As hard as it may be to believe, the Ariel Atom has been on the market for almost two decades. In July, the company launched the fourth generation model that’s all-new, though you’d be hard pressed to notice the differences.
Even though it may look largely identical to the original car, the new Atom 4 has undergone a host of comprehensive modifications and shares just the fuel cap and pedals with its predecessor.
Powering the Ariel Atom 4 is a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine lifted from the latest Honda Civic Type R. This powertrain pumps out 315 hp and is mated to a six-speed manual transmission and a limited-slip differential. Whereas the Civic Type R is front-wheel drive, the Atom 4 sends all of its grunt through the rear wheels, making it even more fun to drive. It’s also rather quick, doing the 0-100 km/h (62 mph) in 2.8 seconds and hitting a 261 km/h (162 mph) top speed.
Beyond the engine, the new Ariel Atom 4 comes with an updated suspension that features Bilstein shocks as standard and Ohlins ones as an option. Ariel also offers the track-focused car with carbon fiber wheels, while the traction control and launch control functions of the Atom V8 are also optional.
Most of the car’s production will be handled by the firm’s factory near Crewkerne, Somerset in the UK. However, the Atom 4 will also be built under license in Boston for the North and South American markets.
Henry Catchpole from Carfection recently had the opportunity to test out the new Atom 4 on some spectacular roads. His verdict? Click and find out.