Ariel’s all-new Atom is better to drive, faster, sharper, edgier. Sarah Moore reports.
If your Ariel Atom 3.5 is starting to feel a little out of date, you’re in luck. The car maker has revealed the fourth-generation Atom for 2018, and it is due to make its debut at this year’s Goodwood Festival of Speed. The new Atom 4 is the fastest version yet of one of our favourite cars, says Vijay Pattni on Top Gear. Although it looks much the same, it’s actually a completely new car from the ground up.
The bodywork is a refinement of the trademark Atom shape, with an emphasis on improved aerodynamics, says James Brodie in Auto Express. Drag has been reduced, according to Ariel, and there’s also a fresh nose-cone, a new engine cover and a tweaked aero-screen spanning the width of the dashboard.
Engineers set out to create a car with less body roll, less dive and a better all-round ride, says Safet Satara on Top Speed. They added “beefier wheels”, new suspension components and optional Ohlins dampers. The result is an “all-new cornering experience” that is “sharper and edgier” than ever before. Slotted inside the Atom 4 is a new engine, too, says Pattni. And it’s a good one – the 2.0 litre, 320bhp four-cylinder i-VTEC turbo from the new Honda Civic Type R. “It’s faster than before, and indeed faster than ever.”
It’ll do 0-60mph in 2.8 seconds and 0-100mph in 6.8 seconds.
The Ariel is more for a bit of fun on a Sunday drive than anything else, says Satara. Now it will take you further, and in more comfort, than before. Low-weight, high-power, rear-wheel-drive, and a manual transmission. “What can possibly go wrong?”
Price: from £39,975; 0-62mph: 6.8 seconds; Engine: 2.0-litre VTEC four-cylinder; Torque: 310 lb ft