• Sep 7th 2010 at 8:58AM
  • 22
The Ariel Atom is a lightweight, high-performance sports car which started life as a design project by then-student Nik Smart. Ten years later, the Atom has progressed through three iterations, and there are plans to expand the Atom family with the creation of a motorcycle and the upcoming Ariel Atom 500 V8. The bike is still being developed, but some lucky Atom owners got a sneak peek at the V8-powered variant.

To celebrate their 10th anniversary, Ariel invited owners from around the globe to converge on their Crewkerne, Somerset headquarters. Forty-five Atoms gathered in the parking lot while owners were treated to food and drinks inside. Thanks to John Scherrer of the AtomClub.com forums, we're able to get a feel for the festivities, the highlight of which was the unveiling of a completed Ariel Atom 500 V8. But this particular Atom wasn't put together days or weeks before the event – four Ariel employees started with a bare chassis at 10:15 AM and by 3:30 PM, they had a fully built Atom 500 V8, complete with fluids and an alignment. Impressive.

Initial reports stated that the Atom 500 would feature a 2.4-liter supercharged V8. However, the car is instead being fitted with a naturally aspirated 3.0-liter unit. The current Atom 3 is capable of sub-three-second 0-60 times and will hit 100 miles per hour in less than seven seconds, so it's safe to imagine that the Atom 500 V8 will be the first road-going car to reach Ludicrous Speed. Thanks for the tip, Eric!

[Source: AtomClub.com]

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 5 Years Ago
      wasnt the V8 that was built in a day!
      • 5 Years Ago
      This thing is so scary, I want it!
      • 5 Years Ago
      but will it go plaid?...
        • 5 Years Ago
        abso-f***ing-lutely. *cue clarkson clip*
      • 5 Years Ago
      Please gimme!
      • 5 Years Ago
      holy crap i want one
      • 5 Years Ago
      • 5 Years Ago

      During the AtomX, they built a regular Atom3 from start to finish in about 5 hours.
      This was NOT the Atom V8 that you are showing in the photos.

      They also appear to be changing the name from Atom 500 to Atom V8, presumably as they are not making the 500hp that they were hoping for.

      The Atom V8 is very nice though.
      It has launch control, and a sequential (flappy padal) gearbox.
      It has many other upgrades over a standard Atom 3.
      • 5 Years Ago
      v8 power in that chassis? Ludicrous Speed is very believable. I wonder how high you have to rev it before you go plad,
      • 5 Years Ago
      damn it yo.. how is this not a race car is beyond me lol...
      • 5 Years Ago
      I used to really like Corvettes, Ferraris, and the occasional Lambo, but the Atom is my new object of motorized desire/lust. I'd stick a poster of one on my bedroom wall...but my wife won't let me.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Was anybody else thrown off by the name? I saw 500 V8 and was like damn they're putting a 5.0 in it?!

        • 5 Years Ago
        The 500 stands for the project benchmarks of 500 hp and 500 kg. I'd like to know if they made those.

        The V8 is a deriviative of the Suzuki Hayabusa 1349cc 4-cylider that generates 197 hp naturally aspirated. Hartley Enterprises took two heads from these engines, and made a V-8 block. The end product is a very light, with very high revs. They most likely dropped the supercharger in favor of a bit more displacement for the purposes of saving weight.
      • 5 Years Ago
      An atom walks into a bar....
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