Ariel Atom V8

From Ariel Press: The Atom V8 is here! After three years of development the latest version of the iconic Ariel Atom is released. Offering a power to weight ratio previously only found in single seat race cars the Atom V8 brings unparalleled levels of performance to the driver who wants the ultimate trackday car. Described as the ‘Savile Row of the Automotive World’ Ariel are taking the handmade and exclusive nature of the ultra high performance Atom to another level.

To be built in a Limited Edition of just 25 cars the Atom V8 builds on the success of the normally aspirated and supercharged Honda engined cars, which continue in production alongside the V8. Every car and engine will be individually numbered and the Atom V8 will be built to suit individual customer requirements as regards specific use, whether road, track or race. The ultra low volume nature of Ariel’s production means that the very personal relationship between them and their customers allows for a completely tailor made car.

Said Simon Saunders, Director of Ariel, ‘There are things that can be done in low volume production that the big manufacturers can’t, won’t or daren’t do so we make a virtue of our size, our skills and the unique qualities that hand built production can bring to our cars. The Atom V8 demonstrates this right down to selection of gear ratios for individual use.’

Race specification components are specified throughout the Atom V8 and reflect the extraordinary levels of performance that the car offers. With over 500bhp available the Atom V8 has a power to weight ratio in excess of 900bhp per tonne. (Ferrari Enzo 434bhp per tonne, Bugatti Veyron 530bhp per tonne, GP2 single seater 850bhp per tonne). Race car acceleration and up to 200mph for this ultimate Atom set a new level in trackday cars.  Couple this with full road registration and the Atom V8 truly is a ‘race car with number plates’.

Centre of the Atom V8 is the lightweight 3 litre normally aspirated engine built for Ariel in the USA. Flat plane crank, forged pistons, chain driven double overhead cam with 4 valves per cylinder and revving to 10,500 rpm, the all alloy and aluminium engine has race car specification throughout. Dry sump lubrication, 8 throttle bodies with sequential fuel injection and ceramic coated stainless exhaust are all part of the standard specification and, due to the compact nature of the engine, the installation fits perfectly in to the Atom engine bay. Each engine is individually tested, signed off and numbered to match the number of the car. Although producing around double the power of a normally aspirated Atom, the engine has been built and tuned for drivability. Ariel’s knowledge and close relationship with their customers means that they have an in depth understanding of the demands on the cars and
not only what customers want but what they need.

Drive is through a Sadev 6 speed sequential race gearbox with adjustable limited slip differential and gearsets to suit individual customer choice. Gearchange is via a paddle airshift system which makes up-changes in 40 milliseconds and down-changes in 50 milliseconds with the capability of 5 downshifts in less than a second. The programmable nature of the system allows Ariel to build in safeguards for customers plus have an auto upAriel Motor Company Limited is registered in the UK. Company Number 6712165 shift and cued down-shift capability. The ability to carry out flat upshifts without lifting the throttle coupled with 500bhp will give the Atom V8 the most remarkable acceleration seen in a production vehicle ever.

The inboard pushrod suspension of the standard Atom has been uprated for the V8 with chromoly aerofoil section wishbones and pushrods coupled with magnesium wheels to reduce unsprung weight. Dampers and springs have been developed specifically for the Atom V8 and feature lightweight aluminium monotubes with remote reservoirs giving 3 individual way adjustment (high speed compression, low speed compression, rebound) which is coupled with a unique 4 way spring stiffness adjuster. For the driver who wants to set the car up for different uses, different tracks and personal preferences this gives the ultimate adjustability.

New instrumentation and switchgear reflect the track focus of the car. An all new LCD display has shift light, gear position and programmable functions to show a range of car and engine information, with parameter set master alarms, for up to 15 channels. Main functions are set to display continuously and the driver can scroll through information from air, water, oil and gearbox temperatures to fuel, oil and manifold pressures if required.

Behind the paddle change sits a new panel housing the normal Atom road controls plus tiered switchgear for adjustable traction and launch controls, wet/dry settings, gearbox settings, LCD display and menu functions. With data logging facility built in the Atom V8 gives as much, or as little information as the driver needs or wants.

The unique bronze welded Atom chassis has additional structural braces in the engine compartment and every V8 chassis will be finished in a special gold powder coat special to the limited edition of 25 cars. Proven over many years the Atom chassis is not only light and structurally superb but has been proven to give outstanding levels of occupant protection. Bodywork on the V8 is a mixture of composite woven cloth and carbon fibre with front and rear adjustable carbon fibre aerofoils as standard. The very high specification of the Atom V8 and the time spent developing the car on track and Somerset roads gives a result that is ready to put on any race track in the world and also drivable on the road.

For 25 customers, who are passionate about their driving, this will be the ultimate trackday tool and with 20 cars pre-ordered the Limited Edition will quickly be sold out.

‘Our aim is to put the passion back in to driving and our motto at Ariel is Serious Fun.’ said Simon Saunders, ‘The Atom V8 is one more step to keeping that passion alive and is about as serious as fun gets!’

Gallery: Ariel Atom V8