The Ariel Atom is a high performance open air roadster that is produced by the Ariel Motor Company in Somerset, England. The Atom is built with an exoskeleton type frame and features very minimal bodywork to go along with the sports car’s lightweight theme. The Ariel Atom is powered by a variety of power plants ranging from a supercharged Honda K series four cylinders to GM Ecotec engines with outputs ranging from 245 HP to 300 HP depending upon the application. The standard Atom is able to accelerate from 0 to 60 MPH in only 2.7 seconds and can reach a top speed of 150 MPH. Ariel is currently working on the Atom 500, taking the lightweight sports car to the next level with a 2.4 Liter 10,000 RPM V8 made from a pair of Suzuki Hyabusa engines that will produce a maximum output of 500 HP.
Italy’s Stelvio Pass is known as one of the most dangerous, as well as the most amazing roads in the world. So when Top Gear wanted to do some testing shots with a truly unprecedented selection of performance cars currently on the market, Stelvio Pass was an obvious choice for the location.
The presenters over at Top Gear have seen and driven just about every supercar that has been produced for the last decade, so it’s not surprising that the fastest lap times around their race track belong to the fastest and most powerful machines on the planet.
But as the course of history has shown us, once in a while, a modern day David arrives with a rock and a sling in hand to topple the mighty Goliaths in one fell swoop.
Weighing only 550 kg and powered by a 3.0-liter V8 engine that produces 500 horsepower, this David is by no means a pushover. It’s the Ariel Atom V8 500 and it sure made quite an impression on Top Gear.
If you believed that the Atom V8 500 was the best Ariel could do, well you were wrong. The company is preparing a limited edition Atom Mugen that has made its world debut at the UK’s Autosport Show in January 2011. The model was built as a celebration of the Atom’s 10th anniversary and will be limited to only 10 units. Each of these units will feature different livery and will have a numbered plate signed by Ariel and Mugen.
The future Atom Mugen, as you might have guessed, will be developed in cooperation with the Japanese tuner, Mugen, who is no stranger when it comes to developing tuning packages for a number of Honda models.
Together, the two companies were able to build an Ariel Atom that’s so deliciously powerful, 10 models feels like it’s not enough to satiate the craving of Atom fans all over the world.
Details for the 2012 Ariel Atom Mugen after the jump
A few years ago the Ariel Atom Experience was launched by the very people that brought the Ariel Atom over to the U.S., TMI Autotech. This program gave people the incredible opportunity to drive the open air roadster on the track for a day, but, along with everyone else, the program took a nosedive when the economy bottomed out. Now, after four years, Ariel and TMI have announced that the Ariel Atom Experience (AAE) driving events are coming back to the US for 2011.
The program isn’t as extensive as it used to be with races being held exclusively at the Virginia International Raceway as opposed to the various locations from the previous years. There will be 10 races spanned over five weekends from March through October with amateur racers taking their place inside a newly-built & spec’d Ariel Atom 3. Before each race there will be four 25 minute sessions of practice and qualifying before the drivers take their Atoms through the 20 minute race.
"Virginia International Raceway is absolutely thrilled to host the Ariel Atom Experience beginning in 2011," stated VIR Managing Partner Connie Nyholm. "The new format and price point are sure to be winners with Atom fans and anyone seeking a driving adventure experience. Of course, all drivers and their guests are welcome to stay over at VIR Resort’s Lodge, have dinner at Oak Tree Tavern, go karting, to the Spa, or just watch the racing action all around them."
The first race will be held on June 2011, with the cars making their debut in April. Cost for the event is $495 per person, per event, which is an excellent deal for anyone wanting to try their hand as an Ariel Atom racer.
The Ariel Atom 3 is no doubt a very powerful car, so it’s actually a little surprising that tuners everywhere haven’t jumped at the chance to renovate the sports car. Sure, last week we brought the Areal Atom, which was a completely "new" car inspired by the original Ariel Atom (note the play on names), but we still haven’t seen a tuning kit made especially for the Atom. Of course, German tuner Wimmer RS is about to change all of that.
With a total weight of 469 kilos and a two-liter four-cylinder Honda engine with 300 ponies kicking under the hood, the Atom was bound to get some sort of power boost eventually. Winner RS has done that with an engine optimization software, a modified supercharger, fuel pump conversion, and sport exhaust system done together with Rennkat. These new tweaks allow the Atom to jump from 300hp to 340hp and 282 Nm of torque without even blinking an eye. The increase in power allows the Atom to obtain a sprint from 0-60mph in an incredible 2.8 seconds and from 0 to 124 mph in 7.1 seconds.
In order to take in all of that power - standard or modified -, the Atom is equipped with unique internal shock absorbers, a pushrod suspension, and damper struts. All of those items combined with a tube frame replacing the body allows the vehicle to have rigidity, low weight, and maximum safety for corner speeds.
With performance and handling taken care of, Wimmer RS took the next step to make sure the modified Atom sounded as good as it drove. This was done by adding an exhaust system with optimized back pressure.
We like the play on words and definitely enjoy the inspiration on the Ariel Atom, but we’re a little disappointed that this vehicle won’t be making the production line in the near and far future.
Conceptualized by Singaporean designer Muhamman Imram, this dandy of a futuristic vehicle is called the Areal Atom, a car that’s so technologically advanced way beyond its years it actually is powered by a real atom.
Get it, now? Areal Atom…A-Real Atom.
Inspired by the Ariel Atom, Imram’s piece of work is different from the real-life Atom because of one pretty important detail: The Areal Atom will be powered by a real atom.
According to Imram, the increasing number of countries relying on nuclear power could one day lead to its energy being used in other ways. One scenario Imram thinks could happen is that while electric vehicles may be the increasing trend in the near future, another energy source – nuclear energy – could one day end up revolutionizing the future of the auto industry.
Whether that happens still remains to be seen, but if you look at Imram’s crystal ball to a world where nuclear energy is used for the right reasons, then we can definitely see the auto industry taking the leap to previously unchartered territories.
No, your eyes are not deceiving you! Ariel have indeed gone completely bonkers and fitted a bespoke V8 engine to the already madly fast, and madly exciting Ariel Atom. The Atom is a refined vehicle that actually works on the road, allowing it to represent the best track day experience. This new V8 version takes crazy to new heights thanks to minimal weight and 500HP – that may not sound like much, but when you consider that the car weighs as much as a postage stamp on a diet, things start to get very extreme indeed.
The Ariel Atom is sort of like a lean, mean, sophisticated bare knuckle boxer that has mastered all forms of martial arts. Lean and mean because of its no frills, barely-there construction; sophisticated because it’s clever; and bare knuckled because it’s raw and uncensored. Something like a Gallardo Superleggera, which can be described in the same context as a WWE Superstar – all drama, flash and very capable - can still be considered slightly under talented in comparison to the Atom. As powerful, but three times heavier than this new Atom V8, anything in the Gallardo’s league, and in fact higher, would flounder against it on pretty much any given stretch of road or track.
Production for this amazing machine will be limited to just 25 units - each getting a commemorative plaque and unique engine to match.
Hit the jump for the full details on the Ariel Atom V8 500
Have you ever imagined it will come day when you will watch a competition between a sports car and a printer? No? Don’t worry you are not the only one! Apparently there are people out there who have more imagination than we do.
The guys over Epson wanted to prove their products are designed with speed in mind. So they took an Ariel Atom sports car and a printer and put them to test. The task was to print the images with the race track before the sports car actually race the track. So they put a printer inside the sports car, wireless connected to a notebook and start printing. In this time the Atom is racing.
And you will be surprised to see who the winner was. We were surprised, but we have to admit the video worth watching it.
After whooping it up at its 10 year anniversary celebration a few days ago, Ariel has gone back to work by allowing British magazine AutoCar to take the Ariel Atom 500 out for a little spin. Of course, they didn’t take out just any Atom. No, they got their hands on the Ariel Atom 500 V8 which was released as a sort of celebratory car to mark Ariel’s 10th anniversary.
The V8 Atom is powered by a 3.0 liter V8 engine (as the name suggests) that delivers a total of 475bhp in road trim and 500bhp in racing form. With a total weight of 550 kilos, the V8 delivers 864bhp per tonne. The sprint from 0 to 60 mph is made in less than 2.5 seconds and 0-100 mph is achieved in 5.4 seconds. It’s important to note that the new Ariel V8’s 0-60 sprint time is faster than that of the Bugatti Veyron which is ridiculously impressive in a roadster.
From its humble beginnings as the brainchild of then-student Nik Smart, the Ariel Atom has become a childhood fantasy brought to life by speed enthusiasts of all ages. It’s hard to believe that in the ten years that it has been around, the Atom has evolved through three incarnations with the latest one, the Atom 500 V8, being prepared to make its way into production soon.
To commemorate the company’s 10th year anniversary, Ariel took the time to host some Atom owners from all corners of the world at the company’s headquarters in Somerset in the UK. Over forty Atom owners took the company up on their offer and gathered at the headquarters to partake in the festivities, one of which was the building of a live and running Atom 500 V8 that took a little over five hours to build from the ground up.
We would’ve loved to have been part of all the hoopla, but unfortunately, we don’t have an Atom in our garages. But in any case, we do want to send our congratulations to the company for turning 10 years old. It’s a great achievement in itself, but here’s to hoping for more years of success for you boys in the UK.