It's often said that driving a low raise sports car like this is akin to low flying.
And that sensation is never more apparent than in [UNKNOWN].
And that was a new one [INAUDIBLE] Very awesome car.
Hang on a minute, new?
I mean, this top section in the steering column, a couple of the pedals, and the fuel [UNKNOWN] cap, fair enough, they're all carried over.
But the rest, totally different.
All right, not totally different, but where is it you can trade even the 3.5R All the way back to the Atom 1, this is clean-sheet-of-paper stuff.
The big thing that everyone's gonna talk about is the new engine.
Obviously, Ariel's had a history with Honda, and this is the latest Civic-type Orange, which is, of course, turbo-charged.
Chassis Looks broadly similar, but actually wheel base has increased slightly, the larger gauge steel tubing, and this is obviously different.
And that has knock on effects in other things as well, so suspension, new suspension geometry, it's now got anti dive and anti squat, and you can see that from the pickup points in the suspension just down there which are Rather beautiful.
The wheel size has also changed slightly on this car.
So they've gone up an inch in diameter both front and rear.
And the rears are now 255 section which is wider even than the old 3.5R.
So it will be interesting to see how that changes.
And on this car some very expensive but rather nice optional carbon fiber wheels.
Other details well they're little things that If you've driven an Ariel before, you'll certainly appreciate and notice in this.
Things like the seats, they're now not conjoined.
Separate seats, and you just sit a little bit lower, there's more adjustment, and they seem to hold you that much better as well.
For a tall person like me, you sit further down in the chassis as well.
We've also got a new dash, very nice readout on it But it's got, again, little things.
You've got automatic lights and the sense for them just down there.
You also key fab that you can just keep it in your pocket and you can start it up.
Keyless in Ariel Atom.
Now that might seem like an odd thing to seem is brilliant but previously you had a key fab you had to wave around on the dash.
And inevitably you'd get all the harnesses on and then go Which pocket is the key fob, you don't have to do that anymore.
So yes, a host of little changes that actually make living with [UNKNOWN] much easier.
Anyway, let's go for a drive.
Now the same way to describe There's a sort of implemental change, really, a bit like a Porsche 911.
Started the broad sweeps of the driving experience, of course, [UNKNOWN].
All those sensations that you love about the [UNKNOWN] are still
Hair, the ability to see the suspension working away.
The feeling of just exposure, I mean, you just feel that sense of fresh air fun.
And of course [NOISE] What about this new engine then?
We've got three stages, the first up here, one gives you about 220 base horsepower.
Up to two or up to the 1.5 bar, you get about 280 base horsepower.
And then also three.
Which is a full 1.3 bar replaced, and 320 [UNKNOWN] horsepower, 310 pounds with a torque.
Some people [UNKNOWN] would be thinking that because this is turbo charged [UNKNOWN] very easy to tweak and get even more power out of it.
But to be honest, Once you've driven this in standard form, I don't think you'll want much more.
[LAUGH] Naught 60 miles an hour in 2.8 seconds.
It goes naught to 100 in about 6.5, this is so fast.
Obviously the whole drive train comes from Honda.
This gear shift, I think it still needs just a little bit of work.
It's not as precise as [UNKNOWN], particularly second to third, it's easy just to miss it.
The first few miles in the Atom 4, you You do notice it's just slightly calmer.
It doesn't mean it's any less roar, but the steering is slightly slower.
Which just means you can pick lines and it's not fidgeting around.
This car now weights 595 kilos, which is 20 kilos more, but it's not all in the engine as you might think.
So it's spread all over the car, so you don't really notice And it increases the weight.
As soon as you hit the brakes, you notice the lack of dive in the car, which is really impressive.
Then you get to the corners, and you get this lovely thing of really sitting in the suspension, and it being really quite flush.
Now, a lot of purists, me included, I sure hope to say My things are turbocharging.
Isn't really appropriate in this sort of car.
So how did it change the altitude?
Well, you can actually drive it around [INAUDIBLE] and still be going very, very quickly.
The same way You've obviously got all these amazing turbo charge sounds if you like.
Chops and whistles, then this is the car for you.
So in the corners, what's it like with the turbo charged!
Well, you've gotta be really on it perhaps a little bit more [UNKNOWN] first comes in, it really does all come in.
But there's really the [UNKNOWN] changes [UNKNOWN] me you can stay on top of the car more easily than before.
With this new suspension [UNKNOWN] What it means is that through the corners, the car does stay much flatter.
It's much easier to actually sort of keep on top of it.
We've got a little bit of pressure in the front tank, cuz obviously, we've got that uneven weight battened at the engine in the rear.
But it feels easier to push the car, easier to keep on top of it.
And when it glides, it This feels more progressive, that slew steering actually helps, it just feels calmer and easier to position on the road, the drive through the corner.
Atoms have actually always liked being driven on their throttle, and obviously with more torque it's now actually Speed.
It isn't easy to do that!
So does the 40,000 pound Atom 4 really feel like a new Atom?
Well, the tweaked ergonomics certainly make a subtle, but pleasing difference.
As for the new suspension geometry, Well let's put it like this, I think the old Chasty would have been verging on undrivable with this monster of a new engine.
Regardless of any numbers, this feels like the quickest Aston to date.
Perhaps, excluding the rare V8, but only just.
It is shockingly rapid.
And as much as I still think a naturally aspirated engine is the ultimate match for this sort of car, I love the fact that the [UNKNOWN] is monstrously turbo charged.
It wears its snail on its sleeve, so to say.
And the chuffs, wooshes and whines that emanate from the [UNKNOWN] appear [UNKNOWN] theater.
Ariel seems to have made the decision that if you're going to go turbo then go all in.
And I like that.
So while numerically it might be a small step from 3.5 to 4.
In the land of aerial, that 0.5 is more of a leap.
It really does feel new.
What a rush this thing is!
[LAUGH] I love these cars.
There's literally no bigger hit than something like this!
Blue skies, brilliant road [NOISE]
So much fun.
Driving the 2019 Formula E car
Aston Martin gives us one last blast of analogue excellence with...
How Morgan made the mighty V8 very British indeed
From Polo to T-Roc: The weird and wonderful world of Volkswagen...
The Alfa Romeo Stelvio Quadrifoglio deserves the S in SUV
The cars we drive: 1979 MkII Ford Escort rally car
The McLaren Speedtail is like a private jet for the road