Ariel Motor Company
|Headquarters||Crewkerne, Somerset, United Kingdom|
Number of employees
Founded by Simon Saunders in 1991 as Solocrest Ltd., the name was changed in 1999 to Ariel Motor Company Ltd. The original Ariel Motors remains as the trading company of the Ariel Owners Motorcycle Club (AOMCC) Ariel Motorcycles firm. Ariel Motor Company is one of the UK's smallest automotive companies, with just 19 employees, producing up to 100 cars per year.
The company manufactures the Ariel Atom, an extremely light, high performance car, powered by a Honda Civic Type-R engine and gearbox. The Atom is the world's first road-going exoskeletal car; it has no bodywork or roof, and is built entirely around the tube chassis, making it weigh less than 500 kg (1,102 lb). This means that the latest model, the Ariel Atom 3.5R supercharged model has a power-to-weight ratio of around 700 bhp (520 kW) per tonne.
In June 2014, the company announced the new Ariel Ace motorcycle. Powered by a Honda 1237cc V4 engine and gearbox, the bike will be produced from 2015 in similar volume levels to the existing car-based products.
In January 2015, Ariel introduced the Nomad, a road-legal buggy designed along the same principles as the Atom, at the Autosport International Show. The Nomad utilises a 2.4 litre Honda engine producing 235bhp.
In July 2018, at the Goodwood Festival of Speed Ariel announced and started taking reservations for their new Ariel Atom 4. The new car is completely revised from the previous Ariel Atom, with all but a few parts having been changed. The new car is powered again by the engine used in the Honda Civic Type R, but as that is now turbo charged, so is the Atom 4 as standard. The new car also features a thicker frame, separate seats and a revised intake. The new car has been reviewed by Autocar at the start of October 2018, but no customer cars have been delivered as of that date.
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- "Ariel Atom 4 First Drive | Autocar". www.autocar.co.uk. Retrieved 5 October 2018.