RE: All-new 320hp Ariel Atom 4 unveiled

RE: All-new 320hp Ariel Atom 4 unveiled

Wednesday 11th July

All-new 320hp Ariel Atom 4 unveiled

Latest model gets FK8 Civic Type R engine - good for 2.8secs to 60mph and 162mph top speed...



Ariel will launch its fourth-generation Atom at the Goodwood Festival of Speed this weekend. The Atom 4, new from the ground-up, is immediately recognisable as an Atom but carries over only three parts - the brake and clutch pedals and the fuel filler cap - from the previous generation model.

At the heart of the Atom 4, and one of the main reasons for the complete redesign, is Honda's latest 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder engine, from the current Civic Type R. At 320hp in Ariel's standard tune, it makes 10 bhp more than the supercharged version of the Atom 3, which is enough, Ariel says, to take the Atom 4 to 60mph from rest in 2.8secs, and to 100mph in 6.8sec.

The engine, mounted behind the occupants, as ever drives the rear wheels through a six-speed manual gearbox and limited-slip differential. Ariel says the top speed is now 162mph, permitted by better aerodynamics than any previous Atom: although it is still not exactly the world's slipperiest vehicle, for which you can blame the exposed mechanicals.


Among these is a chassis redesigned with larger diameter tubing, giving a 15 per cent increase in torsional rigidity, while the rear roll hoop - perhaps the easiest way to spot an Atom 4 from its predecessors - is now hidden beneath the bodywork for the air intake.

Ariel says there's more room inside the car; the upright, transparent wind deflector now reaches right across the cabin; while there is a new instrument panel, with TFT colour screen, and switches for the adjustable traction and launch-control functions, all behind a 310mm suede-rimmed steering wheel. As significant will be that the seats can be adjusted independently of each other, while the fuel tank is bigger, too; at 40 litres it's said to be good for a range of more than 300 miles.

Suspension is by double wishbones, with inboard Eibach dual-rate springs and Bilstein dampers. Revised geometry is claimed to vastly reduce squat and dive, while wheels are up an inch in diameter all-round - to 7J x 16in at the front and 9J x 17in at the rear, with 195/50 R16 and 255/40 R17 Avon ZZR tyres as standard.


Brakes are 278mm front and 253mm rear discs, with a 290mm 4-piston AP set up optional. There are optional composite wheels, too, which save 16kg. The steering stays at two turns between locks, but the new rack has been designed to improve the turning circle, one of the drawbacks of former Atoms. That said, the Atom 4 remains a wide car, at 1880mm, almost the same as the Jeep Wrangler as tested by PH the other day.

Priced from £39,975 in the UK, with deliveries beginning early next year, the Atom will be assembled in quantities of around 100 a year at Ariel's Crewkerne, Somerset base. As the first Atom to get full European Series Type Approval (ESSTA) and Australian Design Rules (ADR), the Atom 4 can be sold throughout Europe and Australasia, while it will also be built under licence by Ariel North America, based in Virginia, for both north and south American markets.



Engine Type
2.0 K20C Honda 4 cylinder i-VTEC, Direct Injection, Turbocharged
Aluminium alloy block, cylinder head, sump
Displacement 1996cc
Bore & Stroke 86mm x 85.9mm
Valvetrain Chain drive DOHC 4 valves per cylinder

Power 320 HP @ 6500 rpm
Torque 420Nm @ 3000 rpm

Gearbox
6 Speed + reverse aluminium casing
Limited slip differential
Rear-wheel drive

Fuel system
Direct fuel injection
40 litre aluminium fuel tank

Electrical
Electronic coil over plug ignition
MBE engine management system
Thatcham category 2 Immobiliser system


Cooling
Front mounted fabricated aluminium radiator
Electric fan
Underbody intake fabricated aluminium intercooler
Intake Ram air box system
ITG high flow foam air filter

Exhaust
Fabricated stainless exhaust
3 way closed loop catalytic converter
Fabricated stainless silencer

Chassis
Right or left hand drive
Bronze welded multi diameter ERW /CDS steel tube
Aluminium bulkheads
Phosphated, dual powder coated finish

Suspension
Double unequal length TIG welded fabricated wishbones front and rear
Outboard adjustable rod ends front and rear
Adjustable rear and front toe
Lightweight machined aluminium uprights front and rear
Adjustable suspension pushrods front and rear
Aluminium bell cranks front and rear, needle roller bearings
Bilstein monotube dampers front and rear
High grade alloy steel Eibach dual rate coil springs


Steering
Rack and pinion cast alloy steering rack 2 turns lock to lock
Collapsible offset steering column
Adjustable inboard joint and outboard rod ends
305mm race suede covered steering wheel

Braking
Front: 278mm ventilated discs with 2 piston callipers
Rear: 253mm discs with 2 piston callipers
Tilton aluminium racing pedal box
Twin master cylinders adjustable front/rear brake bias
Parking brake

Wheels
Front: 7Jx16 Cast alloy
Rear: 9Jx17 Cast alloy

Tyres
Front: 195/50R16 Avon ZZR
Rear: 255/40R17 Avon ZZR

Body
Multi piece lightweight composite panels


Seating
Individual composite race seats, 5 position adjustment
2" E Approved four point quick release full harnesses

Instruments
TFT Digital display/PDM system with speedometer, tachometer, water temperature, fuel level, oil pressure, gear position, odometer, trip, time

Dimensions
Length 3520
Track 1600 (front) 1615 (rear)
Height 1122
Wheelbase 2390
Width 1880
Weight 595kg

Performance
0-60 mph 2.80 seconds (0-100kph)
0-100 mph 6.80 seconds (0-165kph)
Top speed 162 mph

Price
£33,312.50 + VAT

Author
Discussion

another 3 points

Original Poster:

759 posts

128 months

Tuesday 10th July
quotequote all
So little car for your money, snigger snigger.

hondansx

3,143 posts

156 months

Tuesday 10th July
quotequote all
Sounds great, but wondering if a turbo spoils things....

TameRacingDriver

11,863 posts

203 months

Tuesday 10th July
quotequote all
hondansx said:
Sounds great, but wondering if a turbo spoils things....
I was wondering the same thing. A car that light doesn’t need all that torque, and the noise will surely be of a lesser quality, it wont rev as high, etc..

Helicopter123

3,030 posts

87 months

Tuesday 10th July
quotequote all
Fantastic performance for under £40k!


CS Garth

1,588 posts

36 months

Tuesday 10th July
quotequote all
Awesome
Advertisement

Deano84

611 posts

123 months

Tuesday 10th July
quotequote all
Want- does anyone know if there a massive waiting list of potential customers, meaning they will all be sold out immediately?

dfen5

2,141 posts

143 months

Tuesday 10th July
quotequote all
Much as I like the look, with that roll over bar so low, the thought of my head grinding away on the tarmac after a roll over would stop me ever buying one. Is it the camera angle or is it actually that useless?

SturdyHSV

6,041 posts

98 months

Tuesday 10th July
quotequote all
dfen5 said:
Much as I like the look, with that roll over bar so low, the thought of my head grinding away on the tarmac after a roll over would stop me ever buying one. Is it the camera angle or is it actually that useless?
That was my first thought too, the driver's head looks integral to the rollover structure, but one can only presume Ariel have given it some thought?

yonex

11,614 posts

99 months

Tuesday 10th July
quotequote all
Looks good. Time to place a deposit.

Thorburn

2,249 posts

124 months

Wednesday 11th July
quotequote all
If only I'd had a camera running in my car, think I spotted this out testing last week. Was passing their HQ and had that car following me for a mile or two - thought it didn't look quite right for an Atom 3!

Nothing more useful to say, other than in a straight line it had no issue keeping up with an Evora 400.

ChocolateFrog

3,178 posts

104 months

Wednesday 11th July
quotequote all


Good luck surviving that.

cheddar

3,942 posts

105 months

Wednesday 11th July
quotequote all
Why all the worry about your head grazing along the road?

It'll only touch the tarmac on initial impact after which your spine will be shattered allowing your upper body to be compressed back into the car, Ariel have thought this through

P-Jay

8,593 posts

122 months

Wednesday 11th July
quotequote all
I’d love one.

I think if you’re even slightly concerned about crash protection, it’s not for you wink

arkenphel

371 posts

136 months

Wednesday 11th July
quotequote all
It looks prettier than previous Atoms, but the thing that stops me buying one is : how do you clean it?

I don't think my local Afghan car wash would do a good enough job for fiver...

je777

236 posts

35 months

Wednesday 11th July
quotequote all
Rev to 9,000 or rev to 7,000 - which do you want?
I can only assume that they had to change engines 'because of rules' - if you build this few cars, the rules should be a lot more lax. It matters hugely if the new Fiesta or whatever produces 0.1% less pollution, because there will be so many of them, whereas this thing could be running on coal and it wouldn't matter.

helix402

3,664 posts

113 months

Wednesday 11th July
quotequote all
Hope it’s got improved driveshafts.

dinkel

24,593 posts

189 months

Wednesday 11th July
quotequote all
Helicopter123 said:
Fantastic performance for under £40k!
Everyone should have one, with a 100 brake 1.5 in.

Tickle

2,698 posts

135 months

Wednesday 11th July
quotequote all
arkenphel said:
It looks prettier than previous Atoms, but the thing that stops me buying one is : how do you clean it?

I don't think my local Afghan car wash would do a good enough job for fiver...
If you can afford £40k plus for a toy, a couple of buckets and a hose won't be to bad a hit.

tight fart

1,034 posts

204 months

Wednesday 11th July
quotequote all
That's one ugly rear end.

Vitorio

4,155 posts

74 months

Wednesday 11th July
quotequote all
Can anyone actually tell the difference between the different versions? I wasnt even aware there was an Atom 2 or 3, just thought they did a 4 pot one and the V8