New Ariel Atom is just as facebend­ingly feisty

How do you im­prove tor­sional rigid­ity? Have wider scaf­fold­ing poles...

Top Gear (Malaysia) - - The Ten -

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

Want down­force? Ex­treme aero op­tiontakes care of that

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