Ariel Atom 3S Is One Mad Machine for Track Junkies

Ariel Atom 3S 6 photos
Photo: Ariel
Ariel Atom 3SAriel Atom 3SAriel Atom 3SAriel Atom 3SAriel Atom 3S
The Ariel Motor Company isn't what you'd call a typical car brand. Although it takes its name from a Birmingham-based motorcycle maker that went bust in 1970, the current Ariel company is best known for its lightweight Atom high performance model that uses a Honda Civic Type-R engine and gearbox.
As if the normal Atom wasn't enough of a handful, the low volume automaker decided to take the Atom to the extreme with this latest variant. Dubbed 3S, the lil' bugger accelerates so quick it'll dislocate your liver and make your eyeballs hurt under full throttle.

In this regard, 0 to 60 mph (96 km/h) arrives in a mere 2.8 seconds, while the quarter mile is doable in an estimated 10.7 seconds, which is a tenth faster than the 2015 Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat and its 707 horsepower mill. These figures are doable thanks to a 2.4-liter Honda-sourced gasoline-fed engine which has been turbocharged to 365 horsepower, which is quite a lot for a 2.4-liter powerplant.

That oomph slots the Atom 3S under the brutal V8-engined variant. The previously mentioned Honda four-cylinder powerplant can be mated to a standard stick shift, close ratio manual or a Sadev six-speed sequential for the most spirited of drivers. It's a serious machine this, especially when you find out it's boasting with a five-stage traction control system and F1-inspired pushrod suspension all around.

The motorsport-inspired feel of this contraption continues with Alcon four-piston brakes and adjustable dampers, as well as an LCD cockpit display. Priced at $89,975, the 3S costs $25k more than the Atom 3.

When all is said and done, this type of two-seater bruiser can't be used on a daily basis because of all the obvious reasons. It's as different as chalk and cheese, but the $64,200 BMW M4 knows do to both comfort and sporty stuff when you want to hit the twisties. Speaking of which, what would your sub-$90,000 high-performance weapon of choice be?

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About the author: Mircea Panait
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After a 1:43 scale model of a Ferrari 250 GTO sparked Mircea's interest for cars when he was a kid, an early internship at Top Gear sealed his career path. He's most interested in muscle cars and American trucks, but he takes a passing interest in quirky kei cars as well.
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