Wish we’d thought of this two months ago – it would have made an arresting April Fool’s joke. As ever, however, reality is stranger than fiction. This really is an Ariel Atom police car. With real cops too. Bet they are happy boys to get out of the Volvo wagon. A faster or more fun jam sandwich than an Atom it’s impossible to imagine.
Avon and Somerset Constabulary were so impressed with our video of the new 3.5R in action they put in an order for their own. Well, maybe not, but either way folks in the West Country do now have this on their roads. With 0-62mph in 2.5sec drivers, yes and riders too, would be wise to think twice about putting the foot down. As our test driver Anthony Reid found, cars that can outrun, outbrake or outcorner the 3.5R are as rare as hen’s teeth.
The serious purpose behind the atomic police car is to increase awareness of motor cyclists, in a bid to get the appalling two-wheeled accident rate down. Blokes, mostly between 35 and 55 riding superbikes – and who doesn’t know one of them? – account for 1 percent of road traffic but 20 percent of all road user deaths. With summer and the season of ride-outs with us, the liveried, blue-lighted Atom is taking pride of place in Avon and Somerset’s Safer Rider campaign which launches at Haynes Motor Museum in Sparkford at the weekend.
Ariel – home town Crewkerne – has long been known as manufacturers of the four-wheeled motor cycle, but the connection with the bike world goes much deeper, and not just with old Ariel motor bikes, either. Ariel’s all-new two-wheeler will be launched soon. Expect to see it first at the Festival of Speed at the end of June.