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
With a gaseous slap, first gear engages, and as the clutch comes up, with barely a tenth of the available rpm in effect, the Atom surges forwards. The best way not to stall and endure hearty humiliation here is to keep the courage and revs up in equal measure, so with a firm prod of right foot I leave the gravel lay-by and turn hard and fast onto tarmac.
It's difficult to step straight from any normal road car into an Atom. When the last thing you drove was a leggy Italian rental, the differences are so extreme as to be comical. The tiniest of input, be it steering, throttle or brake, has profound and dramatic effect. The Atom 500 responds with staggering immediacy, like it's just told you what you wanted to do, ahead of time, quicker than your own nervous system. And what you wanted to do, apparently, was go fast. Very, very fast.