The Atom 500 V8 is a road-legal limited production car of which 25 were handbuilt by British motor company Ariel. It mainly differs from regular Atom models by being powered by a V8 engine instead of a four-cylinder engine and is to date the fastest car to be produced by the company.
Everything about the Ariel Atom is amazing. Its shape is practically automotive euphoria by itself, and that’s before you get it on the track. To drive one is shocking. The new V8 version takes performance to unprecedented levels and keeps the Atom at the absolute pinnacle of ultimate track toys. Sure it’s street legal, but the Atom is at home at the track or even the drag strip. Ariel claims 0-60 acceleration to be 2.3 seconds. Few motorcycles can even match those numbers; it follows, since Ariel used to build some of the most loved British bikes in history. Here are just a few of the mind-blowing specs that make the Atom 500 what it is: a John Hartley-designed 500 horsepower Ariel 3.0 liter, weighing in at 198 pounds, a Sadev six-speed sequential transmission, Dymag magnesium wheels, combined with its exo-skeleton chassis with carbon fiber body panels and foils the Atom weighs in at a phenomenal 1,213 pounds. Most drivers won’t even be able to handle this kind of power-to-weight ratio right out of the box, but learning to reel it in will be a lot of fun.
The Atom 500 V8 is based on a mid-engine, rear-wheel drive platform with an exposed chassis upgraded with front and rear spoilers. It has fully adjustable suspension consisting of double wishbones at both axles and pushrod arms operating the dampers. Its motorcycle-derived three litre V8 engine revs up to 11000 rpm and is capable of producing 475 hp (354 kW) and 268 ft·lb (363 N·m) of torque. The Atom 500 V8 counts as a top tier track car as evident by a 0 to 60 time in three seconds and lateral acceleration of at least 1.50 g at 120 mph. It comes standard with a limited-slip differential and six-speed sequential transmission.
The Atom 500 V8 has supercar-like acceleration as seen on a 0 to 100 mph in 5.7 seconds but falls short in terms of top speed due to hitting around 178 mph (286 km/h) as maximum. Its low power-to-weight ratio also allows it have very high lateral acceleration, which is 1.50 g in the Horizon series and at least 1.65 g in the Motorsport series. Combined with a responsive steering and strong brakes, the Atom 500 V8 can complete technical courses as quick as most high-end supercars although it may prove to be difficult to master due to being prone to wheelspins.
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