British sports car manufacturer Ariel has teamed up with Avon and Somerset police to create Britain’s fastest accelerating patrol car.
Based on the Ariel Atom 3.5 track day car, this latest addition to the constabulary’s fleet is capable of reaching 0-62mph in a superbike rivalling 2.5 seconds and powering on to a top speed of 155mph, thanks to its 350bhp 2.0-litre supercharged Honda engine.
Aside from the highly reflective body finish, the Atom has been kitted out with flashing blue lights and sirens, making it fully pursuit ready.
Unfortunately we won’t be seeing the liveried monster chasing down criminals anytime soon. It has been created as a publicity stunt to raise awareness of the force’s ‘Safer Rider’ campaign.
With motorcyclists making up 20 per cent of all deaths on UK roads, Avon and Somerset is looking to kerb the spike in casualties that normally accompanies the warmer summer months, by getting the message out there with a car that is the closest thing to a superbike on four wheels.
Andy Parsons, a roads policing sergeant who is heading the Safer Rider campaign, said: “Motorcyclists make up just one per cent of total road traffic but account for nearly 20 per cent of all road user deaths. They are roughly 35 times more likely to be killed in a road traffic collision than someone in a car and we really want to see these numbers reduced.
“Modern motorcycles are capable of extraordinary performance, with supercar levels of acceleration, braking and cornering. Unfortunately with this level of performance comes an increased risk of death or serious injury as a result of inexperience, lack of training and rider error.”
Ariel’s director, Simon Saunders, voiced his support for the campaign: “Our business is about going fast, very fast, but there is a time and a place. The Atom is designed to be driven to a race track, where you can drive to your limits in safety and in a professional environment designed for the purpose. The road really isn’t the place to explore your or your vehicle’s limits,” he said.
The campaign is of particular importance to the Somerset-based firm, with Mr Saunders confirming that Ariel was to enter the sports bike market with its first ever model.
The police Ariel Atom will be on display at the Safer Rider campaign, which is being launched at Haynes Motor Museum, Sparkford on Sunday June 8. Admission is free.