BILSTEIN at Ariel Motors

Here at BILSTEIN, we love to getting involved with specialist automotive projects – and they don’t come much more exciting than Ariel Motors’ range of vehicles. We headed to their Somerset HQ to find out more…

With a history stretching back to 1870, including manufacturing cycles and motor cycles, this British company changed the rules when they launched the Atom in 2000. This hardcore sports car offered pure, undiluted driving thrills thanks to its combination of low weight, a potent engine and that uncompromising open design.

For raw, adrenalin-fuelled fun, there was nothing to match it. The latest model, the Atom 4, has moved the game on yet again, with glowing reviews from the motoring press; so it’s no surprise that there’s currently a three-year waiting list.

Powered by the 320bhp 2.0-litre K20C turbo unit from the latest Civic Type-R, the Atom 4 will hit 60mph from rest in just 2.8-seconds; 0-100mph in 6.8-seconds and has a top speed of 162mph. Tipping the scales at just 595kg, the power to weight ratio is over 500bhp per tonne – that’s enough to worry pretty much any supercar you can think of – and all for a fraction of the cost. 

Each vehicle is hand-built and bears the signature of the technician who assembled it. From the quality of the tubular chassis welds, through to the high-end components sourced from the biggest names in motorsport, including AP Racing, Goodridge, Tilton and, of course, BILSTEIN, each Atom is built to a specification rather than a price point.

The pushrod operated inboard monotube dampers have been specially developed by BILSTEIN to work in harmony with the Atom’s driver-focused chassis. Matched with Eibach springs, they are fully adjustable, allowing drivers to dial in their perfect setup, for road or track.

The Nomad is Ariel’s off-road vehicle, which takes the Atom formula and unleashes it for rough terrain. Launched in 2015 it remains one of the most exciting vehicles money can buy, and although not quite as ballistic as an Atom 4, it will still hit 60mph from rest in 3.4-seconds and 0-100mph in 8.7-seconds. Like the Atom, it features bespoke BILSTEIN monotube dampers matched with Eibach springs, but unlike the Atom these have been developed for off-road fun!

Thanks to Henry and the rest of the Ariel Motors team for allowing us access to their HQ. Discover more about the Atom 4 and Nomad here.