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Avon and Somerset police take delivery of world’s fastest police car

By raccars Published

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The Ariel Atom is the fastest car to lap Top Gear’s famous track. With an exposed frame and a super lightweight body, it looks more like a Formula 1 car than a normal saloon. It has a limited top speed of 155mph and can accelerate from a standing start to 60mph in less than 2.5 seconds. The £38,000 car seemed destined for life as an ultimate track day car for wealthy enthusiasts but now it has turned up in an unexpected role. Avon and Somerset police have acquired an Ariel Atom, complete with familiar police livery and a specially adapted aerodynamic blue light cluster.

The specially bespoke car will be used in a new road safety campaign, designed to persuade motorists and motorcyclists not to speed. The force has only borrowed the car from Ariel, whose plant is within the Avon and Somerset police area. Experts in fast cars reckon that the Atom could now be the world’s fastest police car, quicker than Dubai’s Ferrari FF, Italy’s Lamborghini Gallardo and Germany’s Audi R8. The Atom will be displayed in a series of promotional events across the region, in a show of motoring strength that it is hoped will help the police to persuade local people not to speed.

Motorcycle speeding is a particular problem in the area and seven bikers have already been killed in the region this year, representing a 30% increase on last year. Roads Policing Sergeant, Andy Parsons, an officer on the project, said: "I am really excited that Ariel has joined with us to bring Project SAFER RIDER to fruition, and I hope that the use of the Ariel PL1 with have a positive impact to promote Road Safety. To be safe, rider and machine need to work in harmony. When this happens it feels immediately right. When it doesn't, things go wrong. Too many injuries and deaths are the result of rider error."

Director of Ariel, Simon Saunders, accepted that the Atom was designed to go 'very, very fast' but insisted that such performance should be kept for the track. He said that the track was the place to explore the limits of car and driver, not the open road. It is thought that the Atom could certainly catch speeding cars and motorbikes but there are no plans to use it in an operational role. Instead, the mighty Atom will remain as just an emblem of the police’s determination to stop speeding.

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