Image credits: © Ariel.

2011 Ariel Atom Mugen

A collaboration between Ariel and Mugen, the latest version of the original 'no screen, no roof, no doors' Atom celebrates 10 years of production and 1000 Atoms manufactured. Made in a Limited Edition of just 10 cars for each of the 10 years, each signed and numbered, the Atom Mugen has a special livery of red chassis, white bodywork and red graphics showing the number of the car to reflect the unique union of Ariel, Mugen and Honda. Featuring a tuned Mugen Honda engine and a high level specification, plus the opportunity to further option the car, this latest Atom gives further choice to the driver lòòking for the ultimate, normally aspirated trackday car.

Mugen (meaning unlimited in Japanese) engines have famously powered hundreds of race and championship winners, including Formula 1, since 1973 when Hirotoshi Honda, son of Soichiro Honda, founded the company. Basing their work almost exclusively around Honda powerplants, Mugen was an obvious partner for Ariel who have used the Honda Type R engine in the Atom for over 7 years. Working closely together on the project Ariel and Mugen found many similarities in their approach to the project, resulting in a hand built engine in a truly handbuilt car.

Heart of the Atom Mugen is the Honda K20Z Type R engine, which is tuned by Mugen to produce 270bhp at 8600rpm in normally aspirated form. Each Atom Mugen engine is stripped, measured and fully blueprinted at Mugen Europe's Northampton headquarters. The engines are reassembled wîth high performance, higher compression pistons, high lift camshafts and new valve springs. A longer freeflow inlet manifold is fitted wîth a bigger diameter throttle body together wîth race grade spark plugs. The engine also features a full baffled sump and is finished wîth a carbon fibre Mugen cover.

After assembly each engine is tested on the Mugen dynamometer and carefully run in prior to full power test. After 7 days of work on every engine they are bore scoped and inspected prior to sign off. A lightened balanced flywheel is fitted together wîth a limited slip differential to the close ratio Honda 6 speed gearbox prior to installation in the Atom.

Specification of the car includes many Ariel options as standard as well as additional parts unique to the Atom Mugen. High performance Alcon 4 pot lightweight callipers, finished in red, and ventilated discs are fitted front and rear. The 4 way adjustable damper/spring package is a modified version of that found on the Atom V8 wîth remote reservoir lightweight aluminium dampers which have two compression adjustments and one rebound adjustment wîth 2 piece dual rate springs fitted wîth rate adjusters. This coupled wîth the standard adjustable Atom wishbones, gives the owner very high adjustability for track or road. Each Atom can therefore be set up exactly for each owner and their use wîth the ability to carry out further adjustment to suit particular driving preferences or styles. Yokohama AO48 trackday tyres are standard specification, fitted to lightweight, white Ariel magnesium wheels.

Vital Stats
Engine : 2.0 L., 4-cylinder
Power: 270 hp

6-speed Sequential, 6-speed Manual
In front of the driver is a new LCD flat screen display housed in a carbon fibre instrument panel. The multi function display is programmable wîth the ability for the driver to scroll through displays via menu buttons and also shows 3 colour gearshift lights and standard warning lights. A master alert warns if any function goes outside programmed perameters for quick and easy reference on track. Additional data information, such as lap times and logging, can be viewed through the display to bring another element to the serious track day driver. 3' FIA full harnesses wîth crutch straps are fitted for both driver and passenger as standard wîth options of further competition parts for racing.

Performance Performance of the Atom Mugen gives 0-60mph (100kph) in 2.9 seconds and a top speed of 150mph, wîth torque increased to 255Nm @ 6,000 rpm.

Every engine is built by one Mugen technician and every Atom is built by Ariel technician, wîth both signing off the engine and car only when they are satisfied, reflected in a numbered build plate on each car. The particular and special skills available in producing racing and low volume cars are demonstrated in the Atom Mugen in a way that wouldn't be possible to large volume manufacturers.

Said Simon Saunders of Ariel, 'The advantages of being small are obvious in this latest Atom. It's a handbuilt car, tailored to suit individual customers who we know and like as friends and who are passionate about their cars and driving. The ability for Mugen to handbuild a performance engine, coupled wîth the legendary Honda reliability, takes this one stage further.'

The formula of Ariel + Honda + Mugen has resulted in a very special car that takes the trackday car to another level.

Source - Ariel
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