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- This article is about the modern sportscar manufacturer, for the historic British motorcycle and car marque, see Ariel (vehicle).
The original Ariel Ltd was founded in 1898 and made both motorcycles and cars. Cars were dropped earlier but motorcycle production continued into the 1970's.
A company Solocrest Limited founded in 1991 changed its name to Ariel Ltd in 2001. It is based in Crewkerne, Somerset, and is one of the UK's smallest automobile companies, with just 7 employees, producing fewer than 100 cars per year. It was formerly Solocrest Limited and, apart from the name, has no connection with the former motorcycle firm.
The company's flagship car is the Ariel Atom, an extremely light, high performance car; The UK version is based around the Honda Civic Type-R engine and gearbox, while in the USA the Atom is available with the supercharged GM Ecotec engine. The Atom is the world's first road-going exoskeletal car; it has no bodywork or roof, and is built entirely around the tube chassis, making it extremely lightweight at less than 500 kg. This means that the high performance supercharged model has a power-to-weight ratio of over 600 bhp per tonne, at the fraction of the cost of a conventional supercar.
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|James Staley and William Hillman||Corporate website||independent|