Ariel Atom

Ariel Atom information: everything you need to know if you own it, are thinking of buying one or just want to find out more about the minimalist sports car from Somerset. Click on the links below for all of CAR magazine’s news, reviews, videos, scoops and spy photos of the Atom car range. 


The Atom is hand-built in Crewkerne in Somerset under the watchful eye of Simon Saunders, the founder of Ariel. It's unlike anything else out there, powering a flyweight two-seater with rabid - and reliable - Honda VTEC power, the preferred powersource since 2001. For more information on the Ariel Atom family, click on our further stories on the links below.

60sec road test

Half beach buggy, half car, all Ariel. The Nomad is like nothing else on the road, taking the bones of an Atom and adding new sections to the aluminium-tube skeleton to add an upper-cage structure. It says a lot about this car that the windscreen is optional. Light weight is key here: the whole caboodle only weighs around 670kg, so performance from the Honda-sourced, mid-mounted 2.4-litre four-cylinder VTEC is absolutely unhinged. Ariel quotes 0-62mph in 3.4sec and a top speed approaching 120mph. While we tested the former, we didn't dare approach the latter... You thread your way into the Nomad, negotiating metalwork like a naughty schoolboy clambering up scaffolding. Once installed, you'll find a simple cockpit, whose rally-style vertical handbrake speaks volumes about this car's intent. Read our full Ariel Nomad review here to see what happens when you start it up and start playing...

The one we’d buy

The VTEC-engined Atoms get our vote. Previous V8 a bit excess-all-areas

The one we’d avoid like the plague

Nope, still can't think of an Atom we don't like...

Rivals to consider

Ariel Nomad, Caterham Seven, KTM X-Bow


Still mental, still mesmerising, still totally unique


You'll need to invest in a full set of warm and waterproof clothes, not for shrinking violets...

Ariel Atom reviews

Ariel Atom news