Track Car

Was the Ariel Atom Sent From Heaven?

Colin Chapman's "add lightness" philosophy lives on in the Ariel Atom. Perhaps it's the car Lotus should have built all along?

The Ariel Atom is unlike most other cars on the planet. Aside from its direct competition that includes the likes of the BAC Mono and KTM X-Bow, it’s hard to directly compare it with other cars in its performance class. But the Atom is very different from, say, a Ferrari. While the latter is an indulgence in both performance and Italian luxury, the Atom is a bare-bones street legal wonder machine that’s also capable of smoothing out any facial wrinkles. The top of the line supercharged V8 model has a top speed of 175 mph and can do 0-60 mph in just 2.5 seconds.

Just think about those numbers for a moment. They’re downright incredible. The Ariel Atom is perhaps the clearest definition of Lotus founder Colin Chapman’s "add lightness" philosophy and it’s just a wicked all-around good time. Is this car the best definition of a 21st century British sports car? Probably.

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