The Ariel Atom is a road legal high performance open seater sports car made by the Ariel Motor Company based in Crewkerne, Somerset, England, and under license in North America by TMI Autotech, Inc. at Virginia International Raceway in Alton, Virginia.
There have been eight Ariel Atom generations to date: Ariel Atom, Ariel Atom 2, Ariel Atom 3 (including the Ariel Atom 3 Mugen Limited Edition and Honda Racing Edition – of which only one was made) Ariel Atom 3.5, Ariel Atom 3S, Ariel Spec:Race Atom, Ariel Atom 500 V8 Limited Edition (only 25 to be made), and the Ariel Atom 4. The limited production Ariel Atom 500 V8 featured a 373 kW (500 bhp; 507 PS) V8 engine.
The engine came with a variety of inline-4 engine sourced from Rover, Honda and GM. Also, it has it's own V8 engine which is more powerful rated at 500-hp making it the fastest acceleration 0-60 in 2.3 seconds and retains it's ultraweight car. The all new Ariel Atom 4 is the latest Atom featuring a new turbocharged 2.0 L engine that is used in the Honda Civic Type R with 3-stage boost.
The Atom has been driven and fondly loved by all three top gear presenters, it famously was known for completely ruining Jeremy Clarkson's face.
- In Clarkson's Car Years "Why Do People Like British Sports Cars?", Jeremy reviews the Atom 1. He praises it's speed, handling, excitement and thrill, but claims it not to be the best British Sports Car.
- In Clarkson: Hot Metal, Jeremy reviews the Atom 2. He once again praises it's speed, handling, excitement and thrill stating it to be a way better british sports car than the MG B.
- In Series 5, Episode 9, Jeremy reviews the Atom 2 at the Top Gear Test Track. He adores the car's precision, handling, speed, excitement, thrill and how it can destroy one's face and proves it to be way faster than a motorbike. At the hands of the Stig it sets a lap time of 1:19.5, making the second fastest car behind a Ferrari Enzo.
- In Clarkson: The Good, The Bad, The Ugly, Jeremy manages to prove an Atom 2 is so fast that it can out run any US muscle car.
- In Series 11, Episode 6, Richard uses an Atom 3 when going against D Motor as a representation of England and ultimately wins the Colonies Drag Race.
- In Clarkson: The Italian Job, Jeremy reviews the Atom V8 500 at Imola. He praises the car's speed, excitement, thrill and handling but criticises the understeer. The Stig then proves how much faster the Atom V8 is compared to a Porsche 911 GT3 RS.
- In Series 16, Episode 1, James reviews the Atom V8 500 at the Top Gear Test Track. He praises the car's precision, speed, handling and being much, much faster than the traditional supercars but criticises the lack of equipment. He then uses Tiff Needell to race the V8 Atom against a racing Motorcycle who ultimately wins. At the hands of the Stig, the Atom V8 sets a time of 1:15.1 making it the fastest car around the Track.
- In Series 17, Episode 5, Jeremy tries to beat the time set by the Atom V8 around the short track in a Lotus T125.
- In Top Gear America "Dangerous Cars", Ferrara is challenged to improve his speed and handling by driving an Atom 3. He ultimately improves his time by 23 seconds and the Atom sets the fastest time of 1:18.6 around their track.
- In Top Gear America "Sturgis", Foust uses an Atom 3 to take on a Superbike but ultimately loses by half a lap.
- In Series 28, Episode 1, Harris reviews the new Atom 4 at the Top Gear Test Track. He praises the car's handling, speed, precision and braking stating to be a true thriller. At the hands of the Stig it sets a time of 1:25.3 in the wet.