• May 21, 2009
Ariel Atom - Click above for a high-res image gallery

Ariel, our favorite purveyors of minimalist motoring this side of a Se7en, are reportedly working on an all-new vehicle that won't be powered by a standard engine and would "break new ground in the same way that the Atom first did."

According to Ariel's head Simon Saunders, the new model will be a significant departure from the Atom, nixing the exposed tube-frame chassis and mid-ship powerplant. Those decisions have allowed Ariel to look at new drivetrains – including fuel cells and electric motors – but Saunders insists that the company's core philosophy of light weight and spine-crushing acceleration won't be compromised. Additionally, Ariel has no intention of competing with the world's largest automakers. Speaking with PistonHeads, Saunders said, "We don't want to take on the established manufacturers. We will use our knowledge from building the Atom to produce a car for a totally new segment."

Although plans for an all-new model packing a 12-liter engine producing between 600 and 800 hp have been shelved, Ariel is currently working on another Atom variant equipped with a 500 hp, 2.4-liter V8 aimed to compete with the Caterham R500. And if that wasn't enough, Ariel is also contemplating a return to its roots with production of a new motorcycle.



[Source: PistonHeads]


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 19 Comments
      • 5 Years Ago
      12 liter???
      • 5 Years Ago
      I'm guessing a lightweight electric track car. I think the Tesla people made a proof of concept electric Atom, but the innovative track-minded peeps who made the Atom could do a lot more i think. AWD with independently controlled wheels? Could be awesome.

      Maybe they'll give it active suspension and aero too, but maybe i'm living in a dreamworld.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Anybody know what kind of helmet that guy is wearing?
      • 5 Years Ago
      The 2.4L V8 Atom has already been done.

      http://dpcars.aprsworld.com/
      • 5 Years Ago
      I hope it works out with 500 hp, 2.4-liter V8. Too bad they had to nix 12-liter engine producing between 600 and 800 hp.
        • 5 Years Ago
        I'm guessing its 1.2 liters and not 12?
        600hp is amazing for a 1.2 and horrible for a 12. Neither makes much sense really.
        Can someone clear this up?
      • 5 Years Ago
      What about GM's turbo charged LNF engine in the Atom? I know they had used the supercharged LSJ engine in the US...and the LNF and LSJ are very similar...

      • 5 Years Ago
      Agreed. The Atom was so good that anything they do will likely be an instant success, even if it is super low production numbers.
      • 5 Years Ago
      I'd like to see a version with a modded version of VW's 2.0 TDI that gives 4 sec 0-60 and 50+mpg.
        • 5 Years Ago
        I doubt you'd be able to get the 0-60 down to 4 seconds. In my TDI, I can't get to 60 until 3rd, and if they space the gearing out more to hit it in 2nd the car won't have any acceleration.

        Also, the problem with the Atom is that it's not very aerodynamic. I can't imagine that you'd get very good mileage with one, but I've never really researched it.
      • 5 Years Ago
      If they give that motorcycle a U4, I'm sold. (A U4 is basically a sort of parallel 4.)
      • 5 Years Ago
      Sounds like the Enertia and Enertia GT that was talked about a couple years ago, or is this something new?
      • 5 Years Ago
      I thought they already made a fully electric Atom, or was that just a prototype.

      I guess it was another company that modded an Atom into a BEV: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oVV9azx4OBA
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