Not content with just offering up a totally visceral experience in the 'base' Atom, Ariel has decided to up the ante by mating their bare bones street racer with an RS Performance 500-horsepower 2.4-liter V8.

The Ariel Atom 500 gets its name from both a 500-horsepower small V8 from RS Performance, as well as its 500 kilo weight, which helps it to achieve a 1000+ horsepower per ton power-to-weight ratio. The Atom 300 with 300-horsepower can easily manage a sub 3 second blast to 60mph and a sub 7 second blast to 100mph. Ariel hasn't release preliminary times for the Atom 500 but we can only imagine that it'll be much, much faster.


The impressive 10,000 rpm, 2.4-liter V8 in the Atom 500 is sourced from RS Performance and puts out 500 HP mated to a six-speed sequential Sadev gearbox. Other features include Alcon brakes, Dymag magnesium wheels and various carbon fiber aero bits to help differentiate it from 'lesser' Atoms. The Ariel Atom 500 will be produced in very limited numbers when it goes on sale this spring. Get ready for the 'O' face that will be permanently affixed to your face after strolling through your favorite back road in this giant slayer.

Ariel Press Release:
Ariel announce the latest version of the Atom - the Ariel Atom 500, powered by a small V8 engine. With over 500bhp in a 500kilo package the Atom 500 will boast one of the highest power to weight ratios ever for a production car, ever. At over 1000bhp per tonne the Atom 500 will be the ultimate statement in performance and is destined to be made in a limited edition.

The V8 powered Atom is the first of some exciting developments from Ariel due to be released though 2008 and builds on the growing reputation that the company has for putting the passion back into driving and producing cars that are fun to drive as well as fast both on and off the track.

The 500 started life as a one off special project with RS Developments in 2007 and features the Russell Savory designed 2.4 litre V8 engine coupled to a 6 speed sequential Sadev gearbox. Developing over 500bhp at 10,000rpm the supercharged engine features all alloy construction, 5 valves per cylinder and a dry sump. The gearbox will have flatshift capability, a paddle gearchange with manual override as well as launch and traction controls.

Recognisable by the twin rear intakes for intercoolers the Atom 500 will feature a unique colour scheme for chassis, wheels and bodywork combined with carbon fibre panels and carbon fibre aerofoils. Other features will include chromemoly aerofoil wishbones, integrated function steering wheel, Alcon 4 pot caliper brakes and Dymag magnesium wheels.

Said Simon Saunders, Director of Ariel, 'This is an interesting project for us and an experimental departure from what we normally produce. For a few customers the Atom 500 will be the ultimate expression of lightweight performance and represents the outer limits of what is achievable in a road registered car. We also use this sort of project to explore the possibilities of how we can improve our standard cars. The Honda engined production cars already combine all the elements that we want in an Atom and by pushing the envelope to these sorts of extremes we can further improve the breed'.

The Atom 500 will be produced in Somerset at the new Ariel factory with the first car available from Spring this year. Prices have not yet been finalised but Ariel's commitment to performance for value will ensure that the Atom 500 is competitive in cost as well as performance.

With the standard Atom 300 already achieving sub 3 second times to 60mph and sub 7 second times to 100mph, the 500 will take this one stage further with record breaking production car possibilities.


[via Ariel]