All-new 320bhp Ariel Atom 4 makes Goodwood first appearance

New Ariel Atom 4 a Type R-powered trackday weapon

Ariel has revealed an all-new Atom for 2018, with the small British firm's latest ultra-lightweight sports vehicle gaining power from the latest Honda Civic Type R.

Revealed ahead of its public debut at the Goodwood Festival of Speed this coming weekend, the Atom 4 not only gets an all-new chassis as well as redesigned steering and braking systems, but there's also a new heart beating beneath its skeletal, track-focused structure. The new chassis also makes the interior-if you can call it an interior-a little roomier with more generous width and legroom.

As far as the body is concerned - there's not much of it - it comes in full carbon and has been tweaked to not only lower drag and increase downforce, but also to optimize airflow to the air intakes, intercooler, and radiator. The most obvious change is the disappearance of the central Atom roll hoop, now enclosed under the air intake bodywork.The Atom's "aero screen" now reaches all the way across the auto, reducing "helmet lift" and directing air to the engine intake, and with just this aero fence, claims Ariel, generates nominal downforce. The famous "aero screen" is present as well.

Building on Ariel's 15-year relationship with Honda UK, the Atom uses the latest Type R's 320bhp 2.0-litre turbocharged engine developing 310lb ft. Maximum torque of 420Nm is achieved at 3,000rpm.

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With a six-speed transmission, rear-wheel drive, a limited-slip differential, and tipping the scales at just 595kg, the Atom 4 has a claimed 0-60mph (0-97km/h) time of 2.8 seconds, a 0-100mph (0-161km/h) time of 6.8 seconds, and a top speed of 261km/h.

In tandem with the new engine and extra power, the new Atom 4 sits on larger wheels than before - 16-inches at the front and 17-inches at the rear. All the standard features which make the Atom road legal have either been worked upon or replaced with new ones to make the Atom 4 the fastest Atom to date. AP Racing brakes are optional with bigger discs and four-piston clampers. Brake bias can be adjusted through an optional toggle in the cockpit.

Elsewhere, the Atom gains LED indicators, stop and reversing lights and daytime running lights alongside automatic halogen headlights. The new electronics bring traction and launch control while the instrument panel looks very F1 inspired.

Ariel will commence Atom 4 production towards the end of 2018, with the first cars set to be delivered in spring next year. The company plans to continue producing around 100 cars annually, with the new Atom 4 priced from £39,975.

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