As with all hypercar manufacturers Bugatti’s Veyron seems to be the benchmark, and for Ariel its the Veyron that it has set its sights on with its latest version of it’s ultra light weight Atom.
Because a 245-hp Honda VTEC engine was just too boring in a roadgoing tube-frame, a V8 was obviously necessary. The Atom V8 uses a US-built, 3.0-litre, 32-valve Hartley V8 engine, originally developed from two Suzuki motorcycle engines grafted together, but much developed since.
Coupled to a weight similar to that of a small child, the new machine manages an amazing 909bhp per tonne power-to-weight ratio.
The 475bhp Atom has a top speed of 170mph, while the race version can reach 200mph.
The suspension, brakes and aerodynamic package are all exclusive to the Atom 500.
Just 25 Atom V8s will ever be built, and 20 have already been sold, despite the car costing £124,850 plus VAT – call it £150k by the time customer cars arrive in early 2011.