With no windows, no doors, and only a small windshield, the Atom earns its name with a feather-light curb weight of only 1,350 pounds. Since there is so little bulk to move, the Type R powertrain can rocket the Atom up to 60 mph in just 2.8 seconds, 100 mph in 6.8 seconds, and onto a top speed of 162 mph. The Atom 4 also adds launch and traction control systems to help it put the power down to the ground.
This new model may look similar to the original, but it is based on an all-new tubular steel chassis. In fact, only three parts (the clutch pedal, brake pedal, and fuel cap) carry over from the previous model. The chassis is 15% stiffer than the outgoing Atom 3, and the wheelbase grew by two inches for more interior space and legroom. The Atom still calls on an inboard, pushrod operated damper system, which keeps the car flat at all times. Ariel also made improvements to the steering rack, making it more drivable out on the road.