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.

Ariel Atom

2014 Ariel Atom 3.5R Exterior
- image 551739

note: vehicle pictured is not Spec:Race Atom.
With Honda’s K-Series 2.4-liter inline-four mounted out back, a barren chassis free of useless body panels, and world-class handling dynamics, the Spec:Race Atom is Ariel’s street fighter turned race car. It’s a track day bantamweight, with a racing exhaust system, MIG-welded tubular steel rollbar structure, and a variety of other racing equipment, including front and rear towbars, an emergency electrical cutoff, and a fire suppression system. Exposed to the elements, the driver enjoys a digital racing dash layout, an aluminum seat, a removable steering wheel, and a six-point driving harness. The outrageous handling is courtesy of four-way adjustable dampers, a custom steering rack, and (in the dry) Hoosier R6 tires, while Wilwood brakes make it stop. With prices starting under $50,000, the Spec:Race is a solid entrant into the world of amateur racing. Plus it beats snowmobiles.

What do you think?
Show Comments
Car Finder: