Crewkerne, England - When Ariel refers to its fourth-generation Atom as “all-new” the British sportscar maker is certainly not exaggerating - a grand total of just three parts have been carried over from the previous generation.

Revealed ahead of its public debut at the Goodwood Festival of Speed this coming weekend, the Atom 4 not only gets an all-new chassis as well as redesigned steering and braking systems, but there’s also a new heart beating beneath its skeletal, track-focused structure.

This comes in the form of the latest Honda Civic Type R’s 2-litre turbopetrol engine, tuned to 237kW and 420Nm (up from 228kW and 400Nm), and allegedly capable of thrusting the lightweight machine from 0-96km/h in just 2.9 seconds. Power goes to the back wheels through a six-speed gearbox.

Although there is not much bodywork to talk of here, that too is brand spanking new, with Ariel claiming “significant aerodynamic improvements”, while the redesigned cabin gets new seating and instrumentation among other changes.

As Ariel Director Simon Saunders puts it:  “The Atom 4 is the biggest change to the car since we originally released it in 1999. It really is an all-new car; in fact there are only three parts carried over from the last Atom – the clutch/brake pedals and the fuel cap.”

The low-volume approach to production will continue with this generation, with the sportscar maker planning to produce around 100 a year, alongside the Nomad and Ace. As before, each car is made to order by a single technician.

IOL Motoring