Crewkerne, Somerset, England-based Ariel has revealed the Atom 4, which essentially means the car enters its fourth generation since arriving on the market in 1999.
The redesigned Atom features Honda’s latest Type R turbo engine, an all-new chassis, refined suspension, new bodywork, revised seating and new instrumentation. Most of the changes benefit from partnerships with experts in computational fluid dynamics (CFD) and finite element analysis (FEA).
Honda’s K20C engine delivers a whopping 320hp at 6,500 rpm and 310 pound-feet of torque at 3,000 rpm, an increase of 75 per cent over the standard Atom 3.5 and 35 per cent higher than the supercharged edition.
The Atom 4 can sprint from to 0-96 km/h in 2.8 seconds, push to 160 km/h in 6.8 seconds and top out at 260km/h.
Aerodynamic improvements are said to improve downforce and engine cooling while reducing ‘helmet lift’ for the occupants. Other suspension and steering changes are focused on improving street comfort while improving track performance.
“It’s important that the Atom not only handles superbly but has ultimate driveability,” says Atom suspension engineering chief Sam Evans. “On Atom 4 we have gone to enormous lengths to ensure the car is as easy to drive on the road as it is fast on a race track.”
The Atom 4 gets an enhanced new tubular chassis which features larger-diameter main and diagonal tubes than previous Atoms which has helped increase torsional stiffness by 15 per cent. Meanwhile, carryover features include the inboard, pushrod-operated damper system but features all-new suspension geometry, which includes revised inboard and outboard points plus anti- squat and anti-dive intended to reduce unnecessary body roll and weight transfer. This and the revised steering rack makes the Atom accessible for all types of drivers, said Ariel, and there’s the option of a quick rack for track-focused cars. The Atom sits on 16in front and 17in rear wheels
Ariel boss Simon Saunders says: “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 outgoing Atom: the clutch and brake pedals and the fuel cap.” Production will begin later in the year for early 2019 customer deliveries.