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
Exterior and Interior
Apart from the standard features that come with the regular Atom models, the Atom Mugen will include a custom paint livery and badging that will be unique to each of the 10 models. There will also be four pot lightweight calipers and ventilated front and rear discs. At the interior, the Atom Mugen will come with a multi-function LCD screen that conveniently sits in front of the driver while displaying all the pertinent information the driver needs, including gearshift indicators and lap times.
Last but certainly not least, each of the 10 models will have their own unique numbered plaque that will be signed by Mugen and Ariel engineers responsible for the development and build of the Atom Mugen.
The Atom will use a 2.0-liter K20Z Type R naturally-aspired engine borrowed from the Honda Civic Type R, but tricked out by Mugen to deliver 270 horsepower at 8,600 RPM, a bump up of 25 horsepower from the Atom 245. Performance numbers for the Atom Mugen equate to a 0-60 mph time of just 2.9 seconds and a top speed of around 150 mph.
Mr. Hiroki Toyoda, Vice President of Mugen Euro, said "The Type R Honda is the best 2.0 liter normally aspirated engine available. We have put our experience and know how to release even more power from the engine and we’re delighted to see our engine in the Ariel Atom.
We’ve already touched on the fact that only 10 of these rockets will be made by Ariel and Mugen. Unfortunately, one of them has already been sold, leaving the rest of us with nine models to fight over. Each one will cost £49,740 including VAT. That’s about $78,700 based on current exchange rates.
One competitor that should give the Ariel Atom Mugen a run for its money is the KTM X-Bow. Despite vastly different aesthetic styling, both the X-Bow and Atom have similar performance specs that aren’t that far from each other. Whereas the Atom has a 2.0-liter K20Z Type R naturally-aspired engine that produces 270 horsepower - thanks to Mugen - the KTM X-Bow counters with an Audi-sourced 2.0-liter TFSI DOHC engine that produces around 240 horsepower.
Mugen partnership is a great thing
Commemorative model makes it more special
270 horsepower for a car that weighs under 640 kg
Limited stock means harder to find
A bit expensive for a track-day sports car
Purely for thrill-seeking purposes