Revised flyweight track car gets a little bit bigger and more comfy

Ariel’s scorching Atom is getting a new engine and a light makeover aimed at increasing cabin space for a new generation of bigger owners.Called the Atom 3, Simon Saunders’ unique £30,000 track day creation now features the latest version of Honda’s screaming 2.0-litre Type-R engine, with a new ECU and intakes, a fly-by-wire throttle, a new fuel system and a new twin outlet exhaust. It serves up the same 245bhp max power output as the old engine in normally aspirated form, but slightly more torque lower in the rev range. A 300bhp supercharged model will also be offered, just as it is now.Saunders says the most noticeable improvement is the added refinement gained from bigger rubber engine mounts, which help “get rid of the fizzing vibrations that some owners weren’t keen on”.Clever attention to detail has squeezed 100mm of extra elbow room out of the Atom’s cockpit by changing the angle of the chassis’ aluminium cross-bracing tubes. “We’ve got quite a few over six-foot owners and we wanted to make a bit more interior space for them,” says Saunders.With the same aim, an Atom 3 buyer will be able to choose between two seat sizes, the bigger one about 25mm wider. Both allow Atom 3 driver and passenger to sit slightly lower in the car than they would in the last one, while new optional clear plastic air deflectors add to the effectiveness of the car’s twin aero bubbles to better shield your head from the onslaught of the wind. Other technical improvements include a more precise gearchange and standard needle-roller bearings for the Bilstein damper bellcranks. Ten-way adjustable dampers are now optional, in place of five-way adjustment, for an extra £1250.The changes are targetted mainly at achieving greater success for the Atom in the USA, where it is made under licence by Brammo Motorsports. It will also be built in China as of next year, by Quingdao Ariel Automotive Ltd.

Come back to Autocar.co.uk later this week for our first drive verdict on the Ariel Atom 3, as well as exclusive video content on the car

Our Verdict

The Ariel Atom is superbike-fast, and as exhilarating as cars get

In every form the Ariel Atom delivers thrills as exhilarating as any car can deliver. And there’s no greater recommendation than that.

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