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By Mark Walton
24 September 2008 09:00
When it comes to journalists writing road tests, there are so many different uses for the word ‘scary’ I thought I’d better clarify. So, there’s the track car that accelerates so fast it makes you want to vomit (‘ooh, that’s so quick it’s really scary’); there’s the home-made, hand-built British sports car that bucks and kicks like a mule (‘gosh, this handling is so wayward and uncivilised it’s really scary’); and then there’s the 1000bhp supercar that cruises up the M1 at 250mph (‘hmmm, that police helicopter that’s been following me for miles is really scary’).
The Ariel Atom 300 is none of the above...
The Atom 300 is scary because it’s possessed, by some kind of evil witchcraft, and every time you put your foot down something unnatural occurs. The noise has a lot to do with it. Like other ‘lesser’ Atoms, the 300 uses the 2.0-litre, Honda Civic Type-R VTEC motor, mounted in the middle of a chassis so spartan, it makes a spider’s web look over-engineered.
But the 300’s engine is then fitted with a supercharger to boost power, up from 245bhp to 300. In a car that weighs less than a shoe. Which means the kind of performance that makes Ferraris and Lamborghinis feel slack, yes, and that’s ‘scary’ – but it also means a noise, a harsh, fearsome, witch’s shriek of a whine, that comes from directly behind you, somewhere around the vicinity of your kidneys, somewhere from the bowels of hell. No car makes this noise, not even the most intimidating Lamborghini or Pagani. And the sound builds quickly, meaning the smooth, well-oiled fizz of the latest Honda engine is obscured almost immediately by the diabolical Yeeeeeeeeeeeh of the supercharger.
Click 'Next' below to read more of our Ariel Atom3 300 first drive
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Ariel Atom3 300 (2008) CAR review
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RE: Ariel Atom3 300 (2008) CAR review
"when it comes to journalists writing road tests" do they not mean themselves when they say "regular guy"? Come on Mark, you can tell us in confidence if you wet yourself and cried. We promise we won't tell anyone else! p.s. Is the boot big enough for a bank holiday trip to Ikea?
09 October 2008 18:53
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