Ariel has used Honda engines for 16 years, and sees no reason to stop

Ariel Atom
Life isn’t easy for small carmakers, but it can be easier when they find good partners. British firm Ariel has one in Honda, which has supplied engines to the company for the past 16 years, and will continue to do so into the future.

The two companies say they will renew their engine-supply arrangement, which is good news for anyone lusting after Ariel’s admirably minimal Atom and Nomad. Ariel says it just completed its 1,500th Honda-powered car in 16 years. The company works out of a small shop in Somerset, England, and notes that it would take Honda just a few days to build that amount of Civics at the Japanese firm’s massive U.K. plant in Swindon.

Starting in 2003, Ariel has used multiple four-cylinder Honda engines in its cars, which are defined by a tubular exoskeleton structure. The firm started out with a 2.0-liter engine from the previous-generation Civic Type R, and eventually added a 2.4-liter engine as well. The latter is used in U.S.-spec Atoms and the off-road Nomad. A handful of Atoms were also sold in the U.S. with a General Motors Ecotec four-cylinder, and then there was the Atom 500, which featured a custom-built 3.0-liter V8.

Base Atom models use a mostly-stock version of the 2.0-liter engine, with an Ariel-specific software tune and exhaust. It produces 245 horsepower out of the box, but there are also options to supercharge it to 310 hp or 350 hp. In top form, Ariel says the Atom will do 0 to 60 mph in 2.7 seconds, and reach a top speed of 155 mph. And, as Jeremy Clarkson famously found out, it will also destroy your face.

U.S. importer TMI AutoTech offers Atom models with the larger 2.4-liter engine. The Atom 3 produces 230 hp and does 0 to 60 mph in 2.9 seconds, while the turbocharged 3S boasts 365 hp, and 0 to 60 mph in “less than 2.8 seconds,” according to the company. The naturally-aspirated version is also offered in the Nomad, which is basically an off-road version of the Atom.

And who knows where things will go from here. The current Honda Civic Type R uses a new turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine that makes 305 hp from the factory. Imagine what Ariel could do with one of those.


Muscle cars, trucks, and EVs roared into the subdued 2019 Detroit Auto Show

The 2019 Detroit Auto Show was the quietest edition of the event in recent memory, but that doesn't mean nothing significant happened inside the Cobo Center. Here are the new cars and concepts we saw at the show.

Sibling rivalry: 2019 BMW Z4 takes on the 2020 Toyota Supra

BMW and Toyota forged an unlikely partnership when they set out to build a sports car platform together. Here, we examine the similarities and differences between the 2019 Z4 and the 2020 Supra.

The 2020 Lexus RC F goes on a diet to run faster and hit harder

The Lexus RC F has been one of the heavier cars in its competitive set since its introduction. The Japanese firm's engineers set out to shed weight as they gave the model a mid-cycle update.

Hyundai’s Veloster N hot hatchback will prove its mettle on the track

The Hyundai Veloster N will go racing to prove the credibility of Hyundai's new N performance division. Unveiled at the 2019 Detroit Auto Show, the Veloster N race car will compete in a class with other small cars.

Big tech, bigger grille: BMW updates its 7 Series flagship for 2020

The BMW 7 Series will enter the 2020 model year with a host of updates inside, outside, and under the sheet metal. The new-look nose with a jumbo grille hides updated engines, while passengers benefit from smart tech features.
Emerging Tech

Ford’s sweaty robot bottom can simulate 10 years of seat use in mere days

Ford has developed 'Robutt,' a sweaty robot bottom that's designed to simulate the effects of having a pair of human buttocks sitting on its car seats for thousands of hours. Check it out.

In McLaren’s 600LT Spider, the engine is the only sound system you’ll need

The McLaren 600LT Spider is the inevitable convertible version of the 600LT coupe, itself a lighter, more powerful version of the McLaren 570S. The 600LT Spider boasts a 592-horsepower, twin-turbo V8, and a loud exhaust system to hear it…

Robomart’s self-driving grocery store is like Amazon Go on wheels

Robomart's driverless vehicle is like an Amazon Go store on wheels, with sensors tracking what you grab from the shelves. If you don't want to shop online or visit the grocery store yourself, Robomart will bring the store to you.

Ford has a plan to future-proof the hot-selling F-150 pickup truck

Worried about the threat of rising gas prices, Ford will add the F-150 to its growing portfolio of electrified vehicles. It is currently developing a hybrid F-150, and it will release an electric version of the next-generation truck.

Ford’s Mustang-inspired electric crossover will spawn a Lincoln luxury version

Lincoln will get its own version of parent Ford's first mass-market, long-range electric vehicle. While Ford's version will have styling inspired by the Mustang, Lincoln will take a more traditional approach.
Home Theater

Spotify adds simplified Car View mode for Android users

What was once just a test is now a reality: Spotify is rolling out a new, simplified in-car user interface for all Android users called Car View, which automatically engages when the app detects a car Bluetooth connection.

Boutique carmaker Karma Automotive, legendary design firm Pininfarina team up

Karma Automotive is partnering with legendary Italian design firm Pininfarina on future luxury cars. The first product of that partnership will appear later this year, Karma said, without offering other details.

Driving Daimler’s 40-ton eCascadia big rig isn’t just fun, it’s electrifying

Daimler Trucks brought its all-electric eCascadia semi-truck to the 2019 CES, and invited us to take the wheel. What does it feel like to drive one? Simply electrifying, of course.

Tesla cuts workforce by 7 percent, ends referral program to trim costs

Tesla has announced plans to trim its workforce by seven percent, and it will end the referral program that rewards customers who help it sell cars. These measures are ways to cut costs and boost profits.