After a two-year-long development process, Ariel has unveiled its minimalist Atom 3 – a 500bhp V8-engined vehicle that is aimed to compete directly against Bugatti's Veyron hypercar. Ariel’s car has a power-to-weight ratio of 909bhp per ton, more than 50% better than Bugatti's creation.
It’s even slightly ahead of a GP2 single-seater racing car. Priced at £150,000, the Atom V8 will start selling early next year. Only 25 examples will be produced. Final testing is being done on the prototypes but it has already been proven that the V8 Atom can sprint from zero to 60mph in under 2.5sec and from zero to 100mph in less than 6.0sec. Ariel's targets are 2.3sec and 5.4sec respectively, beating the class-leading Veyron.
The Atom V8 is powered by a US-built, 3.0-liter, 32-valve Hartley V8 engine, initially developed from two Suzuki motorcycle engines grafted together. But since then, it has developed greatly. There are two power options: a 475bhp version meant for easy road use and a 500bhp race version that can be used on the track.
The 475bhp Atom boasts a maximum speed of 170mph, while the race version can hit 200mph. In both, the V8 is redlined at 16,500rpm and use the same six-speed sequential Sadev gearbox.
The gearbox is capable of flat-shifting and it also has electro-pneumatic paddle-shifters to soften‚ gearchanges and make them suitable for road use. [via autocar]