2015 Ariel Atom 3.5 R - 1 of 12

At a Glance

✔️ One of only 12 original factory 3.5 R's
✔️ Carbon fibre aero pack
✔️ Impressive 'must have' specification
✔️ Rare manual transmission option

This example comes complete with carbon fibre aero pack

Equipment & Features

  • RHD Carbon with White Flashes
  • 245BHP 6-speed
  • 310BHP Supercharged upgrade for 245
  • Atom 3.5R Power upgrade to 350BHP
  • Limited slip differential
  • Baffled Sump
  • Oil Cooler System in side pod
  • Aluminium Radiator
  • Cat Bypass Pipe
  • Alcon Big Brake Kit Front
  • Alcon Big Brake Kit Rear
  • Remote brake bias adjuster
  • Ohlins TTX dampers 70nm rear 52nm front
  • Quick release steering wheel
  • 3" Seat Belts both sides
  • V type crutch strap both sides
  • Rear Towing Eye Kit Track Day use
  • Front Towing Eye Kit Track Day use
  • Stainless Fixings
  • Aero deflectors
  • Locking Fuel Cap
  • 12v Auxillary feed with lighter socket
  • Passenger + clutch footrest
  • Carbon fibre aerofoil front and mounts
  • Carbon fibre aerofoil rear and mounts
  • Carbon fibre mudguard set
  • Carbon fibre body set (air box, intake, bonnet)
  • Carbon fibre instrument panel
  • Powdercoat chassis flat white
  • Handbrake system for rear Alcon brakes
  • Fire Extinguisher stand alone
  • No website stickers
  • All of logo on side pod white + white flashes
  • IVA Test
  • Road Tax + Reg
  • No side panel tags
  • Black bulkheads


  • 08/06/2015 at 348 miles - 500 mile service carried out by Ariel Motor Company
  • 25/11/2015 at 2,394 miles - 4,500 miles service carried out by Ariel Motor company
  • 09/05/2018 at 3,219 miles - MOT, clean first time pass
  • 08/11/2018 at 3,500 miles - 4,500 mile service carried out by Ariel Motor Company
  • 07/09/2019 at 5,991 miles - MOT, advisories for worn rear tyres, first time pass
  • 18/12/2019 at 6,467 miles - 18,000 mile service carried out by Ariel Motor Company
  • 19/09/2020 at 7,488 miles - MOT, clean first time pass
  • 11/06/2022 at 7,717 miles - MOT, clean first time pass
  • 11/08/2022 at 7,943 miles - 4,500 mile service carried out by Ariel Motor company



Ariel is often thought of as a relative newcomer to the automotive industry, however the companies first take on wheeled transport happened to be way back in 1870; granted that was with bicycles, however being pioneers as they still are today produced the first lightweight all-metal bikes, utilising new technology such as tensioned spoke wheels. The Ariel Motor Company was launched soon after, producing vehicles on both 2 and 4 wheels. In fact, an Ariel motor car featured in the first ever Brooklands race taking 2nd place on the podium, while their twin cylinder motorbike won its class at the first ever Isle of Man Motorcycle TT. After Rover purchased Ariel's design for a small motor car (which went on to become the Rover 8) Ariel concentrated on producing innovative and ground-breaking motorcycles up until ceasing production in the late 1960s.  

Three decades later, University lecturer Simon Saunders started work on his idea of a modern-day Lotus 7 and together with Coventry University student Niki Smart, the Atom was born. Through the Atom and its sister the Nomad, Ariel has consistently redefined the lightweight track and road car segment.

The Atom, like most long-standing models, has been refined, honed and improved over its lifetime. Launched in 2000, the original was powered by three versions of the Rover K-Series with power outputs of 120bhp, 160bhp and the highly-strung 190bhp range topper. In 2003 the Atom 2 was born, and with it came a host of design changes including moving to near-bombproof Honda V-TEC engines. 235 reliable bhp was now available right out of the box and up to 300bhp in 2005 when Ariel launched the option of supercharging.

The arrival of Hondas K20Z4 Type R engine ushered in a completely new chassis for the Atom 3, with refinements to suspension and bodywork improving the model once more. Then taking the lessons learnt from the ferocious Atom V8 and utilising the latest batch of Hondas K-series engines, the Atom 3.5 arrived soon after. Not so much of a change this time; more gentle honing of the already-impressive Atom recipe.

The Atom 3.5R however, really turned the wick. Where the base supercharged Atom 3.5 utilised the same Honda K20 V-TEC powerplant and was hardly lacking in power, the 3.5R benefits from some choice upgrades including a new charge-cooling system. This enabled an increase in boost pressure from 7.5 psi to 11 psi and took power from 310bhp to a mighty 350bhp at 8,400rpm coupled with 243lb ft of torque to push its featherweight 550kg along. Performance became staggering; while the 0-60mph time of 2.6 seconds is nothing to be sniffed at, passing 100mph only 3.4 seconds later shows the ferociousness of the unrelenting acceleration, only stopping at its 155mph top speed. 

Now, while 0-100mph in 6 seconds is hugely impressive when the likes of Porsche’s 992 911 GT3 PDK take a second longer to cover the same dash, we all know it’s in the corners where the Atom really shines. To ensure all that extra power is put to the tarmac is an upgraded suspension setup, utilising bespoke Ohlins TTX36 dampers which combined with the appropriate suspension springs can be tuned for road, track or race. Now this all sounds rather impressive but does it work? Categorically yes, and to help visualise just how well we have taken some lap times from the UK’s Blyton Park racing circuit as a comparison:

  • Ariel Atom 3.5 R: 0:58.9 seconds
  • BAC Mono: 1:01.4 seconds
  • Porsche 911 GT3 RS: 1:01.8 seconds
  • Caterham 620R: 1:02.1 seconds

While a number of Atom owners have returned to Ariel and had their cars upgraded to 3.5 R ‘spec’, we have been informed that only 12 official 3.5 R models were sold by Ariel; this being one of those 12. While the base specification Atom 3.5 R is no slouch, it’s still an Ariel which meant client personalisation was paramount. 

This example comes complete with the sought-after aero pack manufactured from gorgeous carbon fibre including mud guards, and the optional side pods house the charge-cooler and Ariel-designed oil cooler ensure engine temperatures are kept under control even under the harshest of conditions. The use of carbon fibre continues to the body set (air box, intake and bonnet) and instrument panel, and the car also comes with the ‘expected’ options such as limited slip differential, aluminium radiator and baffled sump. 

One option that was left un-ticked on this example was the sequential transmission. Sadev's impressive pneumatic gearbox, while undeniably allows for faster shifting both up and down the box, will never match the feeling of click-clacking through the gears manually.  Given the recent interest - and rising value - of analogue sports and supercars, the slick 6 speed Honda manual was a fantastic choice in this most bareback analogue of sports cars. 

Having covered a total of only 8,008 miles, the car is being released by its 2nd owner after nearly 5 enjoyable years. The stunning white chassis presents in fantastic condition, as does the various carbon fibre additions. Only tell-tale 'road rash' on the side pods gives evidence of usage. Included within the sale is the handbook, invoices from Ariel for servicing and parts, and MOT certificates, all first time passes.



Unleashing the Thrill: The Pure Fun of Owning an Ariel Nomad or Atom


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Year 2015
Mileage 8,008
Exterior colour White
Interior colour Black
Driver's side RHD
Transmission Manual
Engine Size 2.0 Supercharged Honda V-TEC K20
Fuel type Petrol


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