Long story short: it sucks.
By all accounts, the Ariel Atom is a truly terrific driving enthusiast's toy. Even the base models with "only" 230 horsepower are among some of the most involving and outrageous federalized cars on sale in the United States, and there's little else on the market that can come close to providing the thrills an Atom supplies in spades. In fact, the only real criticism is that the Ariel can be a bit skittish and edgy. Now, though it looks like that'll be a thing of the past, courtesy of this new Atom development mule.
Officially christened the Ariel AERO-P Atom, this new skeletal sports car brings to the table the biggest revolution to the Atom package since Ariel decided to drop the Rover K-series engine in favor of Honda units. In a move inspired by the Chaparral 2J and Brabham BT46B 'fan cars,' the conventional wings and spoilers have been dropped in favor of a suction fans and under-floor skirts that - according to Ariel - increases cornering speeds and braking performance, without the aerodynamic drag that comes with fitting aero splitters and the like. Heck, even fuel consumption is claimed to be improved by the fan system in comparison with the wings setup!
Though additional technical partners and lots of development work have gone into the creation of the AERO-P, Ariel stresses that this 'vacuum cleaner' Atom spec isn't destined for production anytime soon. However, it was confirmed that this project is just one step towards a long-term goal of having such a system made practical for use in a road car one day. Given the rate in which technologies are constantly being developed, one can only imagine just how advanced these devices will become. With Ariel already claiming the current fan system generates three times the downforce of conventional aerofoils, Lord only knows what a future sports car with such a ground effects setup can produce.