The New Ariel Atom 4, A Benchmark British Lightweight
The Ariel Atom is one of the most recognisable cars in the world thanks to its unique exoskeletal form and minimalist silhouette. Unlike most cars, the Atom has no doors or roof, just a chassis and a powerful Honda engine.
Seen from above, the Atom's extraordinary form is even more apparent. It has much in common with a single-seat racing car, though the Atom is a two-seater.
Low to the ground and extremely light, the Atom (which weighs just under 600kg) delivers a pure, uncomplicated driving experience.
Of course, the absence of any roof or bodywork poses a problem in rain. This is a fair-weather car only, unless you particularly enjoy being soaking wet and freezing cold.
Seen here next to the old Atom (right), the new Atom (left) seems more confident in its stance. The exoskeleton has been comprehensively re-designed, as has almost every other part of the car; in fact, the only three components which are carried over from the old model are the fuel filler cap, the pedal box, and the top few inches of the steering column.
Inside, the minimalist theme continues. There's a small dashboard with controls and a screen, but little by way of creature comforts.
The seats are snug but supportive, and the belts are straightforward to use.
The colour monitor is a significant step up from the old, profoundly analogue Atom. The new approach to technology has saved a great deal of old-fashioned wiring, according to Ariel.
There are two exhausts available, one quiet, one a little louder.