FOR THE FULL ARIEL ATOM STORY:
Think about the quickest road car you've ever driven. No, wait, scratch that. Think about the quickest road car you've ever heard of. No, wait. That won't do, either. Think about the quickest road car that's ever been. That's more like it. Now you're in the right area code.
Here's why: This highly modified 2005 Ariel Atom with its supercharged, 375-horsepower, 2.0-liter Honda engine hits 60 mph from a standstill in 2.8 seconds. Two-point-eight seconds! With an exclamation point! (And we never use an exclamation point.)
Measure its time to 60 mph with 1 foot of rollout like they do on a drag strip, and the Ariel gets to the mark in a scant 2.6 seconds — less time than we require to decide between paper and plastic.
For those of you keeping score at home, this makes this 2005 Ariel Atom quicker than any car we've ever tested — any Porsche, any Viper, any Vette