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Stig Inserts Another Drift Coin, Takes the Ariel Atom 4 on a Slightly Wet Course

His costume adorns one of the displays at the National Motor Museum in Beaulieu, Hampshire, UK. His identity is still unknown because he’s got a tendency to get reinvented every time British racing drivers like McCarthy and Collins think it’s time to move on. On our part, all we know is he’s gotten a bit wet during the latest Stig Drifts challenge.
Stig Drifts Ariel Atom 4 26 photos
Photo: Top Gear/YouTube
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Although we’re mainly used to seeing The Stig post lap times around Top Gear’s circuit or talk (off-camera) to celebrity guests for the (usually) entertaining “Star in a Reasonably Priced Car” segment, as of late last year, the mysterious presenter has also branched out into... drifting.

Seriously, if you have been paying attention – and we gave many hints – one may have noticed that BBC is lending more credentials to the character via its newly minted “Stig Drifts” series. So far, the drifting count hasn’t gone past double digits, but at least we have been treated to fine specimens of cars.

Getting sports cars to perform such shenanigans is an inherent display of skill and resolve, but after seeing the Internet world go at it on various occasions, it sometimes feels like everyone needs to up the stakes to get noticed. Or, at least have things like a family estate or a James Bond-famous classic car up and down the track.

This time around, The Stig isn’t upping the stakes on horsepower count, but rather doubling down on weight. That’s because the latest installment in the series brings forward the insanely fast, inherently crazy Ariel Atom 4. It’s not the first time we see a hardcore automobile with no doors, no windows, and no roof – The Stig previously drifted a 310-hp Caterham 620R.

And we loved every moment of the time spent with the 545 kg (1,201 lbs.) British-built, classic-looking, land missile, specifically because it was expertly handled in the wet. Well, there’s a déjà-vu feeling all over again because of the damp weather and the fact the new car going sideways is equally light, powerful, and overwhelmingly fast.

Only, this time around, The Stig is presented with the modern alternative to the “naked bomb on wheels” project – Ariel's latest iteration of the Atom series. In just a few words, what we have here is The Stig, the Longcross circuit, a damp tarmac, and a 2.8-second (to 60 mph/96 kph) little car sporting 320 hp from a 2.0-liter turbocharged four cylinder and a weight of just 595 kg (1,312 lbs). Do enjoy, just as we did.

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About the author: Aurel Niculescu
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Aurel has aimed high all his life (literally, at 16 he was flying gliders all by himself) so in 2006 he switched careers and got hired as a writer at his favorite magazine. Since then, his work has been published both by print and online outlets, most recently right here, on autoevolution.
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