Atom Vs the rest (CCC Track car of the year)

Atom Vs the rest (CCC Track car of the year)

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iguana

Original Poster:

6,806 posts

221 months

Thursday 14th November 2002
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Much as I love the whole Atom concept it never gets top marks when Cars & Car Conversion review it ( ususlly suspension is considered in need of improvement) and now with the lowest spec road legal Radical & the Westie XTR it has more competition.

So just wondering how you owners view this, and how you feel it stacks up against the others.

Bruce Fielding

2,244 posts

243 months

Friday 15th November 2002
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Have to admit that I find the newcomers attractive, and on track, they're the only thing to drive if you want to experience single seater style racing performance (and pee all over the others), but they're not great in town - especially London with speed calming measures everywhere.

As for performance, the truly great thing about the atom is that you can fine tune it to be anything you want. Obviously there are limits and the suspension I understand is being investigated and possibly revised, but you'd be amazed at the difference that running the springs and shocks at each corner at variations on the 20 or so different settings available makes.

I don't think it will ever do well in tests as it compromises performance for useability and there will always be 'purpose builts' that do one or t'other better. But it's still more of a car than anyone this side of a professional racer will ever experience the limits on.

Atom290

1,015 posts

218 months

Friday 15th November 2002
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>> Edited by atom290 on Saturday 31st January 15:17

robrackstraw

6 posts

218 months

Friday 15th November 2002
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The guy who provided the green Caterham for the CCC test this year came for a ride with me at Spa a few weeks ago, in the pouring wet for which Belgium is justifiably famous. He was mighty impressed and said that my car (165bhp with lsd) was a stack better than the one they had at Anglesey, much better balanced. One thing you get with an Atom for free is stacks of friendly people blagging rides at track days. It generates more interest than ANYTHING else, which goes some way to compensating for any perceived driving deficiences. It also has FABULOUS brakes. Caterhams are easier to drive fast undoubtedly, but hey, the 911 survived for 30 years precisely because it was a challenge and the same is true of the Atom. Plus, I know what I'd rather have a shunt in, the Atom is built like a brick shit-house. This months CAR recommends the Atom over an R300, so I guess it just depends what you like.

Hope this helped,

RR

ross.mcw

393 posts

218 months

Monday 18th November 2002
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I just don't think there's any other car that gives you such a single seater feel whilst being able to drive to the circuit, do a few laps and drive home.

That's why I originally bought mine almost 2 years ago and I still think that's the case. I also like the fact that it's just such a great piece of engineering.

Certainly the rear suspension could do with some improvements for the track, but it won't stop you having a hell of a lot of fun and on a twisty road (Cat & Fiddle's my favourite), there won't be much that keeps up.

When they line the Atom up against things like the XTR, R500, SR3 etc, I think they're missing the point - the Atom isn't really like anything else.

If you see an Atom and think 'Christ, I've just got to have one of those' then you've just made your purchasing decision.

Mine's just the standard 118bhp version which is great on the road, but it definitely needs more for the track.

Miraz

192 posts

227 months

Monday 18th November 2002
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Rob - I don't think I managed to convey quite how bad the car at Anglesey was - to the point that I had reservations about heading out on a wet track with you....suffice to say that if you'd tried to carry similar speed with the factory car you would have become part of the scenery very quickly...once I'd twigged that your car was actually attached to the road I was able to settle back and enjoy the ride...

I'm impressed by the way in which most well built space frames hold up in the event of a shunt. A friend of mine had a offset frontal collision with a tin top at a closing speed of around 85mpg - the chassis was toast, but he got away with a broken wrist. There are a couple of pictures on my website - www.miraz.com/photos/photos.php?TopicID=R706-KGU

Geoff

PS - See you at Donnington on Thursday...
PPS - in case anyone hasn't figured it out, I'm the owner of the green Caterham from Spa/Anglesey

>> Edited by Miraz on Monday 18th November 22:22

>> Edited by Miraz on Monday 18th November 22:39

Atom290

1,015 posts

218 months

Tuesday 19th November 2002
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>> Edited by atom290 on Saturday 31st January 15:17