Tuesday, 14 September 2010

Ariel Atom V8

As if the scaffolding-and-adrenalin Ariel Atom were not scary enough, behold the latest iteration: the Atom V8.
The buzzy little engine is effectively two Suzuki Hayabusa units fused to a common crank to create a 3.0-litre V8, producing 500bhp at 10,600rpm. Given that the Atom is basically just a seat bolted to an engine, the power-to-weight ratio comes in at an impressive 909bhp/tonne, which should be more than enough to make oily mincemeat of any smug Veyron drivers it should happen to meet at the lights (although, to be fair, the Bugatti does win in terms of having doors and windows and stuff -if you're bothered about staying dry in the rain, that is).

This little banzai wasp will reach 60mph in a trifling 2.3 seconds, going on to top 200mph if your neck muscles are up to the task. The gobsmacking thrust is aided by a Sadev sequential six-speed paddle-shift 'box, able to swap cogs in 40 milliseconds. Being a track car, further developments carry a purely performance-led bias; you get new remote-reservoir dampers (all fully customisable to your driving style and whatever circuit you happen to be on at the time), new carbon-fibre spoilers fore and aft to try to keep you on the road, traction control, launch control and, most fun of all, a data-logging system so that you can print out your lap stats and annoy your mates with them in the pub. Particularly if your mates have Veyrons.

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