I wonder if the Atom 4 would outpace this on track

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I wonder if the Atom 4 would outpace this on track

Post by simonrhart » Fri Nov 09, 2018 2:17 pm

I've always thought of a Radical and this one is quite a good deal https://www.pistonheads.com/classifieds ... eo/7903773

I am curious though whether the 4 would be quicker than this around the track - any UK track. What are your thoughts on this?

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Re: I wonder if the Atom 4 would outpace this on track

Post by phil4 » Fri Nov 09, 2018 2:23 pm

It'd depend on the track and driver.

That car has aero in abundance... give it a track with high speed turns and a driver with big b*lls and it'll be a lot quicker than an Atom 3.5R or 4.

But on a slower track, no it wouldn't.

That being said, remember the Ariel tag line "Serious Fun™", it's not exactly about absolute lap times. It's not set a new Nurburgring record. It's about having some proper fun.

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Re: I wonder if the Atom 4 would outpace this on track

Post by simonrhart » Fri Nov 09, 2018 2:33 pm

Snetterton - as it's my local. Fast track not particularly technical. Example of the RSX here at Snetterton 300: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9Ch8nH6BxsA

The kid in me sometimes does wonder whether I'd have more fun/joy in something like this or a Ultima Evo. This car comes with the sequential gearbox too.

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Re: I wonder if the Atom 4 would outpace this on track

Post by Preseh » Thu Nov 15, 2018 2:01 pm

As mentioned, aero is the key factor and the Radical will most probably walk all over the Atom on high speed tracks. It depends on your usage though - if you're using the Atom for normal track days then I reckon the Atom is spot on for the fun factor.

As for the Ultima, I heard that the older car's chassis wasn't good enough for the power they usually have but they might have fixed that in the Evo. I ended up going for a deposit on the Atom 4 because my mechanical knowledge isn't great and I know with the Ultima I'd probably spend a good amount of time on the hard shoulder :laugh:

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Re: I wonder if the Atom 4 would outpace this on track

Post by simonrhart » Fri Nov 16, 2018 11:07 am

All 3 are very good cars. It depends on cost of the 4 with the sequential box and all the other bits that are unknown at the moment. Having to tow the car to the track is a bit of a pain but that said I will end up doing this with the Atom anyway when going overseas i.e. Spa.

I decided against the Ultima for now just because I don't have the bandwidth to spend 500hrs building it.

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Re: I wonder if the Atom 4 would outpace this on track

Post by Spikey_head » Sat Nov 17, 2018 1:55 pm

When I last looked, the Radical wanted an engine rebuild every 80 hours

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Re: I wonder if the Atom 4 would outpace this on track

Post by simonrhart » Sat Nov 17, 2018 2:42 pm

The engine rebuild duration depends on a few things. The 1300 litre engine is recomended a rebuild at atleast 80hrs, this is the engine in the sr1 and available in the sr3 and requires much less maintenance. The 1500 found in the sr3 rsx and other cars needs a rebuild at around 40hrs.

If I get one it will be the 1500 for the sr3 just because of the power!

Recomendation from Radical is this rebuild time depends on how you look after it, i.e. let it warm up in the pits before going out on track, don't bounce off the red line too much, change oil and oil filter often and that 40hrs can become 80hrs. The factory has someone running at 96hrs presently. So if looked after correctly, the maintenance should not be a problem.

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Re: I wonder if the Atom 4 would outpace this on track

Post by phil4 » Sat Nov 17, 2018 5:32 pm

80 hours didn’t seem too bad. At 60mph that’s not far off 5000 miles, which while stingy compared to modern ecoboxes... ain’t bad for a performance motor.


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Re: I wonder if the Atom 4 would outpace this on track

Post by simonrhart » Sat Nov 17, 2018 8:01 pm

I didn't think it was too bad either. It's similar to a Ferrari service as well, cost wise is around £3-4k which is not cheap of course but a lot of track time can be had. A rebuild is not the same as a road engine service, you are more or less getting a new engine as many components are replaced.

The cool thing is, it can be raced too and it is track ready in stock form meaning you get; seq gearbox with paddles, adjustable suspension, lsd, front splitter, diffuser, rear wing, 4 pot 280mm floating brakes, fire extinguisher, brake bias adjuster, aim and dry sump.

One major down side is they don't seem to hold their value like an Atom does, in fact I don't think much else does out there apart from some Ferrari's and GT Porsche's, not even an Ultima. A stock new 1340 SR3 costs £78k inc VAT but you can get a 2017 1500 almost new SR3 with low hrs for around £55k. And the 1500 engine upgrade is an additional £6650 + VAT on the £78k.

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Re: I wonder if the Atom 4 would outpace this on track

Post by cvjoint » Mon Dec 03, 2018 11:56 pm

A 3.5R on slicks would hang with it on the slower tracks. I'm afraid that on fast tracks even the V8 Atom wouldn't cut it. Aero is just that important.

There is a track nearby where my 230hp Atom won't go faster than 110mph, very technical short course. The SR3 is still 2 seconds faster. I conclude that its aero helps even on that sort of track. You really would need the 350hp so you can make up the time on the small straights wherever you can.

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Re: I wonder if the Atom 4 would outpace this on track

Post by simonrhart » Tue Dec 04, 2018 9:29 am

cvjoint wrote:
Mon Dec 03, 2018 11:56 pm
A 3.5R on slicks would hang with it on the slower tracks. I'm afraid that on fast tracks even the V8 Atom wouldn't cut it. Aero is just that important.

There is a track nearby where my 230hp Atom won't go faster than 110mph, very technical short course. The SR3 is still 2 seconds faster. I conclude that its aero helps even on that sort of track. You really would need the 350hp so you can make up the time on the small straights wherever you can.
What about the RXC, the V6 version? have you seen those around your local track?

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Re: I wonder if the Atom 4 would outpace this on track

Post by cvjoint » Tue Dec 04, 2018 7:07 pm

There are only SR3s around here. It must be that it's a popular model for spec series so that's all there is.

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Re: I wonder if the Atom 4 would outpace this on track

Post by cheeky_chops » Tue Dec 04, 2018 9:56 pm

i think Wasp had a atom then various other track cars inc a radical but came back to Atom 3.5 and said it was the best, most sorted track car he had owned. I dont think it was sales patter! :-D

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Re: I wonder if the Atom 4 would outpace this on track

Post by wasp » Wed Dec 05, 2018 10:11 am

cheeky_chops wrote:
Tue Dec 04, 2018 9:56 pm
i think Wasp had a atom then various other track cars inc a radical but came back to Atom 3.5 and said it was the best, most sorted track car he had owned. I dont think it was sales patter! :-D
If it was a sales patter, the cheque with my commission seems to have been lost in the post! ;D

There are cars that will always be quicker around a track than an Atom. Any well set up Aero car will blow your mind with its capabilities through quick corners. Sequential gearboxes area joy on track but usually awful on the road and running slicks in combination with the above means you'll blow most things away.

BUT you need to ask the question "what is important to you?" Going fast on track is not the same as having fun. My old aero car could do 44 second laps around Brands Indy (even with me driving it!) but it was not even close to the Atom for enjoyment. You have to commit to every corner and drive at minimum 95% everywhere to get them to work properly.

The joy of an Atom is that it is so capable in so many ways. It's a great track car and also something that you can learn in. You need to be pretty experienced and committed to get the best out of Radicals et al. You can also jump in an Atom and go on a road trip which for many practical reasons won't work in a road legal Radical.

Then there's the big one....reliability. Anyone who's ever owned an Atom 2 will attest to the destructive forces of vibration. The 3/3.5s sorted 99% of those issues and in the 3 years that I had mine I never had a single technical problem. It was an amazing car that I could turn up to a track day, turn some dials on the suspension and pretty much do what I wanted then put it back on the trailer and take it home again. Apart from checking the oil and wheels there was zero maintenance. I serviced it regularly (at the Factory tbh) but it paid me back tenfold doing so. Radicals by their nature are less compliant than Atoms, which makes them quicker but wears components more aggressively.

This is why I have ordered a 4. If it can maintain the reliability of my 3.5 but with a bit more pace then I'll be delighted. I'll let any Radical owner by with a wave if they want to come by, safe in the knowledge that there's a higher than 50% chance that they will have to have the car up on jacks inspecting it for something during the day. It is not a car to drive if you are by yourself, you will need one other person to help take the bodywork off to check your fluids plus have a solid understanding of the electronics programme on your laptop.

For these reasons I'm happy being 3 seconds slower (oh ok 8 seconds slower if you've seen me drive!)

Cheers,
Stu

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Re: I wonder if the Atom 4 would outpace this on track

Post by simonrhart » Wed Dec 05, 2018 4:57 pm

wasp wrote:
Wed Dec 05, 2018 10:11 am
There are cars that will always be quicker around a track than an Atom. Any well set up Aero car will blow your mind with its capabilities through quick corners. Sequential gearboxes area joy on track but usually awful on the road and running slicks in combination with the above means you'll blow most things away.
...
Thank you for the insights, this is really very helpful. Which Radical did you have?

I know they are very different cars, the Atom is more well rounded, more power meaning you can power slide it round corners for fun if you want or drive it sensibly (fast). You can more easily take it on the road for a nice drive with the kids. It will likely be cheaper longer term and will probably hold it's value better given the 4 is brand new. It looks amazing, the wings I'm sure will be fantastic and are on my list. My wife thinks the Atom is the better choice and she knows nothing about cars :tu:

The Radical is attractive and I only started looking at one due to the price of the 4 puts it on par with race cars, at least for what I want. The Radical is faster round track, sounds amazing in my view better than the 4 at least from the clips I have heard. I love the idea of red lining the thing at 10k. I can race the Radical if I want, SR1 is quite low cost-ish option. Caveat, I would need to race with a team for this to work, which is an extra cost here. The Radical comes with a seq gearbox, I'm doubtful I will be able to fork out for the seq gearbox for the 4 but once I see the price I will make that decision. You get a lot of "free" with a Radical, adjustable suspension, LSD, Seq gearbox, data logging of lap times etc. It feels more ready for what I want than a base Atom does. With the Atom I need to spend a lot of money to get the car I want.

So there are pro's and con's. First world problems and all that, it's pretty cool we have such amazing cars built here in the UK.

Simon

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