New Ariel Atom is just as facebendingly feisty
How do you improve torsional rigidity? Have wider scaffolding poles...
Meet the Ariel Atom 4. Looks subtly different, doesn’t it? In fact, it’s all-new from the ground up, a thorough rethink of our favourite open-sided lightweight. The chassis uses thicker-gauge tubing which helps to improve stiffness by 15 per cent, while the engine is now the 316bhp 2.0-litre turbo shared with the latest Civic Type R, which uses the VTEC valvetrain and exhaust system to hold pressure in the turbo off throttle, minimising lag.
It’ll be fast – as quick as the outgoing supercharged version to 100kph (around 2.6secs) and then faster to 160kph. The Atom has grown slightly – the new engine is larger, so the car is longer, and while track widths are the same, the new Atom wears wider tyres. On top of that, there’s more room in the cockpit and there are now two storage areas under the nose. “This was all about optimising the Atom,” Ariel’s Tom Siebert told us. “We’ve done a lot of work on the cooling and aerodynamics, and have worked hard to make the whole car feel more composed.” This has included fully reworking the suspension design and managing and shaping airflow through the intake, intercooler and radiator. Weight has gone up a little to 575kg, but pricing will be in line with the old supercharged model, which means a base price of under £40k. And yep, it’ll still be the most effective way of rearranging your facial fatures. OLLIE MARRIAGE
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