• 15

Given that it's Memorial Day weekend here in the States, it's time to observe an 'oldie but a goodie' - Top Gear's Jeremy Clarkson caning an Ariel Atom. The eight-minute show opens with some great shots of the minimalist Honda-powered two-seater, followed by Clarkson racing--and beating--a motorcycle around the track. The close-up of Clarkson's neck and cheek getting pulled back by the velocity leaves one gasping at the sheer power of the Atom, and at least one staffer contemplating selling his soul in exchange for ownership.

Related: U.S. version of Ariel Atom using Ecotecs,
Up and Atom

[Source: Top Gear via YouTube]

(Top tip, J!)

I'm reporting this comment as:

Reported comments and users are reviewed by Autoblog staff 24 hours a day, seven days a week to determine whether they violate Community Guideline. Accounts are penalized for Community Guidelines violations and serious or repeated violations can lead to account termination.

    • 1 Second Ago
      • 9 Years Ago
      Faster than a motorcycle isn't the whole picture. The Atom wasn't faster off the line which is understandable, but it kicked the bikes but thru every turn. That's what makes the Atom so amazing as it handle curves like no other car (other than 2 or 3 others that top gear tested) can. Who cares how fast the car is in a straight line..that car handled like on rails thru the curve and that just floored me!!!!
      • 9 Years Ago
      Of course a GSXR1000 would be quicker, as would a Top Fuel dragster. And guess what, an oil tanker would be slower. We could sit around all day comparing power to weight ratios but we'd be missing the point of Ariel's achievement of designing and producing such a brilliant car on a shoestring budget wouldn't you say Sarah?
      • 9 Years Ago
      So it beat a 600rr huh, why not race it against a 1000rr or better yet an 06 1000 gixxer.

      The result might have been different.
      • 9 Years Ago
      This is going to sound like a stupid question, but...what kind of gas mileage does it get? Also, is it really street legal in the U.S.? And what do you do when it rains to keep dry? I guess one could wear a wetsuit, but some sort of cloth cover for the seat area would be light and effective, wouldn't it?
      • 9 Years Ago
      Faster then a CarreraGT and only $50,000... is it so cheap?
      • 9 Years Ago
      Generally speaking, ANY track-worthy car will tear up a bike in the curves. The Atom is cool, but the utter lack of top-end speed is unfortunate, and in my opinion significantly damages it's attractiveness as a track car. Ironically, the fast acceleration contributes to this: you hit top-end faster, then just sit there on the long straights twiddling your thumbs, engine all wound-out, waiting for the fast cars to pass you. You then spend the rest of your lap trying to get around the larger, slower cars again, and just about the time you do, you're back at the straight where you'll lose out. I've seen it a million times.

      Heck, I recently did this dance when somebody showed up at a track day with a 700HP wallowing pig of a Winston Cup beast. It would eat the near-stock Porsche, Vettes and Vipers alive on the straights, then slide all over the place for the rest of the lap like a giant, deadly, tube-framed roadblock. I'd wager that's how most other full-size cars will look from the Atom's driver seat.
      • 9 Years Ago
      That is Totally Wicked! Would absolutely need to wear a helmet...
      • 9 Years Ago
      Of interest to those who like this car is the Westfield XTR series. They're very similar to the Atom: tubular spaceframe chassis, no windscreen, ultralightweight. Top Gear tested an XTR2 about 3 years ago and it beat the Zonda (regular version). They 've since released the XTR4, which has 250 hp versus the Atom's 300, but the XTR is lighter.

      • 9 Years Ago
      "The close-up of Clarkson's neck and cheek getting pulled back by the velocity leaves one gasping at the sheer power of the Atom, "

      Its not being pulled back by the velocity, its being pushed back by the wind.....
      • 9 Years Ago
      Hey Ferrari Enzo. Race this beeyotch.
      • 9 Years Ago
      My dream car........
      • 9 Years Ago
      That is TOTALLY WICKED! YOu'd really have to wear a helmet to make sure you don't lose an eyeball to a bug or end up with a mouth full of them.
    • Load More Comments