Can you wrap your head around 500bhp in an engine that carries around the same weight as a bike? Neither can I. That's not stopping the Ariel Atom 500 from sporting its brand-spanking-new lightweight 3.0-liter supercharged V8 anyway.
As if the original configuration (first announced last year) wasn't fast enough, the updated car will effectively sport a power-to-weight ratio in the 1000bhp range, twice the number posted by the Bugatti Veyron. Big boss Simon Saunders believes that the Atom 500 will showcase "the pinnacle of the petrol engine’s performance in a road car" and it's tough to disagree. With a 0 to 60 time of 2.5 ticks, it's expected to break 100 mph in well under six seconds.
All that power will be mated to a Sadev six-speed sequential gearbox, although the possibility of a paddle-shift option is also in play. Look out for a new suspension, substantial modifications to the aero and brake package, and numerous options such as lightweight magnesium alloy wheels.
Ariel has announced that Atom 500 customers will need to go through a proper training session before being handed their keys. Since it's essentially a road-ready Formula One car, that might be a good idea. A grand total of 25 units are set to be built, with production commencing by mid-2010. The car is expected to cost between £100,000 and £135,000.
[via World Car Fans]