Page 1 of 1 First conceived during the 1990s by a college student, the Ariel Atom has continuously evolved since it entered production in 1999. Late in 2012, the British specialist manufacturer launched a further developed version of the third generation Atom, known as the 3.5. Subtle changes set the 'new' Atom apart from its immediate predecessor but its typical tubular exoskeleton chassis as well as the Honda-sourced engine were have been retained.
The Atom 3.5 can easily be distinguished from the outgoing model by a new set of twin projector headlights and LED turn signals. The new Atom also features revised taillights, which improves nighttime visibility, which is vital for the increasing number of people using the minimalistic machine on public roads. More importantly, the chassis rigidity was increased, applying lessons learned with the limited edition Atom 3 Mugen and the Atom V8. The engine mounts were also revised as were the dampers.
Carried over from the Ariel 3 is the Honda K20 'four', which is also used in the Japanese manufacturer's Civic Type R. In naturally aspirated form, the engine is unchanged and produces a hefty 245 bhp. Revisions to the intake, mapping and fuel system have hiked the output of the supercharged version by 10 bhp to 310 bhp. Regardless of the engine choice, the Atom 3.5 is equipped with a close-ratio, six-speed gearbox.
In 2014, the range was further expanded with the track oriented Ariel 3.5R. Based on the supercharged 3.5, it packs a 350 bhp punch thanks to increased supercharger boost. The more potent engine is mated to a Sadev sequential gearbox, which is operated by paddles behind the steering wheel and is capable of five downshifts in less than a second. In this guise, the bewinged Ariel Atom 3.5 is capable of accelerating to 60 mph in just over 2.5 seconds and to 100 mph in just 6 seconds. Page 1 of 1