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Ariel Atom - a supercar for $52000

Sunday, October 08, 2006

The Ariel Atom is a high performance sports car made by the Ariel Motor Company. It is unusual in the respect that the chassis is the body, and therefore lacks a roof, windows and other features commonly found on road cars. It is available with a range of engines; the top of the range being a supercharged Honda Civic Type-R K20 engine and can reach speeds rivaling those of much more expensive automobiles. Although the top speed of approximately 140 mph is relatively tame compared to more exotic sports cars, the high power-to-weight ratio (approximately 500 bhp/ton) affords it incredible acceleration and control through corners.

When Jeremy Clarkson tested the Atom 2 on BBC motoring television programme Top Gear, it lapped their test track faster than a Porsche Carrera GT.

Brammo Motorsports of Ashland, Oregon has signed a deal with Ariel Ltd to manufacture the Atom in the USA. In the USA it is available with a supercharged GM Ecotec engine from the Cobalt SS.

The Ariel Atom was also used by Wrightspeed to prototype the electric running gear for a entirely new production vehicle which Wrightspeed are raising funds to build. The Atom-based prototype, called the X1, also has incredible acceleration, reaching 60 mph in 3 seconds. Because the X1 is electric, it has the equivalent fuel consumption of 170 mpg.

* 0-60 mph : 3.5 sec. (2.9 Supercharged)
* Top Speed: 140 mph (155 mph Supercharged)
* Power: 220 bhp (300 bhp Supercharged)
* Weight: 556 kg (1,226 lb)
* Transmission: 6-Speed Close Ratio Manual w/ Reverse
* Price: $52,000


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