Who has experience with owning or driving the Ariel Atom? Looking at the new Atom 4...

NicolasB

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I have had some amount of interest in this car for years now, but never really pursued it. I am wondering if it's something that you take out and drive around a few times and it's a blast and then it's just kind of a one-trick pony, or if it's fun every weekend when the sun is shining? I only plan to drive my Emira when it's sunny and decent weather, it's just going to be maybe for a short road trip or the weekend. I wondered if for the same money an Atom would provide an even more exhilarating experience and be even more special of a car to drive?

I emailed customer service last night and they emailed promptly this morning, said it is about a 6-month wait list and then another months to get the car assembled. And this would mean that I could get one in the end of 2023. Just the fact that they emailed me so quickly and had a good approximation of when a car would be available made me feel good.

So, who has owned one or driven one, any thoughts?
 

MickOpalak

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I've driven one, but only on track. Think of it as a four wheeled motorcycle. Not very comfortable for long periods of time. Incredible performance and a very visceral experience.
 

Leonard

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I have had some amount of interest in this car for years now, but never really pursued it. I am wondering if it's something that you take out and drive around a few times and it's a blast and then it's just kind of a one-trick pony, or if it's fun every weekend when the sun is shining? I only plan to drive my Emira when it's sunny and decent weather, it's just going to be maybe for a short road trip or the weekend. I wondered if for the same money an Atom would provide an even more exhilarating experience and be even more special of a car to drive?

I emailed customer service last night and they emailed promptly this morning, said it is about a 6-month wait list and then another months to get the car assembled. And this would mean that I could get one in the end of 2023. Just the fact that they emailed me so quickly and had a good approximation of when a car would be available made me feel good.

So, who has owned one or driven one, any thoughts?
I have always fancied one. They always win best in test against equivalent lightweight 2 seater ie Caterham, X BOW etc
They look like a really raw experience. For the money I'd consider the Ariel Nomad for more thrills at slower speed. Again incredibly raw experience though and again sunny days only unless you are a masochist.
I know a certain someone on here has had a Nomad and has a deposit in for a Caterham so I am sure he will be along shortly to say why he didn't consider the Atom...
 

FlyNavy01

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Strangely I had the opposite experience when I reached out to Ariel North America about 3 months ago inquiring about build times; they never got back to me. I'm still interested, but the initial lack of customer service and steep ~$100k USD price for what's essentially a Civic engine and some scaffolding still has me hesitant. 6-9 month wait time seems much shorter than what I heard, so maybe I'll try reaching out again if Emira delays keep happening.

Clearly it's much less practical/safe than an Emira, and can be difficult to insure in many states. It's also not really usable in anything but clear sunny skies, however the performance and fun-factor can't be denied. I've had a few rides in a friends Atom 3 on the track and it was an awesome experience. I'd agree with the 4-wheeled motorcycle analogy.
 
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Mickle

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I have always fancied one. They always win best in test against equivalent lightweight 2 seater ie Caterham, X BOW etc
They look like a really raw experience. For the money I'd consider the Ariel Nomad for more thrills at slower speed. Again incredibly raw experience though and again sunny days only unless you are a masochist.
I know a certain someone on here has had a Nomad and has a deposit in for a Caterham so I am sure he will be along shortly to say why he didn't consider the Atom...
There's an amazing thread on Pistonheads by a lunatic gentleman who has turbo'd his Nomad. Definitely worth a read if you haven't seen it!

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emiraspain

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I have always fancied one. They always win best in test against equivalent lightweight 2 seater ie Caterham, X BOW etc
They look like a really raw experience. For the money I'd consider the Ariel Nomad for more thrills at slower speed. Again incredibly raw experience though and again sunny days only unless you are a masochist.
I know a certain someone on here has had a Nomad and has a deposit in for a Caterham so I am sure he will be along shortly to say why he didn't consider the Atom...
you're so clever....... haha. Dont you think I have anything better to do?
 

emiraspain

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Well this is a slightly strange one and its not so much about the car / cars in this case, but more about what you want and the sort of person you are, and what you would enjoy. Plus where you live and access to which type of roads you have. I would imagine Ariel NA never got the other guys email as I doubt they would not reply and I would have followed up as I absolutely expect them to be on the ball with excellent customer service as they are in the UK.
I cant talk too much about the Atom, as I was a Nomad owner for a couple of years, but there are clear similarities.
If you want a track weapon that going to beat the socks off everything out there, then the atom could be for you.
.
It will show any car including a Lotus how a car should handle and what a real gear change should be like, as it has a great one. However, if anything its almost too good around a track, you wont be sliding the back end much in that car, its the opposite of my Australian shepherd, thats always shaking its ass / arse.
As a drive around the city, you would feel a bit..... of an arse also, dare I say..... but well, you can handle it. The car is naturally very low down and does need smooth roads and not too many speed bumps as it is perhaps a bit too raw for the roads, unless they are freshly laid, like a couple the morning after their wedding. I ordered a Caterham as it is less boring than an Atom, BUT... I do wish I could still have a Nomad...... very hard to insure it for use in Spain though.
It's impossible to compare this to an Emira as it really is apples and oranges and neither one is competing with the other. As I was a Nomad owner, I would say that it is quite possibly the coolest car of the last decade and many people agree, but clearly not everyone. It is way more fun than an Atom and you can certainly slide it around and enjoy an experience on track if you like with the road wheels and tyres. Back roads, lanes, fields, quarries, anything really becomes a great place to be and you certainly dont need to worry about speed bumps / curbs etc.
With the nomad, you have the option of Super charging it, so not sure why someone would turbo it, same difference but a bit more boring with a turbo IMO. Although having said that, there will probably be a NOMAD II soon enough and that will have the later Civic engine which has a turbo....
Impossible question to answer, but if it was just for some fun at the weekend and you dont need to think about taking the wife out or impress a new girlfriend or indeed find a new girl... then the NOMAD wins hands down. Faster, more fun, easier to repair, harder to damage and can go anywhere... more or less.
 

Leonard

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Well this is a slightly strange one and its not so much about the car / cars in this case, but more about what you want and the sort of person you are, and what you would enjoy. Plus where you live and access to which type of roads you have. I would imagine Ariel NA never got the other guys email as I doubt they would not reply and I would have followed up as I absolutely expect them to be on the ball with excellent customer service as they are in the UK.
I cant talk too much about the Atom, as I was a Nomad owner for a couple of years, but there are clear similarities.
If you want a track weapon that going to beat the socks off everything out there, then the atom could be for you.
.
It will show any car including a Lotus how a car should handle and what a real gear change should be like, as it has a great one. However, if anything its almost too good around a track, you wont be sliding the back end much in that car, its the opposite of my Australian shepherd, thats always shaking its ass / arse.
As a drive around the city, you would feel a bit..... of an arse also, dare I say..... but well, you can handle it. The car is naturally very low down and does need smooth roads and not too many speed bumps as it is perhaps a bit too raw for the roads, unless they are freshly laid, like a couple the morning after their wedding. I ordered a Caterham as it is less boring than an Atom, BUT... I do wish I could still have a Nomad...... very hard to insure it for use in Spain though.
It's impossible to compare this to an Emira as it really is apples and oranges and neither one is competing with the other. As I was a Nomad owner, I would say that it is quite possibly the coolest car of the last decade and many people agree, but clearly not everyone. It is way more fun than an Atom and you can certainly slide it around and enjoy an experience on track if you like with the road wheels and tyres. Back roads, lanes, fields, quarries, anything really becomes a great place to be and you certainly dont need to worry about speed bumps / curbs etc.
With the nomad, you have the option of Super charging it, so not sure why someone would turbo it, same difference but a bit more boring with a turbo IMO. Although having said that, there will probably be a NOMAD II soon enough and that will have the later Civic engine which has a turbo....
Impossible question to answer, but if it was just for some fun at the weekend and you dont need to think about taking the wife out or impress a new girlfriend or indeed find a new girl... then the NOMAD wins hands down. Faster, more fun, easier to repair, harder to damage and can go anywhere... more or less.
👏 I really want a Nomad...
Cant believe I considered buying yours at one point. Crazy small car enthusiasts world
 

emiraspain

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👏 I really want a Nomad...
Cant believe I considered buying yours at one point. Crazy small car enthusiasts world
it now lies with alfaholics owner brothers.........
bought on collecting cars . co. uk for not far off the price I paid for it.. and all that before Covid and microchip shortages....
 

Leonard

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it now lies with alfaholics owner brothers.........
bought on collecting cars . co. uk for not far off the price I paid for it.. and all that before Covid and microchip shortages....
Don't want to go too far off topic. But is there anything on the Nomad that is a must have spec choice?
 
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NicolasB

NicolasB

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I guess I don't totally understand the nomad, is it made for mostly off-road kind of activity? Where I live there's not really any off-roading areas at all that I could take something like that.
 

Leonard

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I guess I don't totally understand the nomad, is it made for mostly off-road kind of activity? Where I live there's not really any off-roading areas at all that I could take something like that.
You can use it on both. Obviously not as dynamically capable as the Atom on the road, but that's what makes it fun 😁 Plus you can ford through water and fight the zombie apocalypse 🧟‍♂️ 🧟‍♀️
This is the R version but you get the idea

 

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I've driven one, but only on track. Think of it as a four wheeled motorcycle. Not very comfortable for long periods of time. Incredible performance and a very visceral experience.
I would say the exact same
 

emiraspain

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Don't want to go too far off topic. But is there anything on the Nomad that is a must have spec choice?
A window screen..... no it doesnt come with one as standard...which is why the standard price of about 35/40k soon comes up to 60....
More durable clutch I would say is worth it.... hydraulic handbrake probably not, brake bias control, never touched...... dont get bogged down in extras, thats where you "waste" your hard earned.... Bumpers.... worth it... stops people getting to close when parking and if they do, their problem not yours haha
 

Leonard

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A window screen..... no it doesnt come with one as standard...which is why the standard price of about 35/40k soon comes up to 60....
More durable clutch I would say is worth it.... hydraulic handbrake probably not, brake bias control, never touched...... dont get bogged down in extras, thats where you "waste" your hard earned.... Bumpers.... worth it... stops people getting to close when parking and if they do, their problem not yours haha
Supercharger, a winch and 1000 spotlights a given obviously 🤣
 

emiraspain

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Supercharger, a winch and 1000 spotlights a given obviously 🤣
ok so... super charger.. no not essential.....
a winch.... well, unless you intend to get stuck in a ditch..... no.....
spotlights.. I had.. look cool, but no not essential....
think are any of these things worth 2 weeks in Bali?????
 

Leonard

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ok so... super charger.. no not essential.....
a winch.... well, unless you intend to get stuck in a ditch..... no.....
spotlights.. I had.. look cool, but no not essential....
think are any of these things worth 2 weeks in Bali?????
Yes! You see I should think like that. But instead I ask myself are any of these things useful in the event of a zombie 🧟‍♂️ apocalypse 😖
Next thing you know that's all the boxes ticked and I'm contemplating custom wheel scythes that will never be fitted but I can leave in the garage 'just in case'
 

emiraspain

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Yes! You see I should think like that. But instead I ask myself are any of these things useful in the event of a zombie 🧟‍♂️ apocalypse 😖
Next thing you know that's all the boxes ticked and I'm contemplating custom wheel scythes that will never be fitted but I can leave in the garage 'just in case'
you can get to 70k for a nomad and maybe 75...... not worth it..... wont get it back......

I'd wait in any case...... as I am.....
 

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