Archive for the ‘Ariel Atom News’ Category

Red Atom Body Panels

We’ve had a set of unpainted Atom body panels hanging on the wall for a few years now, and finally got around to painting them.  After bouncing a lot of ideas around (some of them very crazy)  we decided that the best move would be to just keep it simple and go with a single color.  So we decided to paint the panels red, in this case Ferrari Rosso Corsa.  Going with red panels allows them to match with some other smaller bits on the car which are already red, such as the battery cut-off switch and coilover perches.

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Today we installed a set of custom made carbon fiber side panels for the Ariel Atom.  These panels will clean up the rather dirty aerodynamics of the Atom, increasing it’s top speed by approximately 15mph.  It’ll also help keep out the rocks, pebbles, and other debris from inside the cockpit.

We’ve also upgraded the rear wheels and tires, increasing the wheels from 16×8’s on 225/50/16’s  to 17×9’s and riding on wider 275/45/17 Toyo R888 tires.  This bigger & wider rear tire setup has been track proven to reduce lap times by up to 2 seconds.  We can really feel the difference in the handling, the car is much more planted in the corners and power oversteer on turn exit is greatly reduced!

The carbon fiber used to make the side panels is the same weave  used in the body tub construction, and the weave was oriented so that it matches up to the body tubweave, too.  This ensures a clean look.

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Here’s a little something to pique your interest.  Did you know that Lexan side panels are an option on the Ariel Atom?  When equipped with the side panels, the Atom’s top speed is increased by about 10-15mph due to decreased wind resistance.

We have a friend in the aerospace industry who has CF manufacturing knowledge, and he’s making us a set of side panels, only they’ll be made out of carbon fiber.  Here’s a pic and some details about the panels:

-They will have a heat handling capacity of 250 degrees F”
-The exterior exposed side will have clear coat w/UV protection
-The laminate is composed of 2 layers of “670” (a 2×2 twill weave composed of 6k tow) and two inner layers of “282” (a plain weave composed of 3k tow) for reinforcement.
-The panels were infused using the latest VARTM techniques and should be porosity free… this aint no hand layed fiberglass.
-The resin he used is a two part epoxy “Huntsman 8605” (not the cheap vinylester use by most auto parts manufacturers) and should handle any debris the tires can throw at them.
-The  panel thickness should be around 0.078″.
These panels will provide the same aero efficiencies of the stock side panels, but will be lighter than the Lexan panels and have the added benefit of matching the Atom’s CF body tub.  Cool stuff!

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This past Sunday Garage Woolery had it’s Ariel Atom on display at the Queen’s English British car show in Van Nuys, CA.  The Atom was dressed up in yellow and black colors for the event.

The Garage Woolery Ariel Atom at the show

While there, we had an interesting encounter with none other than The Tonight Show’s host, Jay Leno.  Jay Leno happens to be an Ariel Atom owner too, so he took some time to come over to our group and give the Atom’s a lookover.  He took a particular interest in the Garage Woolery Atom.  We took the opportunity to ask Jay if he was aware of the many upgrades and updates (some of them necessary) that have been released since he took delivery of his Atom.  He wasn’t aware of many of the updates, so Garage Woolery member David gave Jay some much needed information and advice on how to bring his Atom up to date and up to par.

Jay interviews David about Atom upgrades


 One of the subjects Garage Woolery made Jay aware of was the design flaws that were inherent in the factory rear uprights, and how to correct them.  This piqued Jay’s interest enough that he had to see the improvements for himself.

Hmmm....yeah, I see what you did there, yeah.

Garage Woolery advised Jay about several important upgrades that he should do to his Atom, including a safety upgrade and an upgrade that addressed Jay’s one peeve about the Atom (5th gear shifting).  Jay had his personal mechanic Bernard Juchli onhand, so they both took down the information Garage Woolery offered for later implementation on Jay’s Atom.  Jay was also kind enough to take a group pic with all the Atom owners who attended the show.

Once again, Garage Woolery saves the day!

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