Ariel Atom

The V8 Caterham was just unveiled in the past week, so naturally we can expect other lightweight track car manufacturers to respond, but I didn’t expect it this fast!

Ariel has its own monster V8-engineed Atom in the works and it will go on sale in Spring 2008. Surprise, surprise – it’s powered by the same 2.4 litre 40 valve V8 engine as the Caterham RST-V8! The Ariel Atom V8 is available with the supercharged version of the Russell Savory bike-derived V8 engine, putting out 500 horses at 10,000rpm and 406Nm of torque at 8,500rpm.

500 horses is a big difference from the second most powerful Atom which has 300 horses. “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 whats achievable in a road-registered car,” says Ariel boss Simon Saunders.

This is not the first V8-powered Ariel Atom. Sometime back, Dennis Palatov plonked in a 2.8 litre V8 derived from two inline-4 Suzuki Hayabusa engines into his Ariel Atom. It produced 400 horses at 10,000rpm.

I cannot wait for foreign publications to do shoot-out reviews comparing both the Caterham Seven and Ariel Atom powered by the same RST-V8 engine!