• 2010 Ariel Atom 500

We warned you it was coming, the light weight sports car builder, Ariel, has just released a ridiculously powerful version of their open cockpit two-seater, the Atom 500. Although the V8 is quite small, displacing only 2.4 Liters, the blown five valves per cylinder design and 10,000 RPM capabilities means that there is more than 500 HP on tap. The 6 speed Sadev sequential gearbox will get a lot of use in the Atom 500, it features flatshift capabilities, paddle shifters as well as launch control.

Like the old Pirelli slogan says: “power is nothing without control,” so in order to get the Atom 500 to stick to the road, the vehicle’s engineers had to fit and F1 inspired aerofoil to the nose as well as a GT sized rear wing. Stopping power is provided by a foursome of Alcon four-piston brake calipers housed inside of lightweight Dymag magnesium wheels.

The power to weight ratio of the Atom 500 is almost unheard of for a road car, over 1000 HP per ton. If you thought the old Atom was absolutely amazing, the 500 should be nothing short of insanity.

Press release after the jump.

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.

2010 Ariel Atom 500
- image 302508

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.

Alina Moore
Alina Moore
Alina Joined the Topspeed.com team in the early 2000s as one of the outlets very first experts, and she’s been with Topspeed.com ever since. Over the years, she’s served various roles, but today she’s is relied on heavily to verify automotive facts, assist with formatting, and discover new and engaging topics.  Read full bio
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  (599) posted on 10.6.2011

This one look more lighter than the other sports car I’ve seen they have more details on it. But this it only have limited concept and already complete engine configuration.

  (938) posted on 03.4.2010

It looks that it’s fun to drive, ain’t it? dang Engine i can’t imagine that it has 10,000 RPM that’s about 1000 more than The RX8. plus it is packed by more than 500 HP. I wonder how fast it can go.

  (1024) posted on 06.1.2009

No problem.

BMWM6  (488) posted on 05.31.2009

Thank you you have helped me a lot

BMWM6  (1024) posted on 05.30.2009

BMWM6, engines that rev that high tend to have stronger internals and reliability isn’t normally an issue with proper maintenance. The Honda Civic engine is prove of that. In the same way, Ferrari and BMW engines hardly ever have problems. I believe you have owned a couple of BMWs and can vouch for that.

Manufacturers have quite a few reasons for going for higher revs. One would be simply that most manufacturers can’t create high revving engines, they lack both knowledge and experience. Two would be fuel efficency. More revs means more fuel has to be supplied to the cylinders, meaning more fuel is consumed. An example would be the V8 by Ferrari, revs like crazy but the mileage suffers.
Third and perhaps the most important one would be cooling. These engines require lots of air to feed them and to keep them cool. The basic shape of sedans and coupes are not meant for optimal cooling. Heavy modifications would be required to provide the cooling needed and that would mean these cars would not have an advantage in crash testing and maybe not even pass crash tests.

Cars like the atom 500, on the other hand have a very open design, with little to no hindrance of air reaching the engine which is why it can rev up to 10000rpm. F1 cars work in a similiar manner.

Exotics work in the same manner as average cars so they have the same revving qualities. 8-9k rpm is the maximum for them.

BMWM6  (488) posted on 05.30.2009

Ak 47 you explsined to me how formula 1 cars get extremly powerful engines y letting them rev to high RPMs my question would be that if the cars were to rev that high would it reduce reliability

and how come manufacturers dont let there cars rev that hgh

like exotic cars should ha ve that technology

BMWM6  (1024) posted on 05.30.2009

That is impressive stats for the engine. Closest thing you can get to a F1 street car with the 10000rpm headline.

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