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Ariel Atom - Atomic Kitten

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What is so exciting about a 245 bhp car? A car that doesn’t even have doors, or a roof, or a windscreen! Well, a lot, if the car in question is the Ariel Atom. It’s the quickest, most minimalistic sports car you can buy this side of a Formula 1 racer. Wait a minute. Did we just say “you can buy”? Well, that's right — British sports car maker Ariel has finally made its India debut!

The ESTD, who not so long ago brought in Swedish supercar marque Koenigsegg (the Agera R, to be model specific) to India will now import the Atom range of hyper-quick road cars. For those who are unfamiliar with the legend of the Atom, to put it in a sentence, the Atom is the quickest accelerating car to 100 kmph, beating even the fastest car in the world, the Bugatti Veyron, to it.

The Atom is perhaps the only car on sale in the world which boasts of an exoskeletal construction — wherein the chassis is exposed and, while at it, is an integral design element too.

At roughly 450 kg (variable, depending on trim levels), the Atom is extremely lightweight, which explains why the aforementioned 245 horses get together to give you a hard time behind the wheel. Joking, actually, since the Atom is fairly manageable in urban environs once you're used to all the attention, that is. While you can’t have drag chutes as an option, 240 mm discs (ventilated front, solid rear) ensure braking times appropriately match the crazy acceleration figures.

Bodywork constitutes a nose cone, engine covers, mudguards and the body tub itself which means you don’t have to worry about parking lot incidents. It’s all very bare bones, much like on naked motorcycles, you could say. In fact, it’s even chain driven. Yes it does have more to do with motorcycles than just the Ariel badge! Suspension is a wishbone affair (front and rear), with mostly adjustable settings as per driver requirements.

Now to tell you about the heart of the matter, the powerplant. The Atom is equipped with a 2.0 litre Honda i-VTEC motor mated to a six-speed close ratio gearbox that produces 245 bhp@8200 rpm and 21.4 kgm@6100 rpm, which propels the car from 0-100 kmph in 2.5 seconds (claimed) on to a top speed of 250 kmph. Just remember to invest in proper eyewear (or a helmet) before you slip into the Atom's racecar like cabin. There's no windscreen and the acceleration can send your eyeballs to the back of your head. And before you ask, the Atom will be price between Rs 55 and 85 lakh (ex-showroom), depending on the level of specifications you demand.