Ariel Atom 4 is All New From The Ground Up

Ariel Atom 4 18 photos
Photo: Ariel
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With us since the earliest part of the previous decade, Atom open-top lightweight sports car is now in its fourth generation. Compared to the previous model, Ariel redesigned just about everything. If you were wondering, the fuel cap, clutch pedal, and brake pedal have been carried over from the predecessor.
According to the Crewkerne-based company that also designs motorcycles, the fuel tank is bigger than before, now enabling the vehicle to cover up to 300 miles (482 kilometers) in one go. The nitty-gritty, meanwhile, comes in the form of a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder developed by Honda.

Also found in the Civic Type R, the engine is capable of churning out 320 horsepower and 310 pound-feet (420 Nm) in this application. The ECU and exhaust system differ from the Japanese hot hatchback. A six-speed manual transmission sends the suck-squeeze-bang-blow to the rear wheels, and as you would expect from a high-performance toy for big boys, a limited-slip diff comes standard too.

Zero to 60 mph (96 km/h) comes in 2.8 seconds, and top speed is rated at 162 mph (261 km/h). The launch control and traction control are developed from those of the Atom V8, and if you insist, Ariel is much obliged to equip the car with carbon-fiber wheels than shave off 50% of the weight of the standard 16- and 17-inch alloys.

The Bilstein dampers of the updated suspension system can be one-upped with a track-focused setup from Ohlins, the same company that provides the suspension for the S60 Polestar Engineered and the Polestar 1 plug-in hybrid coupe. As for the bodywork of the Atom, carbon fiber is the name of the game. Optimizations brought to the airflow translate to lower drag and increased downforce at full song.

Price, you ask? At £39,975 without even looking at the options list, the Atom 4 is similar in price to the Atom 3.5 before it. Ariel expects to build 100 examples of the breed per year, and yes, the newcomer will be available in the United States as well.

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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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