Ariel Atom 3.5: now more evil

Excited about the iPhone 5? Forget it, there's a more PH-worthy update to a favourite product in the form of the lightly revised Ariel Atom, officially referred to as the Atom 3.5.

Spot the difference time!
Spot the difference time!
So what's new? Well, like the rest of the automotive universe even Ariel can't escape the pressure to adopt a bit of LED spangle and the new Atom gets some new front and rear lights that clean up the looks somewhat, along with a new 'bonnet', if you could call it that. Overall the look is a bit cleaner, a little bit more sinister but still unmistakably Atom. Timely too, if Ford's threats to build a road going version of its Ecoboost Formula Ford really do bear fruit.

So much for the looks, what about the engineering? Lessons learned from the wonderful but strictly limited Mugen edition and bonkers V8 have resulted in a little bit of extra chassis reinforcement and stiffness while engine mounts and dampers have been revised too. The intention seems to be to make the Atom - relatively - more usable on the road without diluting the focus if you want to hang it out on the track too.

Data logging and G-force via new LCD display
Data logging and G-force via new LCD display
The 245hp 2.0-litre VTEC Honda motor is as before in the standard version, the supercharged one getting a little bump up to 310hp with revisions to mapping and fuelling to give it a bit more mid-range grunt.

To help you make sense of it all a very racy LCD dash complete with all sorts of gadgetry like programmable gear shift lights, downloadable telemetry and G-force readouts has also been added.

Detail tweaks and improvements perhaps. But arguably more exciting than that new iPhone.

P.H. O'meter

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Comments (47) Join the discussion on the forum

  • Rumblestripe 13 Oct 2012

    I'll have one in black, black tubes, with black wheels, black tinted lights and an all black dash, when I flick a black switch, I want a black indicator light to light up black on the black dashboard.

    I find your lack of faith disturbing!

  • auyt 12 Oct 2012

    Id love one dont care what model but its not fitted with enough Nanny State intervention to be allowed into Australia.

  • jensenhealey2 11 Oct 2012

    BigBen said:
    jensenhealey2 said:
    How's it going Ben? Do you ever hear of your old Mk 1 in Germany "The original ans still the best". I guess you have had to drop that line.

    My Atom 1 was crashed on the way from my house to Germany, the plan was for the new owner to fix it up but not sure how it is going beyond that.

    I still have very fond memories of the Atom 1 as a road car, 120 - 150 BHP is quite enough to get into a lot of trouble....

    Shame - I think that's probably all three of the Bruntingthorpe cars gone now. If you remember the red one was for sale at a knock down price and in need of much TLC.

  • LuS1fer 11 Oct 2012

    Wow! That is so....the same!

  • l33 haw 11 Oct 2012

    Don't worry about DLR's. Many cars leave the factory without a CAT or handbrake.

    Normal rules don't apply with IVA/ SVA tested cars.

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