25 March 2016

We've brought together three accelerative pioneers for our latest quarter-mile shootout: the Ariel Atom 3.5R, Yamaha YZF R1 superbike and Monster Energy Citroen DS3 Rallycross supercar. With respective power-to-weight ratios of 471, 723, and 536bhp/tonne, it's definitely a numbers game, but the winner may surprise you. 

The Atom's 245bhp, the Yamaha's 128bhp and the Citroen's 590bhp may hint at a winner, but these outputs are of little importance when you consider the differences between the three diverse road and track weapons. Watch the video, and see for yourself which competitor comes out on top.

Join the debate


25 March 2016
While the Atom vs the Citroen was an interesting match up, why on earth would you use a near 20yr old bike that has been restricted to <130bhp? Pletherer of powerful race bikes out there, but even just a current R1 with its ~180bhp at the rear wheel would have been a better match... (Although not saying it could have taken that incredible Citroen)

25 March 2016
Why did they not use a moped instead of the very old bike with a fat man aboard?
For the best standing quarter mile on a showroom bike something like a Siuzuki Hyabusa with 200 hp is the bike of choice with a time if around 9 seconds and 137 mph terminal speed.

26 March 2016
Agreed. Very strange choice of bike seeing as the road and competition car are seen as near the best of the best for their category, why then choose a couple of grands worth of tired/ageing sports bike. That said I'd doubt many, if any current bikes would stay with the Citroen for the first couple of hundred metres.

25 March 2016
That Citroen was insane! Loved what I am guessing is the handbrake release on the first run and the crazy frequency of gear changes on the second run! Awesome car!

25 March 2016
Didn't they do this exact race, 2 years ago with a road going BMW S1000R?
If I remember rightly the bike won, comfortably. Even though it was in the wet.
Perhaps that wasn't the result Autocar wanted??

27 March 2016
But what's the point of repeating something from 3 years ago but doing it worse? In 2019 will there be the same 2 cars and a 1978 bike with an even more morbidly obese rider, tackier graphics and less info than there was from the original.

27 March 2016
I'm an Autocar fan. Been purchasing your magazine since 1977 and read the website everyday. One of my first Autocar memories is reading about the introduction of anti lock brakes by BMW.

I'm an avid reader of your reviews and road tests.

However I regret to say your Atom v DS v R1 video struck me as utterly pointless.

The race of a rally car car against the Atom has some merit but struck me as unoriginal. I was never in any doubt that the 4 wheel rally weapon would win.

I thought it was common knowledge in Motorsport that reducing weight is easier than creating more horsepower. This is why F1 drivers exist on a diet of lettuce and Coke Zero

Perhaps the Editor would be good enough to explain what the point was of including a geriatric super bike?

28 March 2016
This test was indeed done 2-3 years back by Steve Sutcliffe, and yes in wet conditions the bike won.
What sort of journo put this together? Its a bit like pitching Linford Christie against Usain Bolt.
I am a bike fan and rider, but i love all performance things on wheels this just seems the most pointless of tests, is it because the GTR lost to Ivan Lintin in the last car v bike vid?
Poor videos and road tests in the magazine are the reason why i,m a former subscriber, very pointless exercise.

29 March 2016

29 March 2016
£40,000, out of the show room, if guy martin had used one of these instead of that mildly tuned BMW s1000rr, or even a moto GP bike, David Coulthard would have been left trailing in the F1 car on the drag race that he just edged. If You had used one in this test, the result would not be what you like, so you put a fat guy on a 20 year old restricted R1 and called it a match, a bit like entering a three legged Donkey into the Grand National.
Pound for pound you will never ever get the thrill of a superbike with anything on 4 wheels.


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