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Ariel goes atomic with 500. Image by Ariel.

Ariel goes atomic with 500
The Ariel Atom 500 has a 500bhp 2.4-litre V8 engine and a better power-to-weight ratio than a Bugatti.
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Hot on the heels of Caterham's V8-engined monster, Ariel has announced its plans to build an Atom with a 500bhp V8 too. The Atom 500 will use a 2.4-litre V8 engine to give it a power-to-weight ratio around double that of the Bugatti Veyron (521bhp/tonne)

The Ariel uses the same engine as the Caterham, built by RS Developments, which will be mated to a six-speed sequential manual gearbox. The supercharged V8 will rev to more than 10,000rpm and should give the Ariel near-Formula One levels of acceleration. To cope with the power, Ariel will equip the 500 with launch and traction controls.

The Atom 500 will also have some new bodywork to cope with the speeds expected with this engine. A new front wing and large rear aerofoil help keep the car on the ground, while new side pods channel cool air to the engine bay. There will also be uprated brakes and new lightweight alloy wheels.

Ariel has yet to announce prices or performance figures for the Atom 500.

Alisdair Suttie - 5 Mar 2008

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