Ariel revealed a significant overhaul for its iconic Atom ‘naked’ two-seater sports car. Announced at the 2018 Goodwood Festival of Speed, the new car is officially billed ‘Atom 4’ and has been so extensively re-engineered, just a handful of components from the old model are carried over.
It’s the fastest ‘base’ Atom yet – a given – with 60mph arriving in 2.8 seconds and 100mph in 6.8. That turn of speed is courtesy of the new 324hp K20C1 VTEC turbo motor from the current Honda Civic Type R (presumably purchased as a ‘crate engine’ from the U.S.).
Though it looks largely similar to the Atoms that have gone before it, Atom 4 represents a significant overhaul. A larger-diameter tubular chassis, revised interior ergonomics, fully revised suspension, steering and brakes and a more aerodynamic body are just headline updates in what is a comprehensive rework.
In fact, Simon Saunders, director of Ariel, sums the extent of the Atom 4’s evolution rather nicely: “The Atom 4 is the biggest change to the car since we originally released it in 1999. It really is an all-new car; in fact there are only three parts carried over from the last Atom – the clutch/brake pedals and the fuel cap.”
What’s more, the Atom should be going global, with European Type Approval and Australasian ADR (Australian Design Rules) certification. “Though we have had a small European presence over the years, there is an enormous demand for our vehicles in this market and elsewhere in the world.
“Type Approval is key to our future commitment to service those markets effectively. As well as our existing network of dealers, we will appoint new key agents in various countries, to make sure that as many potential customers have access to Atom 4 as possible,” said Tom Siebert, director of Ariel Motor Company.
- Built in Britain: UK automotive from A to Z
- Lamborghini Urus (briefly) driven at Goodwood
- Festival of the Unexceptional 2018
The company has gone from strength to strength over the years since the Atom’s introduction in 1999, with the Ace motorcycle and the all-terrain Nomad adding even greater appeal to the marque’s range.
Over the course of 18 years on sale, Ariel has now sold more than 1,800 Atoms. The Atom 4 and its new horizons can only help Ariel achieve still more. Production begins in late 2018, with deliveries commencing in spring 2019 – yours for £39,975.