Honda and Ariel Motor renew exclusive engine supply agreement

Article by Christian Andrei, on March 21, 2016

Honda (UK) and Ariel Motor Company have renewed their exclusive engine supply deal, which has been around for about 16 years. The renewed partnership entails the Civic Type R engine and the Civic 2.4 engine providing power for Ariel’s Atom and off-road Nomad, respectively.

Ariel has been using, as standard, the Civic Type R engine to power its Atom flagship since 2003. Now, Ariel will be using the Civic 2.4 unit that will serve as the heart of the new off-road Nomad. Entry-level Atom base models employ an entirely untouched engine.

Ariel can tune the ECU and exhaust of this engine to provide 245 bhp with Ariel-tuned ECU and exhaust; or supercharge it to either 310bhp or 350bhp to allow the vehicle to accelerate from zero to 60mph in less than 2.7 seconds and achieve a top speed of over 155 mph.

The renewed partnership between the two known brands comes as they both celebrate the roll off of the 1,500th Honda-powered Ariel from its Somerset facility. Each Ariel vehicle is painstakingly hand-crafted for between 100 to 200 hours by eight highly skilled technicians.

Each Ariel vehicle is made to order and could be assembled in thousands of possible configurations, which means that no two Ariels are the same. One great thing about an Ariel vehicle is that it is very affordable and yet is fast. Moreover, it could run at a track day with almost no maintenance.

Ariel founder Simon Saunders quipped that the carmaker’s customers are passionate about driving, which means the engine is everything. He noted that when customers are told that a Honda engine lies underneath the hood, they won’t ask further. He said that switching to Honda engines is one of the best decisions that Ariel has made.

He remarked that Honda is a brand unparalleled for performance and reliability. Philip Crossman, managing director of Honda (UK), described the Ariel brand as an incredible British success story, having a history and pedigree in building well-loved bespoke machines. He quipped that Honda and Ariel are a perfect match, especially in terms of engineering expertise and reputation for unrivalled performance and reliability, as well as durability.

Crossman noted that the fact Ariel chose the Japanese brand over others is a huge endorsement for Honda. Ariel recently launched the Ace motorcycle that is also exclusively powered by a V4 1237cc Honda unit that provides 173bhp to allow this bike to achieve a top speed of 165mph.

Press Release


Honda (UK) and Ariel Motor Company have renewed their 16-year strong exclusive engine supply agreement which sees the famed Atom powered by the Civic Type R engine, and the new off-road Nomad by the Civic 2.4 unit.

The news comes as the two brands celebrate the 1500th Honda-powered Ariel roaring out of the small factory in Somerset, where just eight highly skilled build technicians spend 100-200 hours painstakingly hand-crafting one vehicle each at a time, from start to finish. Over the last 16 years 1,500 new Ariels have been built here – just a few day’s work for Honda’s Civic-producing Swindon plant.

Walking into Ariel’s small British workshop is like walking into a luxury tailor to be measured for a bespoke suit. No two Ariels are the same: each is made to order and there are thousands of possible configurations. Ariels are extremely affordable, very fast and will run and run at a track day with almost zero maintenance. At the heart of every Ariel lies the engine, however.

Since 2003 Ariel has been using as standard the Civic Type R engine to power these pocket rockets, firstly with the flagship Atom and now, with the Civic 2.4 unit, the new off-road Nomad. Atom base models use a completely untouched unit off the shelf to offer 245bhp with Ariel-tuned ECU and exhaust or, it can be supercharged to either 310bhp or 350bhp offering a 0-60mph of less than 2.7 seconds and a top speed of more than 155mph.

Ariel’s founder Simon Saunders comments: “Our customers are hugely passionate about driving so the engine is everything. When we tell new customers that it’s a Honda they simply nod and move on to the next question. They just know that it works. Switching to Honda engines is one of the best decisions that we’ve ever made. It’s a brand that can’t be matched for performance and bulletproof reliability and we’re delighted that this success is set to continue well into the future.”

Philip Crossman, managing director of Honda (UK), says: “The Ariel brand is an incredible British success story with a fascinating history and pedigree in producing bespoke machines which driving fans love. The two brands are a perfect match – not least with our common engineering expertise and reputation for unrivalled performance, reliability and durability. With the engine such a key factor it’s a huge endorsement for Honda that Ariel chooses ours over others, and we look forward to continuing this successful partnership for many years to come.”

As well as custom-building the Atom and new off-road Nomad, Ariel recently introduced the Ace motorcycle which, true to form, is also exclusively powered by Honda. Under the cowling of each Ace sits a V4 1237cc Honda unit, delivering 173bhp with a top speed of 165mph.

Topics: honda, uk, partnership

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