Above: the original Ariel Atom.
WE FIRST HEARD about the Ariel Atom 500 back in March last year, and now the bonker Brits at Ariel have released details on its most powerful road-legal (in the UK, at least) weapon yet.
Powered by a supercharged V8 engine developing 373kW (500hp, hence its name) and weighing about 500kg, the Atom 500 offers a power-to-weight ratio of 1000hp per tonne - nearly twice that of the Bugatti Veyron's 521hp/tonne.
The Atom 500 draws its power from a Russell Savory designed 3.0 litre all-alloy V8, which, should you desire it, will rev out to 10,000rpm.
Paired with the Sadev six-speed sequential transmission, the two components weigh in at just 100kg.
Thanks to the flatshift transmission - which allows the driver to change gears without lifting off the throttle - and the addition of launch and traction control, the Ariel Atom 500 will rocket to 100km/h in just 2.5 seconds.
Presumably a "don't blink or you'll miss it" sticker is included on the options list.
The big question, of course, is will we see it in Australia? Not likely. At least, not on public roads. While the Atom has achieved road-legal status in the UK, it has struggled to get ADR compliance down under.
Still, if you've got the dollars, there's nothing stopping you importing one purely for track use.
Don't forget your Darth Vader outfit?