• Mar 2, 2008

Oh Dear Lord. That's all that comes to mind when looking at the images that have just surfaced of the new Ariel Atom 500. But maybe that's not the right expression, because this is not the car you'll be driving to church. We can think of other Sunday uses for it, though, ones that will probably have you praying for your life faster and louder than any preacher's sermon.

In fact, the V8-powered Ariel Atom 500 will probably have you doing a lot of things faster and louder than anyone or anything before. Even these details and the photo you see above arrived quicker than we expected after our initial report. Its specs, as well as its styling, would be right at home in a Formula One pit lane: a 2.4-liter V8 with 5-valve cylinder-heads and a supercharger producing over 200 horsepower per liter (!) in a package that weighs in at less than one ton (!!). That means (quick calculation...carry the two) over 1000 hp per ton, nearly twice that of the Bugatti Veyron. To keep it all cooled, earth-bound and visually obscene, the new image released of the Atom 500 reveals a pair of new intakes to feed the intercoolers and some big, race-spec carbon fiber wings. Ariel will be building the beast alongside the Honda-powered versions (which by comparison now seem like go-karts) at its new factory in Somerset, England, from which the first vehicles will be delivered within a couple of months from now, by which time Ariel might let us know how much the bonkers Atom 500 will cost. Our bank managers (and life insurance agents) are standing by.

[Source: PistonHeads]



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  • 27 Comments
      • 6 Years Ago
      Can't wait for my new avatar pic!
        • 6 Years Ago
        How do you resize your pictures to fit for an avatar?
      • 6 Years Ago
      holy hell...

      0-60 in 2.?
      • 6 Years Ago
      I think there is mistake
      ==========
      2.4-liter V8 with 5-valve cylinder-heads and a supercharger producing over 200 horsepower per liter (!) in a package that weighs in at less than one ton (!!). That means (quick calculation...carry the two) over 1000 hp per ton
      ==========
      It weights about 500kg, not just "less than 1 ton". That's why we get 1000hp per ton.
      • 6 Years Ago
      I would ask the math be rechecked.
        • 6 Years Ago
        yeah, it's 1000bhp/*metric* ton(ne)

        Us Americans might do better to think of it as less than 2.2 pounds per hp.
        Of course it is all academic anyways because even with sticky tires this car is likely going to be traction limited until the aero starts kicking in. Even with the extra weight, AWD would drop the acceleration figures on this car substantially.
      • 6 Years Ago
      This is INSANE.
      • 6 Years Ago
      0-60 probably is close to the 0-60 of the Atom with the supercharged Honda motor...Only so much you can do without drag tires! Speaking of tires, why does it have such tiny ones on it? That's gotta be scary. On the subject of tq, it weighs "a tonne" which mean it dont need much a that dang tq stuff. Bitch is gonna haul!!
      • 6 Years Ago
      I'm only surprised that someone hasn't already done something like this. The US-spec Atom uses the GM Ecotec, and GM Performance Parts sells the parts to take that engine (turbocharged) up over 500hp and probably with much more low end torque.
        • 6 Years Ago
        they have done it, well sortof a work in progress. the dp cars guy, see dpcars.net - the "bikini" project.

        but also check out his DP1 car.. even more insane than this ariel monster.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Displacement gives you torque, not cylinder count. While it is a V8, but it's also a 2.4L V8 which is in the same range as an Ecotec. It is also based on a bike engine, so is insanely high revving. Peak torque for the Atom 500 is listed as 300lb*ft at 8500 rpm. Even with a supercharger, I doubt the torque is much to brag about below 4000-5000 rpm.

        Something to consider is a *stock* DI turbo ecotec already makes a steady 260lb*ft from 2500 to 5250 rpm. What was that about turbos not helping until higher in the powerband? A larger turbo would spool later but would likely be making peak boost at half the rpm's of the Atoms peak torque. So, yeah, a turbo I4 can have better low end than a blown V8.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Wait, you're comparing a turbocharged I4 (Ecotec) to the supercharged V8 offered in the Atom, and you're telling me the I4 would have more low-end torque? Do you even know the differences in super- and turbocharging, let alone the advantages of each? FYI, you're going to get more low-end torque in a supercharger because it's a supercharger, compared to a turbocharged-vehicle not activating said turbocharger until higher in the power band (hence, *not* low end). Oh yea, it's also a V8, so even N/A I would expect the V8 to have more low-end torque as its base.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Ariel: makers of fine Formula 1 cars since... well, i dont know but DAMN that thing looks insane.
      • 6 Years Ago
      While working on a televised car review, Top Gear host Jeremy Clarkson lost consciousness while driving a car. Due to the exposure of massive G-forces his spine flattened as did his retinas rupture. By shear luck the car came to a stop with no further incident, and medical personal were able to transfer him to St Bartholomew's Hospital, London.

      Says chief surgent Aengus McMillar, MD, PhD in a brief statement: 'The condition of Mr. Clarkson is to be considered stable; yet we have had no luck removing a rather silly grin on his face that seems to have become rigid, as is certain parts of his anatomy still in need of drainage before disengorging.' Clarkson is expected a full recovery.
      • 6 Years Ago
      The world is not ready.
      • 6 Years Ago
      This makes the Caparo T1 seem plush and tepid, plus I bet it actually works. Seriously though, the specs and purpose of both cars are a knifes edge apart. I see the worlds most exciting car comparison developing.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Interesting article on the Ariel Atom 500 V8. (great power to weight ratio.)

      Cool designs (go karts)...but, even though the Ariel Atom is a street legal vehicle; I think it is a bit unsafe for today's road evironments...open cockpit-driving compartment. (Would you agree or disagree?)

      It would be interesting to see a light weight full body/coupe version...I think the Ariel Atom will do extremely well in the racing circuit environments...going nose to tail with the Factory Five production vehicles.

      Hmmm...interesting.
        • 6 Years Ago
        It's safer than a motorcycle. I would get even a regular Atom if I could, these things rock! I don't need no stinking airbags, or a roof that's not going to help in the event of a rollover anyway, plus the open air would be great (except all the bugs in your grill:-).
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