Deal is renewed the same time as the 1,500th Honda-powered Ariel roars out of the factory
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 i-VTEC engine, and the new off-road Nomad by the Civic 2.4 unit. The news comes as the two brands celebrate the 1,500th Honda-powered Ariel roaring out of the small factory in Somerset, where just eight highly skilled technicians spend between 100 to 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 – on the contrary, it would only take a few day’s work for Honda’s Civic-producing Swindon plant.
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 245 bhp with an Ariel-tuned ECU and exhaust or, it can be supercharged to either 310 bhp or 350 bhp offering a 0-100 km/h of less than 2.7 seconds with a top speed of more than 250 km/h.
Ariel’s founder, Simon Saunders said, “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.”
As well as custom-building the Atom and new off-road Nomad, Ariel recently introduced the Ace motorcycle model, also exclusively powered by Honda. Under the cowling of each Ace sits a V4 1,237cc Honda unit, delivering 173 bhp with a top speed of 266 km/h.