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The New Ariel Atom 4 Will Do 0-100 MPH In 6.8 Seconds

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Just imagine what that will do to your face.

You'd be forgiven for thinking nothing has changed when looking at the new next-generation Ariel Atom, but it's been completely rebuilt from the ground up. The new Ariel Atom 4 benefits from a newly engineered tubular chassis with longer main and diagonal tubes that improve the stiffness over the old Atom by 15 percent. There's more space inside the "cabin" thanks to a reworked chassis, and there's also new suspension, steering, brakes and bodywork with "significant aerodynamic improvements."

In fact, only three parts have been carried over from the last Atom: the clutch, brake pedals, and fuel cap. These are the most significant changes applied to the Atom in nearly 20 years, since the track toy was first introduced in 1999. As Jeremy Clarkson once found out in Top Gear, the Ariel Atom's acceleration is so vigorous it can rearrange your facial features. Just imagine what the Ariel Atom 4 will do to your face then, because this is the fastest standard Atom yet. Powering the sports car is the same turbocharged 2.0-liter engine from the Honda Civic Type R engine that produces 320 horsepower and 310 lb-ft of torque.

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The engine has been mapped using Ariel's own ECU developed specifically for the Atom 4, while launch and traction control are now available as optional extras derived from the Atom V8. 0-62 mph takes just 2.8 seconds, while 0-100 mph takes just 6.8 seconds before the track-focused sports car tops out at 162 mph. Power is sent to the rear wheels through a six-speed manual gearbox and a limited-slip differential. The track-focused sports car also rides on larger 16-inch front and 17-inch rear alloy wheels, or you can equip full carbon fiber wheels that shave off almost 50 percent of weight compared to the alloys at an additional cost.

The Atom 4 comes in full carbon, and has been tweaked to lower drag, increase downforce, and optimize airflow to the air intakes, intercooler, and radiator. In the UK, pricing for the Ariel Atom 4 will start at £39,975 (around $53,000), with customer deliveries slated to start next spring. Only 100 units will be built each year, and it will also be offered in the US.