns out – as the Ariel shares the same Russell Savory developed motor as the Caterham. The bike-derived V8 engine weighs just 90 kg and produces peak power at a dizzy 10,000 rpm. Drive is delivered through a sequential gearbox controlled by paddle shifters. The Atom 500 will also feature both launch and traction control.The 500 will be distinguished from lesser Atoms by major twin air intakes for the intercoolers, plus a gold colourscheme for the wheels, chassis tub and bodywork. Vast carbonfibre wings sit at each end and will be capable of producing serious aerodynamic downforce. No performance figures or targets are have been released yet, but the 300 bhp Atom Supercharged blitzed all competitors in last year’s 0-100-0 challenge. According to Ariel boss Simon Saunders, the 500 should be substantially quicker and is clearly targeted at breaking records:“This is an interesting project for us and an experimental departure from what we normally produce. For a few customers the Atom 500 will be the ultimate expression of lightweight performance and represents the outer limits of what’s achievable in a road-registered car.” The Atom 500 will go on sale in the spring. Prices have yet to be finalised, but Ariel promises it will be “competitive on cost as well as performance.”

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.

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Comments
8

28 February 2008

[quote Autocar]No sane person could think that the existing supercharged version of the Ariel Atom is lacking in urge – but the Somerset-based sportscar maker has decided to raise the bar regardless, with a V8-powered version of its skeletal roadster.
The “500” refers to both the supercharged 2.4 litre V8 engine’s claimed power output of 500 bhp and the target weight of 500 kilograms. Which, to spare you the maths, translates as a power-to-weight ratio of 1000 bhp / tonne. Both power and weight figures are ...Read the full article[/quote]

Bugger me !

28 February 2008

Caparo made quite a meal of producing a 1000bhp car, and now we have two manufaturers saying they are bringing out two more as just another car in their line-up.

Should make for quite a triple test

28 February 2008

Class act.

My only problem with it is that Honda is the make of car ive never owned but always had an affection for. I must admit I have always thought if I had 30k to spare I would buy an Atom to satisfy my desire to own something Honda powered whilst also getting something frivolous. This car kind of messes that up!

28 February 2008

Thank goodness there are still manufacturers who'll produce bonkers cars like this.

29 February 2008

So, is this thing quick then?

1 March 2008

I think that an Ariel Atom with a V8 is too vulgar. What was wrong with the supercharged small i4 engine?


Ok, the 2.4 litre V8 is obviously more powerful so it should be faster. Interesting car nonetheless.

3 March 2008

I like the idea of this massively and well done to the guys for producing a totally different power package for a car that only sells in small numbers!

'not really a high revving low torque kind of guy, then try our new V8 Sir'

FANTASTIC!!! Hats off!

3 March 2008

[quote Autocar]No sane person could think that the existing supercharged version of the Ariel Atom is lacking in urge – but the Somerset-based sportscar maker has decided to raise the bar regardless, with a V8-powered version of its skeletal roadster.
The “500” refers to both the supercharged 2.4 litre V8 engine’s claimed power output of 500 bhp and the target weight of 500 kilograms. Which, to spare you the maths, translates as a power-to-weight ratio of 1000 bhp / tonne. Both power and weight figures are[/quote]

Wow I wonder how many will be write-offs- Mind you I don't mind a 500BHP insane car. You ask how fast, probably as fast as the thing can spin.

Still hats off to Aerial for being total car nutters!

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