The Ariel Atom. Somerset’s Finest Racer
There’s a company based in Somerset England where a hand picked staff of 8 or more began a small journey to build a car that would help people realize that there’s a lot more to driving than just enjoyment. This group of inspired engineers, came up with an automotive company called Ariel, and the cars that they build are called Atoms. A slight play on the word, due to the actual size of the car, but the never the less, it has proven itself to be a rocket on the track, as well as the street.
The team over at Ariel have been extremely busy producing Atoms for the masses to enjoy, as well as to hone, and improve their driving skills. Their first work of art was simply called the Ariel Atom. A naked, four wheeled, marvel of driving excellence. The Ariel Atom was built backwards so to speak, and this wasn’t done by accident. Rather than build a frame, or chassis if you will, and place everything on or around it, they built a frame , and put everything in it. The frame of the Ariel Atom is of an all Aluminum construction, that when all of its components are nestled on the inside, it weighs a mere 1,350pds. Which by any means is very light for any car that has two seats, a motor, and can be driven on just about any roadway.
The Ariel Atom was built originally, as being a race ready light weight car, but since its introduction to the world, (Meaning BBC’s Top Gear.) it caught on like the flu, and has since become a household name. Now the Ariel Atom’s claim to fame is that fact that all of it’s primary working parts are completely exposed for anyone to see, and or examine. Simply put, the Atom has nothing to hide. The suspension in the Atom is mounted like that of a Formula 1 car, and is supported by a double wishbone setup for more of a racer feel when driving. All four corners are set up the same exact way, with completely adjustable coil-over shocks. This allows the driver to simply use a spanner to tweak it to the way he, or she likes. The original Atom was powered by a Honda Civic Type R motor, B22 Series, which produced a 220hp, and about 189lb ft. of torque. Anybody who knows motors would say that, isn’t a lot of power, but when placed in the Ariel Atom, it makes a Hell of a difference. Linked to a sequential shifter, a really good driver could go from 0-60 in under 3 seconds. Giving the Veyron, the Porsche, and the GTR, a solid run for their money.
The Ariel Atom, to some may be a grown man’s tinker toy, or somewhat of a mid life crisis buying option. Others who can truly appreciate it’s greatness can understand what the engineers at Ariel were thinking. The feel of the wind in your face, the sound of the high revving Honda motor in your ears, and thrill of being able to see how everything on the car is working to your driving advantage, is what Nirvana should be defined as. The original Ariel Atom is available in the US for around $40k, and there will other models that will eventually find their way stateside. So for now, if you really want a TRUE driving experience, and YOUR mid-life crisis is fast approaching, be sure to consider an Atom as your potential remedy. Be sure to keep an eye out the Atom 3.