Ariel Atom Supercharged: Spotted

If you've ever seen (or driven) an Ariel Atom at a track day, you'll know just how blindingly quick they are on the asphalt. They're pretty much the closest thing to a thoroughbred racing car you can stick number plates on, after all, with the design comprising little more than a bare skeleton chassis, powertrain and a pair of seats.

That's certainly been the case since the Ariel was launched back in 2000, when it evolved from a Coventry University project to an actual for-sale track car. Today, of course, the segment is more crowded than ever, and the competition more intense than ever - see Caterham 620S and BAC Mono as two compelling alternatives. Yet to many, nothing can match the Atom for its mixture of rawness and open-to-the-elements focus.

This is especially true when you find an Atom with Β£10k worth of upgrades fitted, like today's Spotted. This 2005 car uses a 310hp supercharged Honda VTEC motor that provides it with 560hp per tonne, so it's presumably not short of eye-watering pace. It also features the optional Ariel aero kit, comprised of front and rear wings.

Add in a set of 200-mile-old Toyo 888Rs and you've got yourself a machine capable of reaching some rather extreme levels of lateral G. Hypercars aside, there isn't much else you can legitimately strap a number plate to and expect to lap much quicker in. Certainly not for the price of high-spec hot hatch.

The current owner has certainly put this to the test, as shown by the pictures of the car at the Nurburgring. Following its stints on circuit it looks to have been well maintained, with upgraded bearings and driveshafts fitted three months ago and a recent oil change in its service history. It's described as being "in perfect condition".

As far as plug and play track cars capable of shaming just about anything on track go, this has to be one of the most exciting options in the classifieds. We can't think of a more thrilling way to part with Β£34k...

1,997cc, four-cylinder, supercharged
Transmission: 6-speed manual, rear-wheel drive
Power (hp): 310
Torque (lb ft): NA (car is remapped)
First registered: 2005
Recorded mileage: 17,000
Price new: N/A
Yours for: Β£33,995

See the original advert here.

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Comments (23) Join the discussion on the forum

  • Itsallicanafford 23 Jan 2019

    Spectacular in every way, sadly not a good match for my own skill set...Happy to keep right on track and let this one fly past!

  • Dr G 23 Jan 2019

    Are they really that racing-car like? Raw and exposed like a bike certainly, but Radical, Ultima etc. are considerably more race than an Ariel.

  • JMF894 23 Jan 2019

    Always loved the Atom but I'd happily take a slower version than this as I'd want time to savour what was happing!

  • don logan 23 Jan 2019

    Can be tricky on Park Lane, this started a couple of hundred feet back and ended like this, I don’t know anymore than that, “cockpit” all looked intact with no intrusions etc

  • framerateuk 23 Jan 2019

    I would absolutely love an Atom. Unforutnately I've found that I get less and less time to use my Caterham these days, and an Atom is even less practical - I fear I'd never use it.

    I think a Lotus is next for me.

    On the safety point, the Atoms seem to stand up pretty well certainly better than a Caterham in a side impact!

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