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Country of origin:Germany
Introduced in:2019
Price new:£33,313
Predecessor:Ariel Atom 3.5
Source:Company press release
Last updated:October 17, 2018
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Click here to download printer friendly versionAriel Motor Company announces the launch of the latest evolution of the Ariel Atom, now in its fourth generation, the all-new Atom 4.

Designed by the in-house Ariel team, the Atom 4 continues the now iconic design, but is an entirely new car from the ground-up. Building on the learning from previous generations, customer feedback, Ariel assembly technicians and significant R&D by Ariel in recent years, the Atom 4 preserves the essential Ariel qualities but progresses the design and engineering further into the most powerful and able Atom yet.

Atom 4 features the latest Honda Type R turbo engine giving 320bhp as standard, all-new chassis, suspension, steering and brakes, all-new bodywork with significant aerodynamic improvements, new seating and instrumentation together with a host of design improvements and changes. With an open design brief to improve the car wherever possible, the Atom 4 represents another big step forward in the evolution of the Atom.

Said Simon Saunders, Director of Ariel: "The Atom 4 is the biggest change to the car since we originally released it in 1999. It really is an all-new car; in fact there are only three parts carried over from the last Atom - the clutch/brake pedals and the fuel cap."

Atom 4 will continue to be made in low volume by Ariel at its factory near Crewkerne, Somerset in quantities of around 100 cars per year alongside the Ariel Nomad and Ariel Ace motorbike.

Each car will be built, as they are now, by one technician and to order for each individual customer. Having earned its reputation as the 'Savile Row of the Automotive World' Ariel has a tailor-made approach to building vehicles that isn't possible at high volume and reflects the opportunities achievable only in low volume production. Atom 4 will also be made, under licence, by Ariel North America based in South Boston, Virginia serving North and South American markets. The cars will have identical specifications, combining the best high and low volume engineering, materials and production values together with an option list and bespoke build system that gives each customer exactly the car they need. From fun sports car to track weapon, the Atom 4 will deliver.

The car will also be the first Ariel vehicle to undergo full European Small Series Type Approval (ESSTA) and ADR (Australian Design Rules) testing, to enable Atom 4 to be sold throughout Europe and Australasia with a Certificate of Conformity from 2019. Said Tom Siebert, Director of Ariel Motor Company: 'Though we have had a small European presence over the years, there is an enormous demand for our vehicles in this market and elsewhere in the world. British-built, low volume vehicles appeal on many different levels and Type Approval is key to our future commitment to service those markets effectively. As well as our existing network of dealers, we will appoint new key agents in various countries, to make sure that as many potential customers have access to Atom 4 as possible'.

As one of the very oldest names in automotive history, Ariel was started in 1870 by James Starley, also inventor of the differential and rack-and-pinion steering, with an Ordinary (Penny-Farthing) bicycle. As the first steel-framed production bicycle, the Ariel also featured steering and patented spoked wheels, revolutionising the early transport industry. With the rapid development of vehicles in the 1890s and early 1900s, Ariel advanced through De Dion-engined tricycles and Quadricycles as well as motorcycles in a fast-changing industry. As a manufacturer of early Grand Prix cars Ariel was an entrant in the first-ever race at Brooklands in 1907, winning at the second event the following weekend. From the late 1900s, the company centred its attention on motorcycle production with occasional excursions into 4 wheel vehicles. Best known for the ground-breaking Ariel Square 4, multiple International Six Day Trial winning HT5 and pressed steel frame Arrow, the company became one of the great names of the British motorcycle industry. Ariel was revived in 1999 with the launch of the Ariel Atom, featuring the now famous exposed spaceframe powered by a Rover K Series engine. A major redesign in 2003 included the introduction of the Honda K20A Type R engine and saw the start of Ariel's relationship with Honda, which continued into the Ariel Ace motorbike and Ariel Nomad. A constant development of the car saw the Atom 3 introduced in 2007, with the Honda K20Z Type R engine, and the Atom 3.5 in 2013 with revised chassis and suspension. Over 1800 Ariel Atoms have been made since the first production cars were delivered in 2000, making Atom ownership an exclusive but growing club. As a forward-thinking company Ariel will continue to evolve the Atom, but the soul of the Atom will always be attainable, rewarding performance and sheer driving pleasure.

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  Article Image gallery (17) Specifications