Few machines elicit the kind of automotive excitement as an Ariel Atom. With its interior cabin almost completely open to the elements, a clear view of all four of its wheels, not to mention just about everything else that makes the Atom a car – engine, transmission, half shafts, suspension bits, etc – a ride in an Atom is perhaps just as visceral an experience as a motorcycle. Or, perhaps, a snowmobile.

Fitting, then, isn't it, seeing an Ariel Atom and a snowmobile line up side-by-side with a long, straight strip of roadway ahead? Only in this case, it's not asphalt that makes up the driving surface. In an elemental move that would seemingly bend the contest's favor in the direction of the snowmobile, these machines are racing on a strip of ice.

The showdown took place in Alton Bay, NH, which, according to the YouTube description, is the only FAA-certified airport runway on ice in the United States. The Atom's 230 horsepower verses the Polaris 800 Rush Pro-S and its 160 ponies seems unfair, given the weights of the competitors, but will the Atom's studded tires prove to be the deciding factor?

Watch the video above to find out which machine out-drags the other on ice.

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