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Thread: Staying warm in your Atom? Windshield + Side panels?

  1. #1
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    Staying warm in your Atom? Windshield + Side panels?

    I'm curious how well the clear side panels and big windshield change the experience in the atom?

    with those 2 things installed does it feel like it would driving in a normal convertible?

    Im interested in purchasing these 2 modifications to maybe be able to enjoy the Atom in the colder months.

    If anyone has these or been in an Atom with them installed could you tell me if they work well?

    Also whats the coldest you have driven your atom and been comfortable with or without the side panels and windshield.

    Thanks in advance!

  2. #2
    Neutrino MadMaxAtom's Avatar
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    "does it feel like it would driving in a normal convertible?" No. Not even close.I own a Miata,and a couple of convt. Mustangs for comparison (plus been in many other convertibles)

    The side panels keep a lot of front wheel debris/water out of the car and nothing else.

    The windshield keeps debris and rain off your face. There is still a lot of air flowing around the windshield and through the car,as the Atom really doesn't have a "fire" wall up front.

    Coldest weather I've driven with side panels and windshield has been low 30s,but that was on track and after a couple of laps,you are too busy to feel cold..

    If you are expecting the same comfort of a convertible,you will be disappointed.
    Last edited by MadMaxAtom; February 15, 2014 at 05:31 AM.
    The power of an Atom is a terrible thing to waste! Atom owner/operator since 2007. The more you chase perfection,the faster it becomes. John Force for President! (I asked him once in person...he laughed)

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    Electron Lane's Avatar
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    I have the side panels, and a sort-of 'stubby' windscreen that I made (taller than the gunsights, shorter than the true windshield). I have driven with and without the side panels and they do a lot to keep wind out of the interior. That being said, there's still a lot more airflow in the interior than any convertible will have. The side panels do a great job at keeping debris that is kicked up from the front tires out of the interior.

    If you look at an Atom from the front, straight-on, you can see through the front suspension area to the driver and pasenger's midsections. A windshield and side panels won't do anything to the air freely flowing through that area. It's somewhat visible in this photo:



    I have taken a ten-minute drive in about 30 degrees F, but only because I had to get the car somewhere and I will not be doing that again. I have done a 4 hour drive where it was 48 degrees when I started out, and even with the right clothing, that was somewhat unpleasant. Not an experience I normally want to have in this car, as I want every moment to be enjoyable - but it was part of the Hot Rod Power Tour and there was no putting it off until the temp got warmer later in the day. I have tried several types of gloves, but it's still my hands that seem to get the coldest when I'm in the car.

    I grew up in the outdoors enjoying winters with skiing and snowmobiling in temperatures as cold as -20F. Clothing is extremely important in very cold weather and will go a long way toward keeping you comfortable in the Atom. But even as I try, I've found it impossible to stay comfortable in the Atom on a long drive if the temperature is below 50 degrees F. As much as I would like to be able to enjoy the car in the colder months, it has proven difficult for me. In addition to the comfort aspect, the two types of tires that I use in the summer have absolutely no grip whatsoever in cold temps, so track events just aren't worth the effort at that point. Would be a different story if I selected tires that are more "all-season", but that only compromises the performance of the car when it's warm and I'm not going to do that.

    I have a Lotus Exige and the Atom does not compare to the Lotus with the top off. The Atom remains winder, noisier, and more of a raw visceral experience. Exactly the way it should be, and one of the reasons why I bought it.


    Last edited by Lane; August 4, 2016 at 03:22 PM.
    Ariel Atom 2, Ecotec 300, owner since 2007. Drive, Detail, Improve, Repeat. Visit my website.

  4. #4
    Electron
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    Nice picture.

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    Wow thanks for all the information. Very helpful. Sweet pictures too!

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