How can you not love the Ariel Atom? It’s a tube-chassis, lightweight, 300-horsepower exoskeletal road car made by a company with seven employees. It smashes supercars and sport bikes around the track. It takes power-to-weight ratios and obliterates them. The Atom is a special, special car, and there’s a new version coming this summer.
Autocar reports that an upgraded version of last year’s Atom 3, the Atom 3.5R, will be released this year, and it looks to be better than ever. Its powerplant remains a supercharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder from the Honda Civic Type R, but Ariel was nice enough to add a new intercooler with more boost in case you need to overtake someone.
As a result, The Atom 3.5R boasts nearly 350 horsepower, up from 310 in the Atom 3. Even better, the power peaks at a screaming 8400 rpm.
Since the car weighs just 1212 lbs, the acceleration figures are, as you’d expect, quite remarkable. 0 to 60 is dealt with in just 2.6 seconds, and 0 to 100 flies by in 6.0 seconds flat. Power-to-weight ratio sits at an astounding 646 hp per ton, besting cars like the Bugatti Veyron, Porsche 918, and the Ferrari Enzo.
The 3.5R also features hand-me-downs from its big brother, the V8-powered, 500-hp Atom 500. The six-speed Sadev paddleshift gearbox was modified for the new car, and the V8’s Öhlins TTX dampers govern body roll and ride quality. The most extreme part? There’s luggage space up front, lights, and turn signals, so you can drive this rocket on the road … if you’re brave enough.
Ariel is taking pre-orders now, but at $135,000, this type of performance doesn’t come cheap. If you’re one of the lucky ones, hang on. With specs like these, the Atom 3.5R will give you the thrill of a lifetime.