Ariel Atom V8: 500 horsepower, 1,100 pounds

February 28, 2013
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Ariel Atom V8

 If you thought the latest iteration of the Ariel Atom was wild, the U.K.-based sports car manufacturer has a new Atom that will likely leave you breathless. In response, no doubt, to the 500 horsepower Catherham 7 RS, Ariel is using the same supercharged, 10,000 rpm, 2.4-liter V-8 in its own road rocket — a mighty improvement;over the 245 horsepower, 2.0-liter VTEC Honda I4 in the current Atom 3. The engine, co-developed with RS Developments, will feature five valves per cylinder, a dry sump oil system, and a Sadev six-speed paddle-shift sequential gearbox.

More of a road-going formula car than anything else, the majority of the new Atom’s bodywork will be made from carbon fiber — helping to pare weight down to a paltry 1,102 lbs. Of course, that means that the car will feature a power-to-weight ratio of nearly 1,000 horsepower/ton. Very impressive stuff.

As would be expected, other components have been replaced or revised to cope with over double the power of the Atom 3. Four-piston Alcon brake calipers are found at all four corners, Dynamag wheels are fitted, the suspension wishbones get a new aerodynamic shape, and a rear wing gives the Atom some well-deserved downforce over the rear axle. Launch and traction control will both be fitted as standard — a very good idea, we think.

No word yet on price or availability, but here’s a photo to ogle while you’re waiting. In the meantime, it might be a good idea to polish up your race helmet. You’re definitely going to need it to drive this windshield-less beast around.

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