Super Speed Friday | Ariel Atom 500

Let’s make that three weeks in a row that I’m blogging about incredibly fast cars coming from automakers in Britain. This week’s installment of Super Speed Friday features the Ariel Atom 500, from the Ariel Motorcar Company (AMC).

The Ariel Atom 500

Ariel Atom 500

photo©Stblogs.motortrend.com

AMC is a relatively small car company, and by small, I mean they only have 7 employees. They also makes less than 100 cars every year and the Atom is the crown jewel of their collection. It was first developed in 1996 and has gone through continuous improvements and updates ever since. The car has no roof, windshield, or body work to speak of, simply a tubular chassis that supports it. Basically, the car is an exoskeleton on 4 wheels. Having all of that body work stripped away reduces the weight of the Atom to half a ton. To put it in comparable super speed terms, the Atom weighs less than half of the Pagani Huayra. This massive weight deficit makes the Atom much faster and more agile on the road than most supercars. The vehicle’s original engine was a Honda Civic Type-R. The design of the Type R was first conceived in 1992 as a racing vehicle, which made the engine a perfect fit for the Atom, at least at first.

Ariel Atom 500

photo©the-grayline.com

The Ariel Atom coming onto the market in 2013 has an exclusive V8 under the hood, one designed by John Hartley. John has been designing car engines with his own unique approach since 2007. That same year, as president of a printing machine manufacturer out of Wisconsin, John though that the engine in his four cylinder sports car sounded “unimpressive” and “flat”. He sought to create a new V8 by putting two water cooled motorcycle engines together. Hartley successfully coupled the thunders of a motorcycle engine with the body of supercar. When he designed the Ariel Atom 500′s engine in 2008, he took the same approach and got incredible results. The Atom 500 has a top speed of 168mph.

Ariel Atom 500

photo©Zumann.com

Let’s talk some more about the power of that V8. The 6 gear standard transmission has a super speed all its own. With the assistance of the “paddleshift” system, the Ariel Atom 500 can achieve 5 downshifts in less than a second. Once shifting is mastered, the Atom can go from 0-60 in less than 3 seconds. Most supercars take at least 5 or 6 seconds to accomplish that goal, but not the Atom. Once behind the wheel, in less than 7 seconds the vehicle is going 100mph. The Ariel Atom also offers varied suspension settings, formulated from one-seat racing cars, that allow it to adhere to almost any track environment.

Ariel Atom 500

photo©blog.caranddriver.com

Although the outside of the car takes a minimalist approach to automaking, the dashboard is ripe with options you would find in the best supercars. A display allows the driver to flip through any information one would want to have when driving such a speed machine. Everything from the oil pressure to the traction controls, and even wet/dry settings, are available through the navigation of the in-dash LCD. Although, the Atom does lack a stereo. I do think that every great automobile needs a stereo, especially one that falls into my super speed category and can go over 150mph.

Ariel Atom 500

photo©sl.aecdn.com

Within minutes of researching this particular car, it became evident that it needed to be added to my Super Speed blog list. Although there are cars out there that can best the Atom by 50mph or so overall, those same cars can’t go from 0-60mph in under 3 seconds. That type of jump speed is lightning. If you wanted to own an Ariel Atom 500, well, you can’t. Ariel is producing only 25 Atom 500s and they are all pre-ordered. Perhaps that’s why they keep their company so small, less overhead, and the cars always sell out.

Links to blogs about the Ariel Atom 500

Caranddriver.com Blog

Super Car Blog

High Speed And Luxury Car Blog

Project Cars Videos Blog

Exciting Cars Blog



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Super Speed Friday | Bentley Continental Flying Spur

Bentley Continental Flying Spur

photo©Topismag.com

The Bentley Continental Flying Spur

This week’s addition to Super Speed Friday comes to us from renowned British automaker Bentley. I originally didn’t want to blog about two British cars back to back, but this automobile is so fast that it merits being skipped ahead.

Let’s start at the beginning though, shall we? Bentley Motors Ltd. Was founded back in 1919 and has been putting out remarkable automobiles ever since. Before he ever built or designed cars, founder W.O. Bentley built rotary aero-engines in London during World War One. These engines were used in various airplanes during the war, most prominently in the Sopwith Camel 2F.1. Bentley’s first several automobiles performed remarkably well at the 24 hours of Le Mans races, winning first place 5 times between 1924 and 1930. In 1931, Rolls Royce bought Bentley and moved production out of London. Almost 67 years later, Bentley was purchased by Volkswagen (VW).

The Bentley Continental Flying Spur came onto the market in 2005 as the four door alternative to the GT Coupe. Each flying spur is built by hand and a striking example of custom luxury combined with blazing speed. It was also only the second car to be released following VW’s purchase of Bentley in 1998. The Spur’s platform is that of the Volkswagon Phaeton, VW’s “premium class” vehicle that has been in production since 2002. The platform is significantly heavier when compared to it’s competitors. However, the sheer engine power put into the platform, combined with a shorter axle ratio, overrides that handicap and levels the playing field. The spur also features Yokohama Advan Sports tires, shock absorbers, and air springs, which all combine to create an incredibly smooth ride even at fast speeds.

Bentley Continental Flying Spur

photo©Caranddriver.com

Under the hood is a 6-litre V12 twin-turbocharged engine which can not only go from 0-60mph in 5 seconds, it can also achieve speeds up to 194mph. A speed version of the car was released in 2009, that one can go up to 200mph. Speeds of this nature are easily comparable to other cars I have put on the “super speed” list. However, unlike those other automobiles, the Bentley retains all the elegance and class of a 4 door sedan while harnessing the speed of a power sports car. Additionally, the Spur has a built in system to increase the stability and reduce drag at it’s highest speeds. It accomplishes this by automatically lowering the ride height as you approach 200mph.

Bentley Continental Flying Spur

photo©Cargurus.com

The interior of the Bentley Continental Flying Spur is absolutely beautiful. Some critics think that there are too many switches, or that the in dash computer is a bit too complicated. I say, read the manual. I do not consider a complicated in dash computer to really be anything other than an ideal tool for driving entertainment and efficiency. Seeing as how this particular computer is also accompanied by a 12 to 15 speaker system, I’d say the combination is ideal and lends itself very well to the luxury driving experience.

Bentley Continental Flying Spur

photo©Cargurus.com

In the world of super speed cars, Bentley continues to step up the game and push it to new heights. The Flying Spur compares quite well to other cars that can achieve a similar driving experience, yet it separates itself in one quite basic way. Put simply, the Flying Spur seats four. Most sports cars are two seaters, reserving the luxury for the driver and one passenger. Now, when you purchase a super speed car that is also a shining example of luxury, you can take more people along for the ride. The more people ride in this car, the more I’m sure will want to buy one. It seems Bentley isn’t just a maker of incredible automobiles, but they build the marketing into their machines as well.

Links to more information about the Flying Spur:

Caranddriver.com Flying Spur Road Test

Autoblog.com Flying Spur Updates

Germancarblog.com Flying Spur News

Blog.autoshopper.com Flying Spur News



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The Classic Muscle Car From Supernatural | ’67 Chevy Impala

The Car From Supernatural | The Winchester Brothers’ 1967 Chevy Impala

The Chevy Impala was released in 1958 and to date is the best selling full-size car of all time. The public really took to it’s roomier interiors, sculpted looks, and solid frame. Truly it was the style and body of the Impala that wet the appetites of car consumers. When the car was redesigned in 1965, it set an annual sales record of 1 million units. To this day, that record has not been bested.

Car From Supernatural

photo©Cargurus.com

I remember when Gilmore Girls ended and I wasn’t sure if I would ever see Jared Padalecki again, then he turned up on the TV show Supernatural. Not only is Supernatural one of the most popular shows on television, the two main heroes of the show drive a fantastic muscle machine of a car. Said heroes, brothers Dean and Sam Winchester, drive around in a 1967 Chevy Impala that Dean inherited from their father. The car from Supernatural was given the name “Metallicar” by a forum posting fan in ’05, largely due to the fact that the brothers listen to lots of classic rock and Metallica while driving from place to place. Use of this particular model car on the TV show Supernatural has prompted it to rise in value over recent years. It seems everyone wants to get behind the wheel of the Winchester’s 1967 Chevy Impala 4-door hard top, with a 3 speed automatic transmission, V8 327 4 Barrel engine, and Cargar 330 Super Sports tires.

Not only are the two main characters of Supernatural brothers, but they are demon hunters. When you start with that scenario, it becomes crucial to pick the right car for them to drive around. Eric Kripke created Supernatural in the mid 90s, though the series didn’t begin airing until 2005. In his youth, Eric had an affinity for television shows with trademark cars. He was a big fan of Knightrider, which featured a custom built 1982 Pontiac Trans-Am named KITT. Years before Supernatural ever saw the screen, Kripke knew he had to make sure his heroes drove the right car.

The original conception of the show had the Winchester brothers driving around in a 1965 Mustang. It was actually Kripke’s neighbor’s idea that the car model be changed because “you can put a body in the trunk.” Kripke himself has said that the 1967 Impala is a better fit because it’s more of a classic muscle car. I suppose you would want demon hunters to have what is arguably the most intimidating ride on the road. The entire approach of the show brings a classic vibe with it that I think necessitates a classic muscle car, a modern car would be an odd fit for these characters. The Winchester’s car also commands respect because of it’s status and history described on the show, which is continuously told throughout the seasons. Although it is the prized possession of both brothers, it is truly Dean who bonds most to the car. In a rather epic moment of season 4, Dean has been sent back in time and actually gets his father to buy the Impala instead of a VW Van.

The show has several cars on hand for filming, all black 1967 Chevy Impala 4-door hard tops. Only the original car was black though, the rest were painted black for television. Some of the cars have been altered in some rather unique ways to allow for ease during filming, one of them is even cut in half. Supernatural is currently in it’s eighth season and is expected to pick up a ninth and tenth season as well. It is a fantastic show that features an even more fantastic car, and that’s right up my alley.

The “Metallicar” even has it’s own facebook page which you can find here

Links to Supernatural Blogs and Fansites

Winchester Family Business | A Supernatural Fansite

Supernatural Sisters Blog

“Brothers In Arms” Supernatural Blog

The Supernatural Fan Wiki



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