Any time you have to hand off the keys to a valued car, it can be a little nerve racking – and with some justification. Just check out this video, which serves as a cautionary tale of sorts. According to its YouTube description, the user, named ShakenBakeRacin, lent his Ariel Atom to his brother and recorded video of him driving the lightweight racer on the north course at VIR – Virginia International Raceway. What was probably not expected was what ensues in the video.
We called the gloriously minimalist Ariel Atom "awesomeness that defies all classification." And that's just how we feel about the outside; Auto Shepherd stopped by Arizona distributor Sector 111 (which, incidentally, will also handle the outrageous BAC Mono) to pore over every detail under the Atom's skin, what little of it there is.
Flip through the pages of CAR, EVO or Top Gear, and it's obvious the British motoring press has an unhealthy obsession with getting sideways. Not that we can blame them. We enjoy a healthy dab of oppo as much as the next guy, but when the Pistonheads hive-mind starts crying foul about opposite lock shenanigans, you know it's getting out of hand.
Calling the Ariel Atom a "car" is a bit of a stretch. After all, it comes with no roof, no doors, no windows. So for all intents and purposes, it's basically a motorcycle with four wheels (plus two seats and a steering wheel). You're gonna want to wear a helmet, and we wouldn't recommend riding it in the rain.
The Ariel Atom is a lightweight, high-performance sports car which started life as a design project by then-student Nik Smart. Ten years later, the Atom has progressed through three iterations, and there are plans to expand the Atom family with the creation of a motorcycle and the upcoming Ariel Atom 500 V8. The bike is still being developed, but some lucky Atom owners got a sneak peek at the V8-powered variant.