As Tim Allen often woofed, “more power” is a tonic capable of improving almost any car. Even the Ariel Atom. In celebration of their first decade in business, Ariel has unveiled the Atom 500, powered by a 3.0 liter Hartley V8 making 500 horsepower and connected to a six-speed sequential transmission. Are your acceleration needs unfulfilled by mere Porsche 911 Turbos and Ferrari 458 Italias? Ariel has already ripped a sub-2.5 second 0-60 time out of the car, and is hoping to bring that figure down to 2.3 seconds. That V8 will rev to a mildly insane 10,600 rpm, so we recommend wearing your Bose QuietComfort headphones. (Besides, how else will you listen to Ride of the Valkyries while hauling down the road in this car?)
If all this seems just a little too crazy for you, don’t worry—Ariel will also build a version designed more for road use that makes a mere 475 horsepower and tops out at 170 mph. The Atom always seemed less like a car and more like a superbike that natural selection tapped to grow into an unfilled niche in the automotive ecosystem, but since its debut, its competitors in the crazystupidfun car category have only grown more intimidating; doubling the power output seems like an excellent step in the evolutionary arms race against bigger foes like the Bugatti Veyron. The Atom 500 will cost about $232,000 when it hits British shores next year; while only 25 will be built, we’re really, really hoping one or two will somehow make it across the Pond. And into our hands.