Zippy racer redesigned and re-imagined

 
 
Posted7/16/2018 6:00 AM
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  • Aerial Atom 4

    Aerial Atom 4 Photos Courtesy of Aerial

  • Courtesy of Paramount Pictures.The BMW R nineT Scrambler motorcycle is featured in "Mission: Impossible - Fallout."

    Courtesy of Paramount Pictures.The BMW R nineT Scrambler motorcycle is featured in "Mission: Impossible - Fallout."

  • Aerial Atom 4

    Aerial Atom 4

  • Aerial Atom 4

    Aerial Atom 4

  • Aerial Atom 4

    Aerial Atom 4

The Aerial Atom, the open cockpit, wind-in-your face, all-out corner blaster, continues to grow up, but it isn't losing any of its spunky bad-boy brashness.

The model is embarking on its fourth iteration and Aerial says this model isn't some mild refresh but an all-new, overhauled car. In fact, they say only three parts are carried over; the clutch and brake pedals and the fuel cap.

What isn't changing is the Atom's knack for total track domination. It will continue to be a zippy and well-planted powerhouse when the asphalt gets curvy.

Reservations are being taken now for the Aerial Atom 4, with deliveries beginning next spring.
Reservations are being taken now for the Aerial Atom 4, with deliveries beginning next spring. -

Power now comes from the Honda Civic Type R's turbocharged 2.0-liter, direct injection, four-cylinder engine, pumping out 320 horsepower.

There's optional launch and traction control and the ability to adjust and optimize turbo-boost levels for different road and track conditions. Add it all up and the combo makes for head-snapping zero-to-60 mph times of 2.8 seconds and zero-to-100 mph in 6.8 seconds.

There's now a larger fuel tank, giving a range of around 300 miles.

The suspension features all-new geometry, with improvements to help control unnecessary body roll and weight transfer, keeping as much tire contact as possible at all times. In fact, the car's Avon tires deliver the most mechanical grip than any previous Atom while the optional full-carbon wheels are nearly 50 percent (35 pounds) lighter than alloy wheels.

The all-new braking system increases in size because of the higher output of the new engine. Stop-happy customers can choose an upgrade to an optional AP Racing setup, equipped with even bigger front and rear vented discs and four-piston calipers.

Once drivers do slow down, they will find the turning circle improved, which helps with around town driving and tricky side street parking.

Aerial Atom 4
Aerial Atom 4 -

From the outside, the body panels, tied together by the familiar truss-like piping, were heavily worked over. Extensive time was spent streamlining airflow and reducing drag while increasing downforce. Areas addressed include the nose cone, which has smaller openings to decelerate air speed; the "aero screen," which now reaches all the way across the car, reducing "helmet lift;" and even the mudguards, which have been designed to give downforce, negating the usual lift associated with such components.

All exterior lighting is now LED and features daytime running lamps and auto light functionality. Inside the cabin, there's now individually adjustable single seats, replacing the outgoing twin seat. Storage is really only found under the front body cover in an extended "cubby box."

The Atom 4 will continue the brand's tradition of each car being built by one technician for individual customer orders. Construction is slated to begin later this year for spring 2019 deliveries. Estimated annual sales are pegged around 100 cars with vehicles being built in England as well as in South Boston, Virginia.

Tom Cruise drives a 1986 BMW 5 Series on the set of "Mission: Impossible - Fallout."
Tom Cruise drives a 1986 BMW 5 Series on the set of "Mission: Impossible - Fallout." - Courtesy of Paramount Pictures.
"Mission: Impossible" BMWs

Fictional spy Ethan Hunt is back again, solving international crime conspiracies in the upcoming film "Mission: Impossible - Fallout." Returning with him is his choice of high powered rides, with BMW returning to join the fray as the getaway car of choice for Tom Cruise's world-saving character.

The action movie will feature a host of wheeled characters, including the 600-horsepower, biturbo, 4.4-liter V-8 M5, the 7 Series and the BMW R nineT Scrambler motorcycle, used in a wild chase through Paris.

It's not all new high-tech machines that'll be screeching across the silver screen. A major, heart-pounding scene spotlights a vintage 1986 BMW 5 Series being put through its paces.

See all the pedal to the metal action on July 27 when the movie opens.

• Share your car's story with Matt at auto@dailyherald.com.

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