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Will Ford Build A Street-Legal Challenger To The Ariel Atom?


Ford's road-legal 1.0-liter EcoBoost Formula Ford

Ford's road-legal 1.0-liter EcoBoost Formula Ford

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Just last week we told you about a 1.0-liter EcoBoost-powered Formula Ford that managed to lap Germany’s Nürburgring Nordschleife in just 7:22, making it faster around the ‘Ring than cars like the Ferrari Enzo and the Pagani Zonda.

At the time, few took it as more than a Ford publicity stunt, allowing the automaker to show off the performance capabilities of its smallest EcoBoost engine. In street trim, the engine produces some 123 horsepower, but for the Nordschleife lap it was tuned to make some 202 horsepower, giving the car a top speed of 159 mph.

As Evo points out, perhaps we should have been paying closer attention to the fact that the car Ford ran around the ‘Ring was street legal, equipped with fenders, lights, a horn and a speedometer.

At a recent event in Amsterdam, Ford allegedly confirmed its interest in building a limited number of road-going Formula Fords for the U.K., similar to the car used to lap the Nürburgring. With an expected price of “well under” £100,000 ($159,740), Ford’s version of an Ariel Atom would be targeted to affluent track-day junkies.

We’re not sure if any would make it across the Atlantic, since our regulations concerning things like advanced airbag systems are a bit inflexible compared to Britain’s Single Vehicle Approval (SVA) exemptions. It it were imported, it would be for track use only, negating the benefit of things like lights and fenders.

Then there’s the issue of cost to consider. An Ariel Atom 3 starts at just under $53,000 in the U.S., making a Ford-built version at three times the price seem a bit ludicrous. The Ford is even more expensive than the U.S. version of the BAC Mono, which starts at a mere $130,000 on these shores.

We’re not sure if Ford will really put such an animal into production, but we’re fairly certain it will never make an appearance on this side of the pond.

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