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
As astonishing as this Atom's instantly available speed, however, is the ease with which said speed can be accessed. The boys from Ariel were keen to stress that the 500 was incredibly tractable, easier to drive, in fact, than the less linear supercharged car that sits (far) below it in the range. This sounds like the sort of b******* you hear a lot, both from highly talented drivers and people with an understandable degree of bias towards their products. But this car, with its 1,000bhp per tonne, racing gearbox and Sex for Breakfast approach to creature comfort, was honestly easier to drive smoothly than the Alfa Romeo MiTo we hired at the airport. (And it had a very similar turning circle.) Hard to believe. Even harder from the driver's seat, but there it is. Bonkers-fast but utterly approachable, this car is astonishing - that much is clear after less than 10 minutes' driving.