Ariel Splitting The Atom In Hunt For 500kg Photo:
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ariel_atom_700_03 Photo: tmr
Peter Anderson | Mar, 27 2013 | 0 Comments

Ariel Motor Copany, maker of the completely insane but utterly brilliant Atom track car, is looking to cut yet more weight from its already slender frame.

In its current form, and with a Honda 183kW VTEC engine on board, the (very) basic Atom weights just 612kg.

For the next update, Ariel plans to have the Atom tipping the scales at just over 500kg by using a lightweight titanium alloy, according to Britain's Autocar.

Ariel's research suggests that the chassis frame itself could drop around 40 percent, allowing for an almost ten percent reduction in chassis weight.

In turn, it could pave the way for a smaller, turbocharged engine to replace the ageing Honda engine, which will shortly run out of EU certification loopholes.

Less weight means output can be slightly lower, and the engine itself lighter.

Titanium is also remarkably strong in relation to the standard steel chassis, so even with its lighter weight, there could be significant gains in stiffness. Those of us who have driven an Atom may wonder how much stiffer it needs to be.

And with an already terrifying sub 3 seconds 0-100km/h, how much quicker?

The titanium chassis is expected to be offered as an option as the cost of the expensive metal would drive up the cost, currently starting at £30,000 ($43,000).

Additionally, complicated production methods are required as welding titanium means using an argon-filled welding chamber and specialist tooling.

The new technology is ready to go, but according to Autocar, Ariel is still wondering how to get it to market, whether via a special edition or made available as an option straight away.

Hopefully, for prospective buyers, it's not too far away.

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