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One of the purest, coldest driving experiences on God’s green earth just got faster. Meet the Atom 3.5R.

First, let’s talk about power. Using new charge-cooling technology, Ariel’s managed to quite literally turn up the Civic Type-R engine to 11. Well, 11psi of boost, increased from 7.5psi, which gives the 2.0-litre four an improved output of 350bhp, up 40bhp from 310bhp. Which, according to the company, gives it a 0-60mph time “approaching 2.5 seconds” and 0-100mph time of six seconds. Holy F.

There’s a new Sadev six-speed sequential ‘box, tied to an adjustable limited slip differential. But don’t bemoan the loss of a normal manual too much, because this transmission upshifts in less than 40 milliseconds and downshifts in less than 50 milliseconds.

Still think flappy-paddles aren’t really in the Atom spirit? Allow us to hand you over to James, who had a go with a similar system used in the apocalyptic Atom V8. He says: “It changes gear so quickly there’s no appreciable drop in power. And it makes me look like a spaniel.”

Not that it needed it, but Ariel’s also played with the Atom’s suspension. The biggest change is the dampers, which are now Öhlins TTX units. They have in-line internal reservoirs rather than the remote reservoirs you’d see on most racey stuff. We’re not really sure what that means, but we do know that they’ve been developed just for the Atom, and that you can chose between road, track or race setups. Which is probably good.

Want one? Providing you don’t tick any of the option boxes, you can have a 3.5R on your drive for £54,000, or £69,756 as pictured. available from the middle of the summer. Which, frankly, is the most sensible time to drive one.

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