Ariel Atom Mugen announced for the 2011 Autosport Show

Article by Christian Andrei, on December 20, 2010

It’s only natural that a company will want to commemorate the anniversary of its most successful vehicles. That is exactly what Ariel did in 2010, when it celebrated the tenth year since the release of the first model of the highly successful Atom series.

What did the company do? It announced a limited edition model set to pay tribute to the first Ariel Atom, which launched in 2000. The new model, called the Atom Mugen, was the result of collaboration between Mugen and Ariel.

Atom Mugen has, under its hood, a normally aspirated Honda K20Z Type R engine. This is consistent with Ariel’s preference for Honda’s Type R engines, which it used since the release of the Atom 3 in 2007. Mugen Euro’s branch in the United Kingdom will be responsible for tuning the Atom Mugen’s K20Z Type R engine in order to bring the engine to its full capability in the racetrack, which was where the development of the Atom Mugen was focused.

Mugen has an excellent track record in tuning up engines specifically for the race track. Pursuing that mission since 1973, Mugen has since assisted several winning race cars and their drivers in various racing events across the globe. Formula 1 is not exempt from Mugen’s extraordinary tuning capabilities.

Now, with Mugen pairing with Ariel for the Ariel Atom Mugen, what results is a race car that’s on a totally whole new level! The collaboration succeeded in bringing out 270bhp of power from the Type R engine. Combined with the legendary handling that is a common attribute of Ariel cars, the new Atom Mugen is poised to give lucky customers an extraordinary experience in racing.

Hiroki Toyoda, who serves as Mugen Euro’s VP, said that the company is proud to have Ariel equip the Ariel Mugen with its tuned-up version of the 2.0 liter Type R engine from Honda. Toyoda said that Mugen Euro’s team has worked hard to squeeze every horsepower out of from the normally aspirated engine to boost its performance further, which buyers will be able to experience with the Atom Mugen.

Ariel Director Simon Saunders said that it was inevitable for Mugen and Ariel to pair up in the new limited edition car, stating that Mugen shares his company’s commitment to getting down to the last detail in building their engines. Saunders said that the Atom Mugen is a 100% hand-made car with a purely hand-made engine. The Ariel Atom Mugen made its appearance first at the Autosport Show in 2011, with full information following shortly after.

The 10 units that were produced carried a signed plate bearing the marks of the technicians that worked hard to come up with the limited edition collaboration. The Atom Mugen joined the successful Mugen line, which all featured designs conceptualized using Ariel’s “No Screen, No Roof, No Doors” philosophy. While the first Atom was powered by a Rover K series engine, the next cars in the Ariel Atom fleet carried the Honda Type R engines, beginning in 2003.

The Honda K20A Type R engine brought to drivers of the Atom 2 a most exceptional performance – units of the supercar that participated in various racing around the world consistently broke records every year. Ariel carried on the Atom 2’s performance to the Atom 3, which featured the then-latest Honda K20Z Type R engine.

Saunders said that Ariel takes pride in all the achievements that its cars have attained in the past 10 years since the release of the first Atom in 2000.

He attributed it to the company’s philosophy of constantly improving every area of its cars’ performance, instead of introducing radically overhauled models year after year. Saunders also expressed gratitude to the clients and customers who have been behind the Atom’s success since the beginning.

Press Release

Ariel Atom Mugen

Celebrating 10 years of Ariel Atom production, a new 10 car limited edition of the Ariel Atom is to be released at the Autosport Show in January – the Ariel Atom Mugen. Following on from the launch of the Atom V8 the Ariel Mugen is the result of a collaboration between the two companies to produce a limited edition, track focussed car aimed at the enthusiast who wants the ultimate trackday car.

Ariel celebrated the tenth anniversary of Atom production in 2010 and the Atom Mugen is the latest addition to the original ‘No Screen, No Roof, No Doors’ bare essentials sports car. The first Atoms produced in 2000 used the Rover K Series engine, with the Atom 2 taking over in 2003 featuring a Honda K20A Type R engine. The car quickly became known for outstanding performance and reliability, with the supercharged car taking various records on a yearly basis. The Atom 3, released in 2007, used the latest Honda K20Z Type R engine, in a higher state of tune, with numerous detail changes to the rest of the car and is in current production as the Atom 3. Said Simon Saunders, Director of Ariel, “Our philosophy has always been to strive for constant improvements in every area, but to do so through an evolution rather than sudden change. We really are proud of the achievements we’ve made over the last decade and the customers we have who are all part of the Ariel family.’

Mugen engines have famously powered hundreds of race and championship winners, including Formula 1, since the company’s foundation in 1973. Basing their work almost exclusively around Honda powerplants Mugen was an obvious partner for Ariel who have used the Honda Type R engine for over 7 years. The union of Ariel, Honda and Mugen has resulted in a very special car that takes the trackday car to another level.

The Atom Mugen features a special livery to be used on the Limited Edition 10 cars to be made, each one numbered and with a plate signed by the Mugen and Ariel technicians responsible for the build of the car. Standard specification will be focussed at the track nature of the Atom and using the normally aspirated engine to its full potential.

Heart of the Atom Mugen is a normally aspirated Honda K20Z Type R engine, which is prepared and tuned by Mugen Euro in the UK. Said Mr Hiroki Toyoda, Vice President of Mugen Euro, “The Type R Honda is the best 2.0 litre normally aspirated engine available. We have put our experience and know how to release even more power from the engine and we’re delighted to see our engine in the Ariel Atom.” Working together on the specification and mapping of the engine Ariel fulfilled their target of 270bhp in normally aspirated form while retaining driveability and reliability, key features of the Atom.

“We found that both ourselves and Mugen had the same meticulous attention to detail in the build of our cars and their engines.” said Simon Saunders, “One Ariel technician makes a car, one Mugentechnician builds an engine. The result is a truly hand made car with a hand made engine.”

The Ariel Atom Mugen will be shown at the Autosport Show 2011 and full information, specification and photographs will be released in January.

Topics: ariel, sports car

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