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Meet the new Ariel Atom 3.5
When Jeremy first tested the Ariel Atom way back in series 5, it set a painful watershed: never before in the history of Top Gear had a car literally tried to rip his face off.
Now, Ariel has introduced a new Atom. It’s called the Ariel Atom 3.5. And it is faster. And more face-rippy.
The standard 2.0-litre Honda iVTEC K20Z4 engine still puts out 245bhp in standard, normally aspirated trim, but the supercharged version now kicks out 310bhp - up 10bhp on the old ‘charged Atom - thanks to changes to the intake, engine mapping and fuel system. There’s more mid-range power too, claims Ariel.
The supercharged, 310bhp version will accelerate from 0-60mph in 2.7 seconds, 0-100mph in just 6.7 seconds, and top out at 155mph. Still cheek-warpingly quick, then.
More good news for face masochists! Ariel has stiffened up the standard Atom’s chassis using modifications derived from the bonkers V8 and Mugen Limited Editions. Torsional rigidity is up, with revised engine mountings and new dampers to give “improved balance and traction on track”, as well as making it more liveable on the road. These things are all relative.
There’s a new set of headlights and LED indicator signals, as well as LED lights at the back, together with a new bonnet, while inside, there’s a new LCD display with speed, RPM and a gear indicator with shift lights. Opt for the data logger and you’ll be presented with such critical information as lap times and G force. Still no interior as much, though, and as we’ve said before, if you’re generating enough G to log a Big Number you might not want to look at the dash…
Ariel also reckons this is the most customisable Atom ever. “We have become the Saville Row of the automotive world,” says Simon Saunders. Not to mention, with the Atom’s penchant for impromptu plastic surgery, the Harley Street of the automotive world.
Prices start at £30,000. You want one.