Ariel Sets Its Sights On Building A 1,180-Horsepower Hypercar
Just as the world’s premium automakers are rushing to one-up each other with their hypercar offerings, a new player in the scene is looking to strike all of them down with what it calls “tomorrow’s supercar today.” Don’t look now, but British automaker Ariel wants a piece of the hypercar pie and is set to take as much of it as it can with an offering that’s being touted as the “fastest-accelerating and most advanced supercar in history.”
This is not a drill, folks. Ariel really has plans for supercar domination and its banking its hopes and dreams on a 1,200-horsepower, all-wheel-drive, electric, two-seater supercar that will not only feature revolutionary technology, but will also come with performance capabilities never before seen in the segment. If that sounds a little like hyperbole, it’s because it probably is. Still, Ariel believes that it has the goods to back up its claims of supercar glory for its prized creation, which goes by the High Performance Carbon Reduction, or HIPERCAR for short. The full details have yet to be revealed, but Ariel says that the car will feature an aluminum monocoque chassis, carbon fiber body panels, and a turbine range extender powertrain that will give it a staggering 1,180 horsepower and 1,328 pound-feet of torque – enough to supposedly allow it to spring from 0 to 100 mph in just 3.8 seconds on its way to hitting a restricted top speed of 160 mph. If this electric hypercar does come to fruition, imagine what it can do to Jeremy Clarkson’s face when it blasts off the line.
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The Ariel Nomad Might Be The Perfect All-Terrain Vehicle
The BBC’s Top Gear has a new segment called Rory Reid’s Road Trips, and it’s fantastic. In it, the new host takes a long drive through an interesting place while driving an even more interesting vehicle. This time, it’s the Ariel Nomad. Now you’ve surely heard of Ariel, the small British automaker that hand-builds open-air, street-legal cars. They’re best known for the Atom, a super lightweight rocket powered by any number of four-cylinder (or even a V-8!) engines with big, sticky tires and the ability to out-handle supercars. Well, the Nomad is the Atom’s tough cousin.
Built for off-roading adventures, the Nomad is built on a similar skeletal chassis as the Atom, but has big shock absorbers, meaty tires, and tall ground clearance. Though it doesn’t have 4WD, its low curb weight and Honda-sourced four-cylinder with 235 brake horsepower allow the 1,477-pound Nomad to dig its way over any obstacle – including a rally circuit. Oh, and on dry pavement, it’ll hit 60 mph in just 3.4 seconds!
As Rory Reid finds out, the Nomad is a fantastic drifter, both on the road an on the dirt. It performs even better with the legendary rally driver David Higgins behind the wheel. Reid gets schooled on throwing the Nomads rear around a corner, while the throttle pedal is hammered to the floor. Having a handbrake lever doesn’t hurt either.
So this begs the question: is the Nomad the perfect all-terrain vehicle? Well, before we answer that, it’s important to look at the Nomad’s intended function. It’s lack of 4WD means it isn’t intended for deep mud or rock crawling. Rather, this thing is built for moderate to high-speed blasting. Granted, traction isn’t much of an issue thanks to the engine and transmission being directly over the rear wheels. So yeah, it can probably go 75 percent of place anyone in a Jeep Wrangler is willing to go. And if push comes to shove, the Nomad can be fitted with a Warn recovery winch.
In our eyes, the Ariel Nomad might indeed be one of the best all-terrain vehicles sold today. Its open-air cabin, outrageous power-to-weight ratio, and go-anywhere tires and suspension make it impossible not to want.
Let us know what you think in the comments below.
Ariel Trades a Rear Wing for Underbody Fans on Aero-P Atom
First shown to the public in concept form in 1996, the Ariel became a production model in the 2000s and has spawned several variants since then. The latest to hit the street was the Atom 3S in 2014, but that’s not to say that Ariel has been resting on its laurels since then. Come September 2016, and the British company introduced its most revolutionary concept to date. Called the Aero-P, the Atom you’re looking at lacks the car’s familiar rear wing. That’s because Ariel fitted this prototype with two high-speed fans underneath, which minimize drag while producing downforce from a standstill.
Still a work in progress in cooperation with TotalSim and Delta Motorsport, the Aero-P, which is short for Aerodynamic Efficiency Requirements & Optimisation Project, aims to solve the negative aspects of conventional aerodynamic devices. Specifically, while splitters, winglets, and big rear wings provide subtantial downforce, it is only available at slow speeds and the drag that comes with the extra downforce at high speeds reduces top speed and has a negative effect on fuel consumption.
For the Aero-P, Ariel ditched the conventional rear wing and installed two small and lightweight fans underneath, as well as added moulding and rubber skirts to the bottom of the tub. The idea is for the fans to suck the car to the ground in order to provide extra downforce and increase acceleration and cornering speed, among other factors. According to the company, the test car makes about three times the downforce of the regular Ariel Atom, with plenty of room for improvement.
“When the system is turned on the car visibly squats on the ground so you can see it working, which is pretty exciting,” said Simon Saunders, director of Ariel. “We’re already making about three times the downforce as aerofoils, but this really is just the first step and a very early stage in what is a large and complex project to bring to a production reality, so we have a lot more work to do.”
Although spectacular at first glance, the idea behind the Aero-P isn’t exactly new. Keep reading to find out where Ariel took inspiration of this concept.
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Could The Ariel Atom Go Hybrid In The Future?
The future of the Ariel Atom is looking as intriguing as ever with reports that the track car could adopt hybrid technology in the wake of engine supplier Honda’s attempts to electrify its own range.
That bit of news comes directly from Ariel boss Simon Saunders who spoke to Autocar about the possibility of a future Atom variant that will utilize a hybrid powertrain. According to Saunders, Honda’s move to adopt the technology into its own range makes it possible for the Atom to get in on the fun. That said, Sunders also added that while the thought of a hybrid-powered Atom is intriguing in and of itself, Ariel isn’t prioritizing the benefits of reduced emissions and improved fuel economy like Honda is doing.
Instead, it wants to retain the Atom’s core value of performance and so far, the hybrid powertrains that Honda has at its disposal are not powerful enough to fit into the Atom’s sporting personality. Fortunately, Honda’s hybrid tech for the NSX appears to fit into what Ariel is looking for. And with Honda keen on using that tech on its other models, it gives Ariel an opportunity to integrate some – if not all – of that tech into the development of a hybrid Atom.
Saunders didn’t dive into too much specifics about these plans, but he did add that there’s a possibility that we might also see an all-electric Atom in the future. If that sounds like Ariel is trying to fit into the current climate of the auto industry, it’s because that’s exactly what the company is doing. It makes a lot of sense for Ariel to take this approach if it hopes to give fans of the Atom new versions to get excited over.
Continue after the jump to read the full story.
Ariel Nomad Now Available In The U.S.
U.S. customers itching for the chance to own the Ariel Nomad will finally get their chance after the long-reported partnership between England-based Ariel and Virginia’s TMI AutoTech was finally made official. The team-up gives TMI AutoTech the license to produce and sell the extreme dune buggy in the U.S. market. All that time of wishing to see the Nomad in our shores and it’s finally going to happen.
For those who aren’t familiar with the Nomad, think of it as an off-road version of the track-focused Atom, right down to the Nomad’s own brand of hellaciously fun performance credentials. It’s got the same Honda-sourced 2.4-liter K24 engine tuned to deliver 230 horsepower and 220 pound-feet of torque while mated to a close-ratio six-speed manual transmission. It may not run as smooth as the Atom on a race track, but the Nomad is still good enough to pounce to 60 mph in just 3.4 seconds and 100 mph in 8.7 seconds to go with a top speed of 125 mph. The Nomad also comes with a similar exoskeleton body as the Atom. Considering its purpose, Ariel took the time to reinforce the tube frame design while also toughening up the chassis to be able to deal with unpaved terrain, the kind of surface that the Nomad was built to conquer.
Everything about the Nomad looks and sounds like a ball of fun. The only downside, if you can even call it that, is the car’s price tag. That starts at an incredible $80,000 for the Sport variant and $92,250 for the Tactical version. By comparison, the standard Ariel Atom retails in the U.S. for $64,500, although the myriad of versions does push the model’s price up to the vicinity of the Nomad. The Atom 3S, for example, comes with a price tag of $89,975.
If customers are willing to pay that much money for the Nomad – I can’t blame them – TMI will be happy to accommodate any orders from North, Central, and South America.
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1:18 Scale Ariel Atom V8 Makes For A Perfect Desk Display
An Ariel Atom V8 costs over $200,000, although that probably doesn’t matter because Ariel Motors only produced 25 units and all 25 units have been scooped up a long time ago. So what is it that you have to do to get one? Well, you can technically still get an Atom V8, but what you’re getting is a 1:18 scale model of the actual track toy that’s arguably one of the most detailed scaled models to have been created.
We all know what the Atom V8 looks like so it comes as no surprise that Ariel has resisted past offers from toy manufacturers to create scale models of the car. The intricacy of the Atom’s design and the open-body styling makes it incredibly difficult to pin down on a small scale. Eventually though, Ariel gave the green light to Spanish scale model builder Soul Models to bring the 1:18 scale Atom V8 to life.
So Soul Models went to work, carefully modelling the scaled Atom V8 to “exactly replicate the real car, right down to the builder’s plaque on the seat”. According to the company’s website, it builds its models using polyurethano resin and plastic with each model being hand made and hand painted. It’s hard to imagine the work that went through in fitting every part and equipment of the Atom V8 to their exact specifications and yet, one look at the finished product is all you need to see to know that Ariel Motors found the perfect company to do it.
Unlike the actual Atom V8s, each of the 1,500 available pieces of the 1:18 Atom V8 replica costs just $200. Interested buyers can order their 1:18 scale Atom V8s at the company’s website, www.soulmodelsweb.com.
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One of Great Britain’s smallest automakers has been building one of the biggest names in track-focused vehicles – the Ariel Atom. Now that company is leaving the track and getting dirty with its all-new Nomad. Think of it as an Atom with knobby tires and beefy suspension.
Basically an extreme dune buggy, the Nomad shares a similar design as the Atom, right down to its exoskeletal frame, Honda powerplant, stomach-churning performance capabilities, and the seemingly never-ending list of factory options.
Speaking of the factory, the Nomad will be hand-built along side the Atom in the company’s Somerset, England plant. Plans are already being laid for TMI Autoech of Virginia to construct the Nomad within the U.S. as well. Both manufacturers will offer customers the ability to request nearly any custom feature, building the exact vehicle they envision.
Of course the Nomad is a huge departure from the Atom. It has a fully enclosed tube-frame roof built from thicker material, its suspension is built to handle high-speed off-roading, and its Honda-sourced, 2.4-liter four-cylinder is stroked for extra torque production. Even the body panels are different, made from flexible polyethylene plastic as to withstand impacts. That’s the same stuff road cones are made of.
Ariel is officially releasing the Nomad at the Autosport International Show in Birmingham, England on January 9th, 2015, but all the juicy details have already been divulged. Keep reading for the rest of the info.
Updated 10/16/2015: A new report indicates that Ariel is offering a supercharged engine for the Nomad. The upgrade will increase the engine’s power up to 290 horsepower and 251 pound-feet of torque and will improve the car’s overall performance figures. However, the supercharger will increase the final price by about £6000 - or about $9,000.
Click past the jump to read more about the Ariel Nomad.
David Coulthard’s days as a top-flight Formula One race car driver may be long gone, but that doesn’t mean the man people affectionately call the “Flying Scot” can’t hack it anymore when given a chance to get behind the wheel of a four-wheeled speed merchant like the Ariel Atom.
Recently, Coulthard was given an opportunity to take the 350-horsepower Atom out for a spin at the Race of Champions’ Skills Challenge course. With Sunday Times Driving’s Will Dron riding shotgun, dear ‘ol Dave pushed the Atom to its limits, driving through the obstacle course with the ease of someone who has spent close to 21 years as an active race car driver. If he didn’t have that unmistakable Scotsman helmet on, we might have even seen Coulthard let out a yawn or two.
The affable Scot even spends some time smoking the wheels of the Atom as one is supposed to do when given an opportunity to do so. Coulthard may be 44 years old already, but his skills as a race car driver clearly hasn’t waned. It’s not in the caliber of the kids in F1, but anybody who can effortlessly drive an Atom around a pretty tricky obstacle course still has my respect.
The 2015 Ariel Nomad has got to be one of the most exciting new cars in the world right now. Its arrival was as unexpected as it is insane. Built by Ariel, traditionally a purveyor of the famously minimalist track-day cars, the Nomad is basically a full-size version of the R.C. dune buggy you had when you were a kid. Henry Catchpole from EVO Magazine recently scored a test drive in one and brought a few video cameras along for posterity.
It’s just as unhinged as you hoped would be. The Honda-sourced 2.4-liter engine produces 235 horsepower, and with just 1,477 pounds to move around, it’s brutally quick: 0-60 in in just 3.4 seconds. Because the Nomad in this video is Ariel’s demo car, Henry wasn’t able to take it offroad, but even with its high ride height, offroad tires and softer suspension, its on-road dynamics are surprisingly good. We can’t wait to see what this thing can do in its natural habitat.
Ariel will also offer a range of accessories for the Nomad, including a fabric cabin cover, spare tire, Warn winch and Bluetooth intercom system for longer excursions. So, it should be fun see how customers end up speccing their Nomads.
Even though we’re halfway through April, the snow videos keep on a’coming. And while sliding around your driveway like a drunken Ken Block is no fun for anyone, the frozen conditions do make for some pretty interesting match ups. Case in point: this drag race between an Ariel Atom and a Polaris 800 Rush Pro-S snowmobile. The venue of choice is Alton Bay Seaplane Base in New Hampshire, which claims to be the only FAA-approved airport on ice in the contiguous United States. With a ton of space to run, speeds in this particular contest breach the triple digit mark, despite the low levels of grip.
To help the Atom keep pace, its high-performance rubber was swapped out in favor of studded tires from Woody’s Traction. And even though the Atom is an absolute rocket ship, with 230 horsepower and only 1,315 pounds of weight, the Polaris is no slouch either. Turning the treads is an 800 cc, two-cylinder, two-stroke engine producing 160 horsepower. When that kind of output is paired to a weight of just 430 pounds, this speed contest might be closer than you think.
In the end, it’s the Atom that takes the win by a car length, safeguarding the pride of four-wheeled aficionados everywhere. Chalk it up to the extra traction on ice from the new tires and the obvious superiority of the automobile.
We’re barely two weeks in and 2015 has already been a pretty stellar year for cars. We’re still catching our breath from some pretty extraordinary debuts in Detroit, but probably one of the most exciting new cars we’ve seen so far this year is the Ariel Nomad. Actually, it’s not so much car as a dune buggy, and the guys from EVO Magazine got up close with one at the 2015 Autosport Show in Birmingham, England.
Ariel is a tiny company based in Somerset, England that’s made an enormous impact on the performance-car world. Using the same ultra-minimalist, lightweight design philosophy it applied to the Atom track-day car, Ariel has created an off-roader.
Like the Atom, the Nomad has an exoskeleton chassis, but that fully encapsulates the occupants. Honda power is still used, but it’s a 2.4-liter unit instead of the 2.0-liter from the Atom. The additional displacement is good for 221 pound-feet of torque and 235 horsepower. Top speed is 125 mph, and 0-60 comes in 3.4 seconds—extremely quick by both on- and off-road standards. The Nomad uses outboard mounted shocks rather than the inboard, racecar-style units of the Atom.
Like the Atom and the Ace motorcycle, the Nomad is infinitely customizable. Both 15-inch and 18-inch wheels are available, shod in a variety of mud, sand or gravel tires. The roof-mounted fog lamps and winch are also options. If you would rather not expose yourself to the elements, a windshield and weather kit will take care of that.
Will we be able to buy in North America? We spoke with TMI AutoTech, the Virginia-based licensed builder of Ariel Atoms, who told us they had no plans to build or sell the Nomad this year. Give it time though; there could be a huge audience for the Nomad on out shores.
When it comes to no-nonsense performance cars, the Ariel Atom is among the best the industry has to offer. A track toy devoid of a conventional body, the Atom is light as a feather and faster than a Ferrari thanks to its outstanding power-to-weight ratio. Ariel Motor Company a manufacturer established in 2001 that also produces motorcycles as of 2014, has launched the production Atom in the early 2000s, with Brammo Motorsports acquiring a license to manufacture it in the U.S. in late 2005. Three different iterations of the sports car have been produced so far, with a couple of special-edition models built in the process. The third-generation Atom is as impressive as it gets, but the British aren’t resting on their laurels and their recent work has materialized in an enticing new machine. Dubbed Atom 3S, Ariel’s new sports car comes with a host of drivetrain and chassis updates, as well as minor styling updates.
Novelties include a force-fed engine, a brand-new sequential gearbox, new cockpit LCD display, and updated braking and suspension gear. Naturally, the new internals improve on the Atom’s performance, but also increase its sticker by adding about $20,000 over the already familiar Atom 3. Read on for the full details.
Click past the jump to read more about Ariel Atom 3S.
While there’s nothing wrong with the Italian police having a Lamborghini Gallardo or a Huracan sports car at its disposal to apprehend those lightning-fast crooks, a British constabulary’s choice for a patrol vehicle might raise a few eyebrows. No, we’re not talking about a McLaren P1, although that would be awkward considering the supercar’s limited availability and purpose, but the Ariel Atom, a vehicle that’s light enough to sprint from 0 to 60 mph quicker than any hypercar.
Unveiled less than a month ago, the ultra-quick Atom 3.5R will serve as a police vehicle following an agreement between the British manufacturer and the local Constabulary of Avon and Somerset. Now don’t go thinking the local police force responsible for protecting the county of Somerset is about to embark on a series of high-speed pursuits, because this specific Atom has a different purpose. According to Auto Express, the featherweight vehicle will help local police raise awareness among motorcycle riders about road safety through the Safer Rider campaign.
There’s no explanation as to why the Somerset Constabulary picked an Ariel Atom for the campaign, but we’re guessing it’s because the vehicle lacks a proper shell, bearing a closer resemblance to motorbikes. It might also have something to do with the fact that Ariel will launch a motorcycle later this year.
Click past the jump to read more about the 2014 Ariel Atom Police Car.
The Ariel Atom might lack in aesthetic appeal for the culturally inclined, but where lacks in sophisticated beauty, it more than makes up for with a driving experience unlike any other. Now, imagine if you have an Atom that’s more powerful than anything in its lineup outside of the Atom 500.
This here is the Atom 3.5R (a faster and more powerful version of the Atom 3.5), and yes, that "R" attached to its name means an Atom that comes with a host of upgrades, visual and aerodynamic improvements, improved transmission and suspension setups, and of course a supercharger.
One of the most impressive qualities of the Atom is its weight, or lack thereof. Weighing just 1,220 pounds, the Atom’s skeletal structure lends itself to the kind of unnerving performance that makes test driving the car tantamount to a near-death experience. It’s no wonder why those who have driven the Atom attest to its capabilities in contorting their faces into a unique combination of shapes.
Click past the jump to read more about the Ariel Atom 3.5R.
The Ariel Atom is preparing to receive some big updates for the next generation. The company announced that the next-generation sports car will be built on a new, titanium chassis that will weigh about 40 percent less than the current tubular-steel frame, resulting in the whole vehicle weighing 8 percent less than the current one.
Next to being lighter, the future titanium chassis will be stronger than the current chassis and will deliver the highest strength-to-weight ratio of any metal.
The new chassis has been developed in cooperation with Frome-based Caged Laser Engineering and when the development is finished, Ariel will initially offer it as a limited-edition model. After that, the new titanium chassis will be offered as an option to the entire range.
Along with the new titanium chassis, the future Atom will also receive a naturally aspirated Honda engine and a few other light components that could help reduce the total weight to less than 500 kg (1,102 pounds).
When you’re trying to promote a racing series that isn’t as popular as Formula One, you need to think of something creative to get people’s attention.
Organizers of the AtomCup decided to do just that, taking to the busy streets of downtown London to perform, of all things, a pit stop. To be fair, the pit stop only came with a change of tires, which they did successfully before the red light turned green.
But what made this publicity stunt really successful was the throng of folks that seemingly stopped whatever it is they were doing to watch the Atom pit stop. And for the 30, or so, seconds it took to replace the tires, you could see everybody just transfixed on the AtomCup pit crew do their magic.
Since the AtomCup is the only race series built around the now-legendary Atom race cars, the series knows that getting exposure and drumming up some buzz is a sure way to catch peoples’ attention.
Well, judging by the looks on the faces of those bystanders, we’d say that it was a job well done.
Ariel Motor Company has announced the updated version of the Ariel Atom 3: the Atom 3.5. The new model has received a new chassis derived from the one used in the Atom V8 and the Mugen versions of the Atom, as well as a new digital LCD dashboard display with gear-shift lights, a restyled bonnet, twin projector headlamps, and LED turn, stop, and tail lights. According to Ariel, these changes will help the Atom 3.5 deliver a more comfortable ride and better traction and balance on the track.
In its standard version, the Ariel Atom 3.5 is powered by the same Honda sourced 2.0-liter iVTEC K20Z4 naturally-aspirated engine that delivers a total of 245 HP, while the supercharged version gets the same engine with a raised output of 315 HP. The extra 65 HP was obtained by modifying the intake, fuel system, and mapping.
Hit the jump to read more about the 2013 Arien Atom 3.5.
By now, we know what the Ariel Atom is capable of, but every so often, we’re reminded just how much more awesome it could be if an aftermarket company got its hands on one. Thanks to DDMWorks, we won’t have to wait long for an answer. As a refresher, the standard Atom carries a 2.4-liter Honda I4 engine that’s capable of hitting 0-60 mph in just 2.9 seconds. Mighty impressive, right?
Not as much after what DDMWorks was done with it. The newly minted Ariel Atom 7 was given a 2.0-liter Ecotec I4 engine with Wiseco pistons, beefier connecting rods, and an ARP hardware unit. The end result? 700 horsepower.
Combine that with the car’s 1,450-pound (657 kg) weight and the subsequent power-to-weight ratio of just 2.07 pounds per horsepower, and you have a car that can put even the mightiest of exotics to shame.
DDMWorks achieved this by installing a Garrett GTX 3076 turbocharger, a custom M62 supercharger, and a custom exhaust system into the mix. There are also 1,100 cc injectors and an Aeromotive 1000 fuel pump that have been put to good use. A custom air-to-water heat exchanger is used to cool the supercharger output along with a gigantic air-to-air intercooler in the rear to cool the air from the turbo, both units custom made for the conversion by Griffin Thermal Products.
A new set of 16" and 17" wheels were also fitted and wrapped in Toyo R888 tires. The aftermarket company recommends that anybody who tries to get behind the wheel of the Atom 700 to undergo special training first. Yeah, it’s that serious. Then again, if you can’t handle the 700 horsepower, there are two more "subdued" levels in the form of 450 horsepower and 575 horsepower.
No price has been given on the Atom 700, but considering the Atom 3 retails at $52,480, expect it to be significantly more.