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TMI’s Honda Racing HPD Edition Ariel Atom Supercar

The North American manufactured TMI Ariel 3 is by all measures a world class bare bones supercar with a power to weight ratio approaching 600 hp per ton. While the supercharged 2 liter Honda i-VTEC engine will do 0-60 mph in 2.9 seconds, HPD and TMI team up to push the Atom to the next level in extreme open wheel club racing.

Jay Leno of Jay’s Garage owns an earlier North American rendition of the English Ariel Motors Ltd Atom 3 manufactured by an Oregon Company gone the way of the great recession. His is G.M. powered, producing 300 hp, but shares the same basic engineering platform as the Ariel Motors licensed TMI AutoTech Inc. Ariel Atom 3.

Jay loves his car for the same reason you and I would love it. The Atom is ridiculously fast yet road sticky; reliable and predictable. As Leno puts it ‘the open wheeler compels you to re-think any preconceived notions you may hold of the modern automobile and the overall driving experience.’

As basic as they come, the Atom sports no top, windows or opening doors, yet captures the imagination of anyone fortunate enough to drive one. Today’s Ariel Atom is powered by Honda, the world’s largest engine manufacturer, and currently the winningest racing motor brand on the planet.

While Jay wasn't available for a telephone interview, TMI co-founder Mark Swain of Alton Virginia was. Mark was kind enough to spend a few moments with Torque News Honda, eagerly answering our questions as to specification price and TMI’s racing program ; while peaking my interest in the Spec Race Atom Series.

What compelled me to call TMI was the direct link I discovered on Honda Power Development's website. Not a small accomplishment for a micro company. We discover that TMI AutoTech Inc, is a small automotive engineering and custom fabrication shop. Thier work is impeccable and attitude, upbeat. The company founded in 2008 is the exclusive manufacturer of the Ariel Atom, first developed in England by Simon Saunders.

TMI has implemented a very hands-on, trackside racing experience. For those interested in participating, check here.

TMI and HRD launched a joint race program in 2011 and this year has teamed to produce a very limited edition of 10 Honda Racing/ HPD track-day cars. The collaboration will take the Atom supercar to the next level by incorporating HRD hardware into the track proven international design. Will you be able to purchase the limited edition Atom? Probably not, but read on, the company builds 60 Atoms to custom specifications annually. The only limitation is the size of your checking account. TMI does not provide financing .

As to the price of a race specification Atom, according to Mark you can purchase the car in minimum club race ready trim for $49,500. TMI’s unique racing program can and will build your car, deliver it to the track, perform trackside services and stable your car after the event. For those looking for trouble-free club racing, the TMI Ariel Atom 3 may be your answer.

Your dollar will buy a race- ready 1300 lb turn key two seater powered by a normally aspirated K 24 Honda 2 liter aluminum block i-VTEC producing 230 hp.. The same engine found in many Honda Civics.

Torque is transferred to the drive wheel via a 6 speed close ratio aluminum alloy transaxle.

According to Mark, production time required to build the basic car is 90 days or so. Many upgrades hinting toward street legal status are available. However, Mark informed us that registration qualifications will vary from state to state. And, that although he does know of an owner or two that has successfully registering the car under kit car status, the car as manufactured by TMI as an “off road” vehicle.

So, please check with your local D.M.V. before you assume you can run it on the street in your state or province.

In researching Arial Motors of England, we find that the originator of the Atom is tooling around with a 500 hp V8 model that will give the Atom 3.5 a power to weight ratio of 1000 hp per ton.

The motor, although branded “Ariel” looks suspiciously similar to the Honda V8 powering the 2015 Acura TLX race car. Remember, the Ariel Atom weighs in at 1300 lbs. In Europe they drive this thing on the street. Does the future hold a V8 Atom for TMI? How much money do you have?

Our thanks to Mark Swain.


John Goreham    January 16, 2014 - 12:25PM

I'm glad you published this story. Whenever I read about how fast a luxury performance car is on a racetrack, particularly that bankrupt toll road over in Germany, I always think "Why the heck would anyone ever want to run their street car on a racetrack?" It makes much more sense to me to have one of these, or a base Atom, which is crazy enough. Tow it to the track, or rent a garage there. Car insurance does not cover damage to your passenger car if you crash on a track. And these are more fun and faster than even the high end luxury performance cars. Good story. I plan to use it as a link-back often.