New Atom V8 thrashed in Modena
TopGear heads to the home of the modern supercar with Ariel’s special-edition, super-bonkers 500bhp Atom
Posted: 16 May 2011
When the Pagani crew head back to the workshop, we are taken inside and offered a drink. In the corner of the foyer, a widescreen TV is relaying some onboard footage that catches my attention. This is the moment in July of this year when a Zonda R achieved the lap record at the Nordschleife for a production road car. The time was 6.47 minutes, which took 11 seconds out of Ferrari's own record in the process, one that was achieved with the 599xx, a car that isn't road-legal anyway. All of which says a lot about small seeds and mighty oaks, and makes me think about just where Ariel might be in a few years' time if Pagani can achieve all this in less than 20.
Geared to a top speed shy of 170mph, the Atom 500 is not going to trouble the top spot at the Nordschleife any time soon, but with a few tweaks and adjustments, it'd be a brave man who'd bet against it in the future. And a braver man still who's prepared to get out there and give it a go.