The next Ariel Atom could use hybrid power sourced from the Honda NSX, Ariel boss Simon Saunders has revealed.
Previous versions of the Atom have used Honda-sourced powertrains, including a powerful 350 horsepower supercharged version of the automaker’s 2.0-litre VTEC four-cylinder. The next Atom will follow the same path, but with the added benefit of a hybrid boost.
“The technology in the NSX is cutting-edge and expensive, but it will work its way down the food chain to the hot hatches,” Saunders said. “At that point, it becomes achievable for us to use in the Atom.”
In the NSX, Honda’s three electric motors are mainly used for added fuel economy, but Ariel is only interested in using hybrid power if it can give the Atom more performance.
“Obviously, for Honda it’s more about emissions, but for us it’s mostly a performance thing,” Saunders said.
The executive added that the raw nature of Ariel’s cars doesn’t exclude them from moving towards more advanced vehicles, saying it will inevitably “move with the times.”