Ariel Motor Co. has announced a new version of its stripped-down Atom track star, the Atom 3.5. Following up on the existing Atom 3 model, both the numeration and the spec sheet call this out as an upgrade, rather than a totally new model from the British builder.

Cosmetic changes may be hard to spot for the casual observer (and the fact that Ariel doesn't have much quality photography available doesn't help, either). The 3.5 has new a new lighting system front and rear, with twin projector headlamps and LED turn signals and taillights. The car's front "hood" has been revised, as well.

Mechanically the Atom 3.5 boasts chassis tweaks that are products of the development of the hardcore Atom V8 and Mugen models, which allow this new Ariel to be stiffer, with more torsional rigidity than ever. Revised engine mounts and dampers propose a more livable Atom ride quality, too.

Power for the 3.5 still comes from a Honda 2.0-liter four-cylinder, in both naturally aspirated and supercharged flavors. The NA motor stays steady with an output of 245 horsepower while the supercharged motor gets bumped up to 315 hp.

Follow on below for the Ariel Motor Co. press release. Please note: we've got a couple calls in to Ariel, hoping for more in the way of photography of the Atom 3.5, too – we'll be sure to update this post if we get a response. We've also placed a call to Virginia-based TMI Autotech, which is licensed to manufacturer and sell the Atom in our market, to see if North American customers will be able to take advantage of the 3.5's developments as well. We'll update this post as word becomes available.
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Ariel announce the release of the latest Atom – the Atom 3.5 – the latest Atom and a progression from the existing Atom 3. Incorporating design, detail and power upgrades the Atom 3.5 reflects Ariel's continual efforts to improve and evolve the Atom and retain its title as the best, the fastest and most fun lightweight sports car available today.

Immediately noticeable and visually setting the car apart from the Atom 3 is the new lighting system. Twin projector headlamps and LED turn signals at the front and LED turn and stop/tail light at the rear makes the Atom as fast at night as during the day. With more and more owners using their cars as regular transport the continual improvements that Ariel have made to the Atom make it accomplished on the road as well as the track. Other small styling details, such as the new bonnet, set the car apart from its predecessor.

Changes to the chassis, derived from the V8 and Mugen Limited Editions, have been fed through to the Atom 3.5 increasing stiffness and torsional rigidity. Revised engine mountings and new dampers work with these modifications to give a comfortably compliant ride on the road and improved balance and traction on the track.

The 2.0 litre Honda iVTEC K20Z4 engine is retained in the Atom 3.5 with 245bhp in normally aspirated form but power is lifted on the supercharged engine to 315bhp with changes o intake, mapping and fuel system.

Instrumentation is revised to an all new digital LCD display with speed, RPM and the usual functions plus gear indicator and built in shift lights. A data logger can be added to the driver display to give real time information including lap times, G force, position sensors and various other downloadable information.

New items have been added to the extensive Atom option list to ensure that every customer gets a car that is not only unique but absolutely right for their use. 'We have become the Savile Row of the automotive world,' said Simon Saunders, Director of Ariel, 'and the Atom is not only one of the fastest cars in the world, but also one of the most unique. There are things we can do in low volume that large manufacturers simply can't, so very car is individual to each customer and to exactly what they want. Whether it's a fast road car, the ultimate track day weapon, a fun weekend car or a combination of all three, we can make a car that is personal and individual to that particular customer'.

The Atom 3.5 continues the remarkable story of Ariel – faster, better and of course – more Serious Fun.