Ariel Atom 4 prices, specs, photos and horsepower

New Ariel Atom 4 a Type R-powered trackday weapon

Ariel Atom 4 brings Civic Type R power to the lightweight car

North and South American market Ariel Atoms will be built under license at Ariel North America based in South Boston, Virginia.

It really is an all-new vehicle.

It was 1999 when Ariel, a small-scale carmaker from Crewkerne in Somerset, England, revealed the Atom. The key numbers: 0 to 60 miles per hour in 2.8 seconds; 0 to 100 mph in 6.8 seconds; and a top speed of 162 mph.

At the heart of the Ariel Atom 4 is the Honda Civic's Type R engine, a turbocharged 2.0-liter unit with 320 horsepower and 310 pound-feet (420 Newton-meters) of torque. Siebert explained the move was forced to satisfy emissions standards. Oh, did we mention it now gets a Honda Civic Type R engine?

To best deploy the performance, Ariel has calibrated the Atom's ECU to accommodate both traction control and launch control (which are optional extras), and has also installed a (turbo) boost controller.

The tubes forming the all-new chassis are larger in diameter, and have been designed to create the lightest, yet strongest structure possible. As a result torsional rigidity is up 15 per cent compared to the 3.5.

A revised version of the 3.5's inboard, pushrod-operated damper system has been carried forward. Bilstein dampers constitute the standard, passive set-up. However, a semi-active Öhlins package is now under development.

The Ariel Atom 4 has been unveiled overnight, and will be certified for sale in Australia from 2019.

Ariel has given the Atom 4 a revised steering-rack for a wide range of road conditions, though a quicker, track-focused module is still available.

The standard brake set-up comprises 278mm ventilated discs up front and 253mm discs at the rear. An optional set provided by AP Racing sizes up at 290mm all round with 4 piston calipers.

Aerodynamic improvements are said to improve downforce and engine cooling while reducing "helmet lift" for the occupants. It's now enclosed under the air intake body panels, resulting in a cleaner look. There's also a fresh nose cone, a new engine cover and a tweaked aero screen spanning the width of the dashboard. The seats can be individually adjusted for the first time ever too.

The Atom 4 arrives 19 years after the debut of the original Atom, and though the basic principle remains much the same as the original 1999 auto - even down to the usage of Honda power - Ariel claims that the new Atom is fresh from the ground-up, and every panel is new compared to the Atom 3.5.

Latest News