New Ariel Atom 3 Starts From $49,980

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For the track-day junkie or even just the no-frills driving enthusiast, the Ariel Atom is in many ways the ultimate car. The purity of the driving experience is unsullied by fripperies such as a complete interior, a roof, or even a sheet metal body shell. And now it can be had for a mere $49,980.

For that bargain-basement entry price, you get a 219-horsepower Honda K20 engined, six-speed transmission grown-up go kart that's capable of sub-3.0 second 0-60 mph runs and 0-100-0 runs under 11 seconds. That's face-stretchingly fast. It does this with an anorexia-inducing 1,375-pound curb weigh that yields a power-to-weight ratio of 6.3 pounds per horsepower in base trim.

Upgrades in power can push output up to 246 horsepower or an even 300 horsepower, driving the power-to-weight ratios down to 5.6 and 4.6 pounds per horsepower, respectively. Those models also up the price, however.

The base Atom 3 also comes with PBR single-piston floating brakes, double unequal-length wishbone suspension, limited-slip differential, Bilstein non-adjustable shocks, a cast alloy quick-ratio rack and pinion steering system, and composite body panels. Optional upgrades include Wilwood or Alcon brake systems, adjustable shock absorbers, a quick-release system for the steering wheel, carbon fiber body work, magnesium Dymag wheels, and a host of other appearance and performance accessories.

[TMI AutoTech]

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Comments (2)
  1. I have a feeling that would lead to even heavier cars than we have today.
    Unfortunately, lightweight cutting edge materials and modern engineering are quite expensive.

  2. I've always wanted one of these. This gives me hope I might one day be able to afford one. There's 3 or 4 around here; I've heard they build them here in Virginia, so that might explain this. (BTW, I know it's a British car, I'm not sure about how it's built in VA, this was told to me by an owner of an Atom.)

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