• May 28, 2009
Ariel Atom 500 V8 - Click either image for a high-res image gallery

When it comes to power and lightweight, enough is never enough. And so, Ariel (finally) gives us the Atom 500 V8, an 1,102-pound roadster boasting the highest power-to-weight ratio (1,000 hp-per-ton) of any production car to date. How does Ariel do it? It starts with the engine and gets more insane from there.

The heart of the Atom 500 is a Russell Savory (RS Developments) 2.4-liter V8 equipped with five valves per cylinder, a dry sump and a supercharger (no supercharger in the U.S.) 500 hp is available at a screaming 10,000 rpm, with power being delivered to the rear wheels through a six-speed sequential Sadev gearbox.

At each corner, Alcon four-pot brakes are nestled within Dymag magnesium wheels, with carbon fiber used liberally on the wheel arches, underbody tray, rear wing and formula-style front aerofoil.

All told, the Ariel Atom 500 V8 will hit 60 in under three seconds, blow past 100 mph in less than seven seconds and can be yours for... no word yet, but expect pricing to be released shortly. Hat tip to James!



[Source: Ariel]


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 55 Comments
      • 5 Years Ago
      As fun as turbo's are...the entire point of this engine was to step away from FI and have a high revving NA screamer...

      I know the US atom's have GM's supercharged LSJ engine...I'd like to see some with GM's new turbocharged LNF engine.
        • 5 Years Ago
        You're not going to make 500HP from 2.4L on pump gas without a supercharger, not at only 10,000rpm.

        It takes Honda 9,000RPM to make 120HP/l, this thing isn't going to do 208 with only 11% more revs, not unless you go to race gas or higher.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Take the time to read the article:

        The heart of the Atom 500 is a Russell Savory (RS Developments) 2.4-liter V8 equipped with five valves per cylinder, a dry sump and a supercharger.

        • 5 Years Ago
        Please, point out for me the supercharger on that engine...don't worry, I'll wait...

        http://www.blogcdn.com/www.autoblog.com/media/2009/05/01-ariel-atom-500-v8.jpg
        • 5 Years Ago
        Sam, your comparison to seeing oxygen was crap. This engine is NOT supercharged. End of discussion.
        • 5 Years Ago
        That's a photo of the non-supercharged version. There, problem solved.
      • 5 Years Ago
      yup, that's the one, been working on it for three years for... oh... the people who make the atom :D
        • 5 Years Ago
        @ John

        Love the site too!
      • 5 Years Ago
      What kind of overweight junk is this?
      It has more pounds that horsepower.
      It should have 1200hp if it weights 1100lbs.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Check h1v8.com and dpcars.net

      This guy retrofitted a Hartly V8 into his Atom. 2.8 litre naturally aspirated and over 400hp.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Part of the original charm was the 4 cylinder. That being said, this is going to be awesome. Especially if they turbo- or supercharge it.
      • 5 Years Ago
      I love this car.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Slap on Two turbo chargers on there and 1 more super charger and combine it with VW's twin-charger technology...it would be the only production car that can run circles around the SSC Ultimate Areo TT also, it needs to have liquid helium cooling.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Can the motor/trans be purchased seperately ?
      • 5 Years Ago
      Thats what i need to go shopping in.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Oh damn... where did I put those tissues?
      • 5 Years Ago
      500hp seems ridiculous excess. But I love the concept of such a small-displacement V8. Sans supercharger that would be a fun engine in any lightweight RWD car. It takes some serious rubber to handle 500 hp though. I'm guessing the torque figure must be pretty low.
        • 5 Years Ago
        As expected at such high rpm. I just wonder what the curve looks like down at a more reasonable 5k?
        • 5 Years Ago
        well at 10k rpm its a little north of 250ft-lbs
        • 5 Years Ago
        Current Formula 1 cars use 2.4 liter V8s, minimum weight is 95 kg (209 lb). Normally aspirated. 740 hp at 19,000 rpm

        Small displacement V engines aren't a new concept. Mazda MX-3 use 1.8 liter V6 in the 90s.

        here's rather funny commercial for the smallest production V6
        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YtYpImVEr6E
      • 5 Years Ago
      I just can't figure out exactly what you're gaining here. The 4 banger made this car a sub 3 second car in the beginning, what does the V-8 knock off, a tenth of a second? The wheels won't be able to lock up with the pavement with no weight over them.
        • 5 Years Ago
        You seem not to understand the difference between horsepower and torque. This car is not designed for the drag strip.
        -N
        • 5 Years Ago
        yea...i was thinking the same thing when i read that.

        but honestly....who the f*ck cares? you'll have a 500hp auditory orgasm anytime you step on the gas!
        • 5 Years Ago
        Weight, this car is about a rear heavy as a 911, right.
        http://www.pistonheads.com/doc.asp?c=47&i=7934
        and then there is the wing for high speeds.

        It is about sounding like a Ferrari. and having double the power/weight of the F430.
        • 5 Years Ago
        It's not about 0-60, because on track you do 0-60 once per event. It's about 60-120 time, which is nearly every corner matter. And this is significant. This is a track car, not drag racer tractor.

        And about the engine - on photo is w/o blower, but definitely some must be here, because for 500hp@10.000rpm you need one. Its 263 lb-ft (356Nm) and you can't get it from NA 2.4 running regular (even racing) petrol.

        And last - somebody mentioned Clarkson - I would like to see comparo of this car with Caparo on race track. Maybe with proper F1 car :-)
      • 5 Years Ago
      And when you need parts for the car plan on a long wait and slow factory support.
      One thing Ariel's US arms have been iffy about addressing. You had better stick close to Virginia if you plan on buying this car. Calling this model a production car is stretching it.
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