2012 Ariel Atom 3

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2012 Ariel Atom 3
RCR Ariel Atom Thumb.jpg
Car Details
Make Ariel
Model Atom 3
Year 2012
Owner u/Critters
Episode Details
Episode Link Watch
Season The Pacific Fister
Air Date December 25, 2015
Credits u/lanator

Ariel Atom: A car as British as a debtors' jail.

This is the third Christmas special, and also is the fourth time that The Roman also reviews a car.


Welcome to the RCR Christmas Special. I hope you're wearing headphones.


to the tune of “White Christmas”
Time to do this Ariel ride
And may all your Angelas be White




This is a 2012 Ariel Atom 3 and you're NOW PICTURING YOUR GRANDMOTHER MASTURBATING AAAHAHAAHAHAHAAHAHA Pennsylvania Lotteryyy~

The Ariel Atom is classified as a kit car in the United States. That is what makes it legal. The stipulation with kit car registration is that you're supposed to build it. But Atoms come already built. I think you have to put the side mirrors on or something, like there you go! Aw, there you go, you made a car. Good for you!

This Ariel Atom 3 has the optional carbon fiber aero pack which is a front spoiler and a rear wing which makes the car look even less street legal even though it's 100% street legal. The turn signals don't even self-cancel, they're like motorcycle turn switches. Its-It's a toggle switch right there, you just turn it left and you turn left and then you have to remember to reach back up and put it back to the middle position. And then turn it right to turn right and then back to the middle position.

Okay. But here's the worst thing about an Ariel Atom: you can't see behind you at all. I mean, you turn right, you turn your head right, all you're lookin' at is a big engine intake. And you can't really turn your head left because you have this six pointers- five or six point harness on. So you have to do everything by your mirrors. You have to be like a really skilled bus driver to be able to drive a car the size of your bed.

What the owner did is put a third mirror, and you can see it right there, there's three rear-view mirrors. The third mirror is supposed to look at your blind spot. And it works but you have to really be in tune for the dimensions of this car.

Is it fast? This beats a Tesla. Matt Farah confirmed this for- with me, the Ariel Atom is the only car that accelerates faster in second gear than it does in first. 'Cause that K-20 Civic engine isn't pulling any weight behind you.

Driving an Ariel Atom is what you thought driving was like when you were nine. It will turn anybody into a child. This is right up there with an AW11 in how happy and joyous and beautiful it is. And Ariel Atom is proof that we humans are still playful creatures. Cars don't have to be boring. They can be fun! And they can be fun all day, every day!

The owner of this car owns two vehicles: this Atom and a Tesla. Why should life be boring? I know there is a price point involved here. But just like Ferris Bueller, if you have the means I highly suggest picking one of these up.

Anyway. It's Christmas morning so I'm gonna have some nog. Roman's gonna take over for the rest of this review.



Ugh, it's Christmas and I have a cold. Go figure. But it fits that I'm doing a British car since this cold means I'm probably going to end up sounding like my cousin, Reginald Pumpernickel Baxter Florence. Ouuu, ring Walner and inform him I'll have my 7:30 egg at 7:15. And tell Alabaster I left his doggy treats sitting for him on the lanai. Also, don't forget to fill the estate car with Rock oil. I have a game of carnafore tonight against Myles Standish at the Cafe le Eneuuugh

Oh yeah, Ariel Atom.

Okay, so some people hate genuine effort, which is why the idea of this car on the open road might offend more delicate sensibilities. But once you're actually strapped into this badass son of Somerset I don't know how anyone could hate it. It's a street-legal religious experience that has the potential to ruin cars for you forever. Sure, there's no power steering, no power brakes and no traction control but that never stopped the more adventurous among us before and it's unlikely to stop any of us in the future.

Marrying the Honda K24 engine to a six-speed manual transmission means the Ariel Atom 3 is the closest I'll ever come to being Lewis Hamilton. And yet, you really shouldn't let your speedster instincts take over. Despite being street legal, this turns heads and raises eyebrows everywhere so you have to be careful and keep those lead footed instincts in check, even if you're an Honest Johnny. Hell, especially if you're an Honest Johnny because the more you follow the law throughout your life, the less luck you'll have when you finally decide to break it.

Ariel Atom 3. It's more British than a debtors' jail. And that's a beautiful thing, especially here where this review was filmed. We went to the Blackhawk Cars and Coffee with its Cheyennes and Chevelles and other things car guys will go on to name their daughters someday. And out of every car there, this Atom drew one of the biggest crowds, if not the biggest. It's a head-turner from an aesthetic perspective, sure, but it also elicits a certain curiosity about the owner and how one comes to procure a car like this and whether or not driving something like this on public roads is even legal.

An Ariel might not be that impressive when there's a certain amount of distance between you and the possibility of it. But when it's staring you in the face with eyes wide like those of a girlfriend's after the condom breaks, you can't really help but feel enamored. At that Cars and Coffee, this was popular. More popular than the kid who saw the fight at recess and anyone who says they didn't look is a bigger liar than the kid who saw the fight at recess. Because the Atom speaks to our baser instincts. Our love of fast things in funky-looking packages.

Ariel Atom 3: If Barry Allen were a car.

Funny story: On the way back to the hotel, some dude in a blue Ford Fusion pulled up alongside us and asked the owner, “Hey, is that thing street legal? What kind of engine does it have? Whet ded you pey for et?” (Caption: Never ask a car-guy what they paid for their car. Total faux pas in the car-world.) Unh. And the owner, Dave, with his smooth British accent underlying the patience of a saint, answered all of his questions in the time it took for the light to change.

Now, this dude in blue – who totally wasn't David Patterson, by the way – this dude in blue ended up whipping out his smartphone, driving alongside us and shooting a video of the Atom in action. No eyes on the road, no cares in the world and a big dopey-ass grin on his face like he walked right out of the music video for Black Hole Sun. I'm sure he ran home to post it to social media with the hashtag “#lifegoals” or some other fresh nonsense.

I guess the moral of the story is this: don't be that guy who asks random strangers how much they paid for things. Sure, you might be genuinely curious but in the trade off you end up sounding more judgemental than a church filled with the recently saved.

Earlier I said that that the Atom has the ability to ruin cars for you forever. And that's kind of hyperbolic but what I mean by it is that the Atom has the power to change you. To create a fixed point that forks your life into two categories: everything before the Atom and everything after.

The Atom is important in the way a fourteen-year-old thinks high school is important. High school sucked, but it's supposed to. It's the acknowledgement that things aren't going to go your way in life. But it's also valuable socially because it sort of catalyzes one's understanding of self worth. Get rejected enough times and you might think you're the problem until you realize everyone else is going through the same shit and that it's nerves and awkwardness and weird makeout sessions and late night phone calls going nowhere. And not asking that one girl out because Jesus Christ look at her!

It's those formative experiences that help shape a person as they go through young adulthood. In the same way the Atom can reduce even the savviest driver to a puddle, a soup of adolescent overexcitement and the realization that the world is a far bigger place than you initially thought and that it has such wonders you hadn't considered.

As you merge onto California's five-lane Anxiety Expressway, the engine rumbling beneath you like the bowel movements of a lesser god, you suddenly find yourself a member of a community in which jaded cynicism has yet to take root. There can still be joy for people of all stripes. Whether you're an OP on an /r/relationships thread on butt stuff, whether you're that guy who still whacks it to Gadget Hackwrench or whether you're just a regular bloke, a chaotic neutral alive with the pureness of potential.

The Atom can take your aftermarket cynicism right back down to stock and reveal the untainted person that rolled off the factory line. The person who still has a simple love for things that go, “vroom.”

Happy holidays, everyone.


to the tune of “Happy Christmas (War is Over)” by John Lennon

It's an Ariel Atom,
And it rules in Top Gear,
We know it's expensive,
But we do this every year...