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A new variant of Ariel’s doorless open-top sports car, dubbed the Ariel Atom 3S, has been unveiled in the USA.

The new version was developed by Ariel’s manufacturing partner and distributor in North America, TMI Autotech.

Under what little the Atom 3S has in the way of clothing, there’s a turbocharged version of Honda’s 2.4-litre i-VTEC engine, which now churns out 272kW of power and 420Nm of torque for the rear wheels to handle. The regular Atom 3 sold in the US features a naturally aspirated 172kW version of the same engine.

Ariel Atom 3S

Buyers can choose between either a standard or close-ratio six-speed manual gearbox, or a new six-speed Sadev sequential transmission.

TMI claims that the 3S can complete the 0-60mph (96km/h) standard in under 2.8 seconds and hit 100mph (161km/h) in 6.7 seconds. From a standing start, the company estimates that the new Atom 3S can complete the quarter mile (402m) dash in 10.7 seconds.

The most obvious visual difference between the 3S and other members of the Atom 3 family are its new side pods (below). The two pods, which are located just in front of the rear wheels, house radiators to help cool the engine’s turbocharger.

Ariel Atom 3S side pod

Traction control is fitted as standard and is driver adjustable, between five different settings, via a knob on the car’s dashboard. The Atom’s pushrod suspension is now fitted with JRi adjustable dampers, while the 3S’ Alcon braking package features brake bias adjustment.

Xenon headlights, a quick release steering wheel and a front windscreen are now listed as standard fit items, although the latter can be deleted at the buyer’s request. The 3S rides on 15-inch alloy wheels with 205/50 rubber up front and 16-inch rims with 245/50 tyres at the rear.

The Atom 3S is available for order in the US from US$89,750 ($102,000) prior to taxes and other fees. By way of comparison, the Atom 3 costs US$64,500 ($74,000) Stateside.