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
Strapped in, hands soft on the wheel, fingers feeling for the paddles, quickening breath steaming up the visor, someone reaches forward, flicks a toggle marked ‘Ignition' and plunges the black, rubberised starter button. A few seconds of churning turnover and wallop, the US-built Hartley V8, this maniacal mating of superbikes, punches into life. Even at idle, the sound is replete with menace. Unencumbered by the luxury of soundproofing, driver and drivetrain are terribly, brilliantly intimate in any Atom, but a 500bhp V8 bubbling and spitting in this sort of proximity is like nothing this side of single-seat racing.