BOOST: The Atom 4 pushes 239kW, with a top speed of 261km/h. Photo: SHAHIEM BELL

When it comes to track-focused sportscars, the Ariel Atom has established itself as a lightweight serious contender. The British-made Atom 4 is to be officially launched at the Goodwood Festival of Speed.

The automaker claims that it really is all-new, with only the clutch pedal, brake pedal and fuel cap carried over from the previous model.

The big news, though, is that the Atom gets a new powerplant in the form of a Honda turbocharged two-litre four pot engine, just like in the Type R. Placed on the rear axle, the engine has been tuned to provide 239kW and, propelling a mere 595kg, this facilitates a claimed zero to 100km/* in just 2.8 seconds, with a top speed of 261km/* .

A hand-welded tubular chassis surrounds the driver and passenger, sitting tight in special composite seats. Double wishbone front and rear suspension with adjustable rod ends, toe angles, pushrods and fixed Bilstein dampers are also included.

The cabin is sparse, with nothing more than the necessary TFT dash cluster and a four-point harness. There’s not much bodywork to speak of, but what there is, is apparently significantly aerodynamically improved.

The Ariel Atom is made to order, with each order being made up by a single technician. That’s personal service.

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