Because it so obviously exposes its driver to their immediate surroundings, it doesn’t seem accurate to describe the Atom as being in possession of a traditional car interior.
Cockpit seems like a more apt choice of word; and as far as cockpits go, even in the world of track-bred thrill machines, the Atom’s is still a wonderfully sparsely finished one. Stripped out and with no room for anything but the functional, there is almost nothing here to distract you from the task of driving – particularly if you’re prepared to excuse Ariel’s decision to offer a fitted motorbike satellite navigation system in the car as an option, which our test car had.
A pair of individual plastic buckets seats replace the one-piece, two-seater moulding of the old car (a change most welcome because it makes adjusting the position of the driver’s seat that much easier), and elsewhere there’s a gearlever, three pedals, and a smattering of buttons and switches housed behind a relatively small-diameter, suede-upholstered steering wheel.
The closest our Atom came to having a bona fide infotainment suite was the GPS lap-time recorder integrated into the digital instrument display. It consists of a receiver mounted just ahead of the cockpit, which can automatically detect when you’re on a circuit (at least in the UK) and uses satellite tracking to record and display your lap times on the screen in front of you.