Ariel Atom 500 V8 - Click above for a high-res image gallery
Even with the stock 300-horsepower Honda four, the Ariel Atom is a verifiable supercar-slayer. So when the British track-car manufacturer announced they'd be building a bonkers 500hp V8 version, our interests were piqued, to say the least. But if you were expecting a bargain, think again. The latest reports, quoting Ariel's CEO Simon Saunders, indicate that the V8-powered Atom 500 will cost a very supercar-like £100,000, or about $160k in American greenbacks. At least.
That's about three times the price of the four-cylinder Atom 300. So why the huge price increase? Well, for starters, earlier reports that the Atom 500 would use the RS Performance-sourced 2.4-liter 10,000 rpm V8 from the Caterham Levante have proven inaccurate, as Ariel will be producing its own custom engine. Based on two Suzuki Hayabusa blocks but with a high proportion of custom parts, the engine alone is said to account for about £30,000 (~$50k); add to that another £11,000 ($17k) for the custom six-speed gearbox, plus the Alcon brakes and various carbon-fiber body parts and the figures start to add up pretty quick.