Ariel has turned to specialist tuning company Mugen for the latest addition to its now four-strong Atom range.
The Ariel Atom 3 Mugen is a special edition launched today at the Autosport International in Birmingham. It will be limited to just 10 units and bridges the performance gap between the entry-level Atom 3 245 and the supercharged Atom 3 300, despite its price hike over the more powerful 300.
Mugen has tweaked the 2.0-litre Honda K20Z Type R engine, the unit that has been used in regular Atoms since 2007, to produce 270bhp at 8600rpm. The stripped out track-racer will hit 60mph from rest in just 2.9sec and be capable of reaching speeds of up to 150mph. The 0-60mph time sits between the 245's 3.3sec and the 300's 2.7sec.
The engine features a lightened balanced flywheel, which is fitted together with a limited slip differential to a close ratio Honda six-speed gearbox.
Ariel told that Autocar that the Atom 3 Mugen is almost as quick as the supercharged 300 in the real world, but its real benefits are noticed on the track due to its track-focused adjustable damper and spring package borrowed from the the Atom V8.
Extra features of the Atom Mugen over standard models include a custom paint job, red, four pot lightweight callipers and ventilated front and rear discs. On the inside, a multi-function LCD screen sits in front of the driver and displays information such as gearshift indicators and lap times. This is also a feature borrowed from the V8. Just 10 examples of the car will be built, each featuring a special livery and a numbered plate signed by the Mugen and Ariel technicians responsible for its build. One unit has already been sold. The remainder will cost from £49,740 including VAT.